Change Career

We continue our questions and answers sessions. Our aim is to help people change career and aid that career transition.

If you decide to change career and upskill, how do you decide what course would suit you best?


Course choice is extremely important.  Almost one in four students are dropping out of third level institutions, most of these students are not on the right course.  Fundamentally they are receiving insufficient career guidance at early secondary level.  And if they do get career guidance in fifth and/or sixth year it is almost too late to influence change and inform the student of implications.  It may be difficult to change career direction if career guidance is not delivered at an early stage.


First you must decide what career would suit you best in order to change career.  When you identify a career, then you must find the most appropriate course of education that will provide that career, factoring issues such as location, reputation, academic level, delivery method, full time/part time, fees, living costs, etc.


It must be stressed the important of employment prospects when you graduate and change career.  An impartial career guidance practitioner should ‘tell it straight’ and be honest with regards to employment prospects.  Is there an overflow of Law graduates in Ireland for example?  Will you most likely have to do a Post Graduate qualification if you do an Arts degree?


What advice would you have regarding funding a career change or a course of study?


As mentioned above spread payment fees over the duration of the course.  Talk to the admissions department and negotiate a payment schedule.  They will negotiate and they are flexible, remember who the customer is.


Remove waste and discretionary luxuries from your lifestyle and make appropriate adjustments, what can you do without?  Digestive biscuits versus the chocolate biscuits?


How beneficial is upskilling to furthering your career?


It’s an extremely competitive market, you are in competition with your peers across industry.  You should reflect on yourself and analyse your ‘areas for development’ and put together an action plan to address these areas.  If you don’t tick the boxes that your competitors tick you may not even get to the interview stage.  If you are in a corporate environment and an opening presents itself that you are interested in, if you have been ‘lazy’ the past number of years and not focused on your continuous professional development you may miss out on that potential opportunity.  Be prepared, don’t sit on your primary degree that you achieved in the 1990’s or early 2000’s.  Knowledge and new skills will manifest into personal and professional confidence.  Anybody with an ordinary degree of a 2:2 honours degree should be looking at a Masters/Post Graduate qualification, an obvious ‘area for development’.


Any other career change advice?


Continuously reflect.


Fundamentally life long learning equals more choice. Speak to a career guidance practitioner and visualise a future and a career plan, discover your learning style, make the right career change and facilitate the next stage in your career. An impartial career guidance session will sow the seeds. Finally, do not be afraid to fail, life long learning can be very enjoyable.


Diarmuid Haughian

MA Career Guidance, QCG

Change Career

Change Career