5 Key Skills for Learners in 2018

Did you know that sixty percent of jobs that will exist by 2030 are unknown?

Education in 2018 is about facilitating the student to become a lifelong learner. Knowing how to learn to adapt to the challenges of new technology and having agility to adapt are becoming key attributes in education as we move towards an inflection point in technology with the rapid advancement of AI and robotics.

With this rise, there has been a lot of coverage in the media recently about robots taking jobs away from humankind (think Blade Runner 2049) and this has led to an interesting debate on how education can play a vital role in helping to prepare people to be resilient and able to adapt to the technological advances that will eventually impact their everyday lives.

Opening Night at Web Summit 2017

The technology conference Web Summit 2017 was held on November 7th to 9th in Lisbon. I was fortunate to be invited to the Opening Night on November 6th  where I heard Bryan Johnson of Kernel, Stephen Hawking and the European Commission’s Margrethe Vestager, talk about a diverse range of topics: hacking into the human brain; ethics and responsibility in the development of AI and robotics; and competition law, how it works to drive innovation by protecting SMEs from the data controlling giants of the technology sector and allowing smaller businesses to compete for business.

Alpha Stands

My personal focus at the event was on learning both inside and outside the classroom. I visited VR, AI and AR alpha stands where I met and chatted with numerous Start Ups. Virtu Oso (co-founded by Scottish vets Rory Shearer and William Seymour) is using AR and 4D video to develop bespoke hardware and software for use in education. ZREALITY (founded by Geman Kai Utzinger) has developed “VR Timetravel” a VR sightseeing experience in Luxembourg into the year 1867.   Many others that I met are ideating and developing software and hardware to enhance learning in a virtual world.

Lisa at the Virtual Reality Start Up Stands

Magic Shows

I also attended many talks and presentations on VR, AI and AR and discovered how this rapidly advancing technology can be used to make learning and information more engaging and dynamic.

Ambarish Mitra of Blippar spoke on the Creatiff Stage about AR and how it can be indistinguishable from magic.  He showcased the launch of his new product the AR City App. The app helps you navigate and explore 300 cities worldwide using augmented reality and computer vision at scale.

A Journey of Lifelong Learning

Another talk which took place on the Future Societies Stage “Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom” was particularly insightful and relevant to my business, online and distance learning course provider Kilroy’s College.

The talk was hosted by FRANCE 24’s Marjorie Paillon and with a panel of expert educators:  Duolingo’s Gina Gotthilf, Coursera’s Jeff Maggioncalda, UNESCO’s Mmantsetsa Marope and University of Sydney’s Michael Spence. This panel took the premise that we are living longer and travelling further and that many of today’s jobs didn’t exist a decade ago or have moved in directions unimaginable to our younger selves. They shared their thoughts on the response of educative institutions and technology to our need for lifelong learning in the face of this massive technological shift.

Be All Things to All Men

Education now needs to produce specialists in specific areas – trans-disciplinarians who can apply multiple knowledge, as well as being a specialist in a certain field.  They should be multi-literate and not just adept at the traditional three R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic).  They are health literate, they understand the interaction of data, knowledge and skills and they are tech savvy with a desire for good.

Lisa in Lisbon – blown away by the Web Summit!

5 Key Attributes for Learners in 2018

At the University of Sydney, they are mixing traditional education with educational technology.  The five key attributes that they strive to equip their graduates today with to future proof them are: –

  1. Critical thinking
  2. To be able to step outside their discipline (e.g. take a second major degree)
  3. To have an international and global perspective (e.g. having knowledge of a second language)
  4. To work in a multi-disciplinary team
  5. To be able to solve world problems – not just to give students internships but to give them a real, strategic problem in an organisation to solve to develop core intellectual skillsIn this way learners will be set up to be more resilient in the face of the vast technological changes that are already impacting the workplace on a regular basis. 

     

    The Ed Tech Perspective

    Educators need to be facilitators and use technology to enhance skills learned inside the classroom.  A good example of how this works is by utilising a language learning app in the classroom.  Teachers can work with the app and figure out what skills are needed and then curate and direct the learning for their students.

    The virtual world can work effectively with a physical environment. It offers flexibility as well as open access and smart providers are thinking more effectively about how they can work together with blended content.  It is not either or – education should be able to call upon multiple resources and media to use them as required both inside and outside the classroom.

    The future of education is a hybrid that learners will demand.  For example, by blending the delivery of a new language the student and educator can keep this activity going all week long and the learner can continue to practice using online resources.

    Innovation

    We are now seeing more Master degree programmes in innovation and entrepreneurship being offered at university.  Education needs to blend this rapidly changing knowledge and to continue to provide institutions that can adapt as and when needed.

    There are some jobs that do not even exist when a student enters College or school, but if the students gets a good foundation to cope and is agile enough to pivot they will be equipped with the necessary skill set to adapt when they graduate.

    Final Thoughts

    The take home message for me from Web Summit 2017 is that we should not try to leverage or master technology at any cost.  Each of us must take the responsibility of the ethical use of technology on our own shoulders and ensure that this brave new world is a welcoming place for our children to live, learn, work and thrive in.

    Join our happy community of lifelong learners today and help to future proof yourself for tomorrow’s world.

The Irish Leaving Certificate – A Route to Third Level Education in the EU

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University College Dublin

Studying at Third Level in Ireland & the EU Explained

We currently have students from eleven countries currently working towards sitting the Irish Leaving Certificate State Examinations in 2018 and 2019.  They are doing this by studying Leaving Certificate distance learning courses at the College.  Some are hoping to move to Ireland, in order to study a third level degree at university and others are planning to move to another EU destination like Germany, Denmark or the Netherlands, with a view to entering third level education there. Regardless of where they choose to go to university, all of them are using their Irish leaving certificate qualifications to gain entry to the course of their choice. The most popular choices for our past students are a degree in medicine, law, business, psychology or a modern language.

If you are planning to move to Ireland to study at third level, you will need to explore the full range of options available to you.  The Citizens Information website has published a comprehensive guide on all you need to know in advance.

Oxford University

If you plan to use your Irish Leaving Certificate qualification to apply for a third level course in the EU Eunicas is a good starting point to get an overview of the entry requirements and options available.

 

5 Steps to Sitting the Irish Leaving Certificate

STEP 1. OPEN ALL YEAR – Enrol on a home study Leaving Certificate programme.  At Kilroy’s College, we have fourteen different subjects at higher and ordinary level available to study.  Our course tutors are all experienced secondary school teachers.  You can study the Irish leaving certificate from anywhere in the world with our unique distance learning courses.

How Does the Leaving Certificate Distance Learning Course Work?

Each course contains around 200 hours of learning effort and can be completed in as little as six to nine months. Our students can elect to enrol and study over a one or two-year cycle if preferred.  The course will bring you through the subject syllabus and ask you to submit a set number of assignments.  These will be corrected by your tutor and returned to you with a grade and comments.  At the end of each course you will sit a mock examination at home, under timed exam conditions.  This is also to be submitted for feedback and correction.

Find out how our past Leaving Certificate Student, Carmela, who studied for six subjects from the comfort of home in Uruguay got on.

Student Support

Your tutor is contactable 24/7 privately by email with any queries on the course contents.  Our College Student Services team is also on hand during office hours to assist you. Our student community also exchanges tips and information in a closed Facebook group which you will be invited to join once you have enrolled in the College.

STEP 2. NOVEMBER/DECEMBERFind a secondary school in Ireland where you can sit the Leaving Certificate State Examinations as an external candidate. Download a school request form and present it to the Principal of the school that you wish to sit the exams in.  Note: you should retain this form and bring it to the first day of the examinations. 

STEP 3. JANUARY/FEBRUARYRegister as an external candidate online with the State Examinations Commission – the online registration window usually opens in the middle of January until the end of February.  Check their website and register early.  You will need to give them the location of the school where you will be sitting the examinations so it is imperative that you have this sorted beforehand (see Step 2). Note: a fee (capped at 3+ subjects) is payable at this time to the SEC for this service.

Examination Hall

STEP 4. JUNE – Travel to Ireland to sit the Leaving Certificate State Examination.  The written and aural (listening) exams are held in June of each year.  Orals for modern languages are typically held before Easter of that year (in March or April) – so you may have to travel over twice if you are studying a language.  If you let the State Examinations Commission know that you are an overseas student when you register they may be able to facilitate you taking the oral exam in June to save travelling twice, but this is solely at their discretion and may not be possible.

STEP 5. AUGUST – You will get your results in the middle of August through the State Examinations Commission.

More Questions?

If you would like to know more about any of the options mentioned in this article please email studentservices@kilroyscollege.ie and we would be very happy to assist you.

Haunted Home Study Halloween Offer

Kilroy’s College has just launched a haunted home study Halloween offer and to mark the occasion we have out together a short guide of some of the most haunted places in Ireland.  Prepared to be scared! Very scared….

7 Most Haunted Homes In Ireland

  1. Leap Castle

Ireland’s Leap Castle is widely regarded as the most haunted castle in the world! Many thousands of ghost hunters travel to the castle each year, attracted by the haunting tales that surround it.

Leap Castle

Leap castle is said to be haunted by an entity known simply as ‘it’. The entity is said to be about the size of a sheep, with a terrible decaying face. Whenever ‘it’ appears there is usually an accompanying smell of decaying flesh sulphur.

  1. The Hell Fire Club

The Hell Fire Club is an old hunting lodge that dates back to 1725. Although now derelict and burnt out, it is built on a Neolithic passage tomb and in the past, was used by Lords and noblemen for meetings and rituals to conjure up demons and even old Nick himself.

Hell Fire Club
  1. Malahide Castle

The oldest part of Malahide Castle dates back to the 12th century and it was the home of the Talbot family for over seven hundred years.

The castle has had a very long and betimes, dark history. The most memorable event took place during the Battle of Boyne when fourteen members of the Talbot family sat down for breakfast together and by dinner time they were all dead!

Malahide Castle
  1. Cork District Lunatic Asylum

Built in 1798 by William Saunders Hallaran, it has been reported that the St. Kevin’s Hospital building still rings with the screams of former inmates. The derelict area of the asylum is particularly haunted. Visiting paranormal researchers and experts have not only witnessed manifestations of these trapped spirits, but have also recorded their voices via EVP.

Cork District Lunatic Asylum
  1. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol was in use from 1796 until 1924 when the jail closed for the final time.

Among the ghosts and other phenomena reported to have been seen and heard at Kilmainham Gaol are disembodied voices, phantom footsteps, lights switching themselves on and off, unexplained bangs, and people being pushed by unseen hands. Children often become upset and can refuse to enter the building and some visitors report a general feeling of being watched.

  1. Ballygally Castle Hotel

This hotel sports a resident ghost – Lady Isobel Shaw. She is said to have fallen to her death from the window of a room after she was chastised by her husband for not giving birth to a baby boy. Her room is now known as the Ghost Room, and is no longer offered to hotel guests.

The Haunted Room
  1. Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall is a mansion located on Hook Peninsula which is said to be haunted by the devil himself. One dark and stormy night, Sir Charles Tottenham was hosting a card game at Loftus Hall when a stranger came to the door. The visitor was wet through and was looking to shelter from the storm.  Sir Charles bid the man inside and kindly invited him to join the card game.

However, one of the women present at the game dropped her cards and as she bent down to pick them up from under the table she was horrified to see that the man had blood-soaked cloven hooves in place of feet! He is said to have then revealed his true form to those gathered and he then shot through the roof and disappeared. It is said that his presence still haunts Loftus Hall to this very day.

Loftus Hall

Our home study courses do not contain any drama or unpleasant shocks so don’t be afraid to enrol today!  Just so you don’t get any surprises, here is what you can expect to get, when you enrol as a distance learning student on one of our 65+ different courses.

  • Personal, expert tutor to guide you through your course
  • Professional Student Services team to assist you with any administration needs
  • Self-paced study course – delivered online or by correspondence
  • Study pack couriered to your door
  • Access to our online student community where you can exchange tips and information with other students on your course
  • A sense of well-being and self-confidence from learning a new skill and achieving your ambition

Don’t miss out this Halloween – enrol today and get started on your learning journey!

6 Tips For Leaving Certificate Students To Help You Study Better

Now is the best time to get into a proper study routine, particularly if you are working towards the 2018 Leaving Certificate examinations.  Here are a few tips from our Student Services team to help Leaving Certificate students to get into a good study routine and ensure that they all get the most benefit from their precious study time.

boy-studying-online-leaving-certificate-course
Study Success

1. Take proper breaks

Sometimes less really is more. If you’ve ever felt like you are zoning out in the middle of a study session, it could be because you are simply studying for too long at a time! Did you know that your brain can typically concentrate for only 25 minutes at a time. So, it is best to study for 30 minute blocks and break these up by a “reward” of a 5 or 10 minute break between each.

2. Implement active learning

Most learning for exams can be divided into either 2 key areas: facts or concepts. Learning the names of the muscles in the human body are facts but learning how the muscles work together is a concept. Understanding concepts is much more important than facts. If you haven’t mastered the overall concept then it follows that you will find it really difficult to learn the facts.

Try to put concepts into your own words. This will add meaning to it and remembering it will be easier. Or work with a study buddy and try and teach them the concept you’ve just learned (and vice versa).

3. Change your study habitat

business-management-online-course
Change Your Study Habitat

Lots of students study in their bedroom or in the kitchen or living room at home. The problem with this is that the brain associates these rooms with activities other than studying.

Set up a proper study area. If this has to be your bedroom then move your desk away from the bed. Remember to put your phone on silent (or better still leave it out of the room) to minimise unwanted distractions!

4. SQ3R

A good method of learning from textbooks is SQ3R: Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

In each chapter of your textbook survey the various sections to come up with a series of questions, for example “What are red blood cells for?” Then read through the text looking for answers to your questions. (Once you have created questions, your brain will find it way easier to place the answers). Next recite the information by either verbalising it or re-writing it and finally review everything just before your exam.

5. Sleep Hygiene

An Hour Before Midnight Is Worth Two After!

One of the best and easiest ways to improve the efficiency of your study period is to get more quality sleep. Scientists have proven that our brain forms memory during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Aim for a minimum of 8 hours. It’s also really important to try and get into a healthy sleep pattern. As my Granny used to say: “An hour before midnight is worth two after!”

6. Question Everything

One of the best ways you can see if you are making progress is by testing yourself with past exam questions. You can download these for free from the State Examinations Commission and they will also give you the marking schemes for past papers.

Student Support

Although you are in a class of one, you are never alone.  Our Leaving Certificate students can reach out to their personal subject tutors 24/7 privately by email or they can phone our in-house Student Services team at the College on (01) 639 4660 during office hours.  We are here to help!

 

 

Training Grants Following Redundancies

Redundancy can mean new, exciting opportunities, including the opportunity to retrain for a new career. You might find that losing your job opens the door to a new career.

Adding to your existing skills or gaining qualifications in a new area are good ways of boosting your chances of getting another job. They can also give your confidence a well-needed boost at this time.

Retraining Choices

You will find lots of retraining choices open to you when you’ve been made redundant, from apprenticeships and internships to part-time, full-time or distance study courses at college or university.

Financing A Career Change

There are several different ways to finance a career change, depending on the training programme or study course you want to pursue – and also depending on any savings or income you have.

Think about which option is right for you – a loan (which you will need to pay back), training grants or bursaries (which you don’t need to pay back) or apprenticeships (where you can earn as you learn).

Training Grants

Training Grants

Departing staff will sometimes be able to avail of a training grant of up to €5,000 from their former employer. This can be a time-sensitive training grant (for example it must be used within six months of being made redundant) so make sure that you check out the terms and conditions of any funding and don’t miss out!

In addition to the course fees, training grants can also cover the cost of any equipment that you may need in order to complete your study course.

Practical Equipment

For example if you decide to enrol on a practical course like, Professional Make-Up Artistry or Photography, the grant will cover the cost of purchasing additional practical equipment.

Although we provide sample-sized make-up products and applicators with the course materials, our Professional Make-Up Artistry students would also be required to purchase additional make-up equipment (foundations, concealers, brushes, sponges, cleaners, toners, eyeshadow, mascara etc).

Make-Up Set

A photography student will need to own a good digital camera, as well as a digital device (laptop, tablet or desktop) to store and catalogue images.

Digital Camera

Distance Learning Courses

Students who enrol in any distance learning course – an online course or a correspondence (postal) course – will need to own a digital device – laptop, tablet or desktop – in order to access their course materials and contact the College and their personal tutor.  They may also need to have access to a printer.

Laptop Required!

Just remember to keep all receipts of practical equipment and course fees in order to be reimbursed by your former employer!

Enrol Today For A Brighter Tomorrow

For more information on this topic or to enquire about any of our distance learning courses please call our Student Services team on (01) 639 4660 or email lisa@kilroyscollege.ie

You can enrol securely online and our Admissions team will send you a confirmation email of your enrolment the very same day.

 

Canadian Gaeilgeoirí

We have had many students studying our home study Irish leaving certificate course based all over the world.  Some are working towards sitting Irish at the Leaving Certificate State Examinations in Ireland and others are doing it just for fun, or to make a connection with their Irish ancestry.

Did you know?

Flying the Flag for Irish

In Ontario, Canada there is an official Gaeltacht settlement in Tamworth, 30 miles north of Napanee.  Many Irish immigrants who fled the Great Famine in the mid 19th century settled here, so there is a big historical connection with Ireland already in the town. The Tamworth Gaeltacht was founded by Sheila Scott and her husband Séamus Mac Concharraige in 1994 and has continued to grow and thrive since. “People like to connect with their roots. There’s a sense of pride in that identity,” says Sheila Scott.

Living Language

In this 62 acre Ontario settlement, the Irish language is used as a way of remembering and celebrating the roots, the history, culture and a way of keeping alive the tie to Ireland itself.  The language is kept alive by hosting event such as arts festivals, summer camps, classes, Irish dance, music, Gaelic games and most importantly by speaking Irish.

However, it is not just in Ontario that Canadians are flying the flag for Ireland.  In Vancouver Professor Scott Oser, Physics Professor at the University of British Columbia, has organised An Ciorcal Comhrá.  A group of people meet every week for an hour and a half for coffee and conversation in Irish.  We chatted with Professor Oser about his motivation for setting up this group and for tips on how to encourage our students to reach out and do the same thing back home or wherever they are based!

Interview with Professor Scott Oser

When did you found An Ciorcal Comhrá?

Ciorcal Comhrá was set up in 2009 and has operated continuously ever since.

What inspired you to set up this Irish language exchange?

I had not had any opportunities to use my Irish for nearly a decade at the point when I learned that my former Irish teacher had died tragically young from brain cancer.  This shocking news have the effect of lighting a fire under me and motivating me to look for other Irish speakers in the Vancouver area.  While there was a beginner’s Irish class offered across town, there was nothing available for people who were already fluent and just wanted a chance to use Irish outside a classroom setting.  But through that class I was able to find other more advanced Irish speakers and start a group.  Members have joined steadily since.

Can you tell us a little bit about the group of people involved in the Irish language group and their backgrounds? Are they native Canadians, ex pats or a mix of both?

The majority of our regulars are Irish ex-pats, some of whom have been in Canada for decades as well as some people who’ve come more recently. We do however have two or three Canadians, and the occasional American.

How did you go about learning Irish initially? What was your motivation?

I began learning Irish in 1993 while living in the US. Originally I had only textbooks and audio tapes available, and the Internet as we know it today scarcely existed.  Upon moving to Chicago, I found a group that offered weekly evening classes which I attended for about five years, and was eventually able to reach a high level of fluency.

The question of why I would learn Irish is one I am often asked and one which I scarcely have a convincing answer for.  Ultimately I loved the language, and wanted to learn the idiom that some of my ancestors previously spoke.  The fact that Irish was both unusual but very much a living language was part of the appeal.

What tips can you give our Irish Leaving Certificate students who might like to set up a similar language exchange?

Advertise extensively online, and set up a culture in which only Irish is spoken. We welcome beginners but tell them that we’re there to speak Irish, and won’t be offering translations to English or speaking English.  We’re not a class, and while we love talking about the language as much as any Irish speaker we’re there to speak it and not talk about speaking it.

Do you have any advice for an Irish student who may be struggling with getting to grips with the language?

Get a good Irish grammar book

While this will not be a popular opinion, I think getting a strong grip on the grammar at the start is essential. Get yourself a good grammar book and really learn how phrases and sentences get put together.  I don’t think this can be learned just by osmosis.  Once you have that basis, read extensively to improve vocabulary.

You have been a guest on An Saol Ó Dheas on Raidio na Gaeltachta and spoken about your love of the Irish language before. What did you talk about?

My interview on An Saol Ó Dheas was motivated by a trip I took to Dublin in November 2016, where I presented a public lecture in Irish on physics, which is my day job.  I was invited to speak at the Meanmanra 2016 conference on dark matter.  It was perhaps the first time a foreign scientist has lectured in Irish in Ireland, and almost certainly the first time that cutting-edge physics and cosmology was presented through Irish as well.

 

The interview on Raidió na Gaeltachta 

Dark Matter Lecture in Irish

 

 

Have you ever visited Ireland? If yes, what do you like best about coming to our country?

I’ve been to Ireland three times, but I’ve spent less than a month in the country in total.  For me the best part is the comparative ease of finding people to speak Irish with.  And I always buy lots of books – you can buy Irish books online from Canada, but shipping adds ~30% to the cost.  The last time I came I brought a small extra suitcase and filled it entirely with books from Siopa an Chonartha in Dublin!

Leaving Certificate Irish Course

Enrol now in our home study Leaving Certificate Irish course and work towards sitting the State Examinations in June 2018 or June 2019 – or study the course just for fun!

Competition Time!

Translate Professor Oser’s interview into Irish! Email your submission to lisa@kilroyscollege.ie by 31st October 2017 and be in with a chance to win a €250 Kilroy’s College tuition voucher. The lucky winner will be notified by email the following week!

 

Leaving Certificate Courses By Distance Learning

Fully Flexible Leaving Certificate

We have been delivering the Leaving Certificate by distance learning for over thirty years at Kilroy’s College.  During this period we have had hundreds of students, of all ages and abilities, take from one to seven subjects with the College over the years. One of our recent Leaving Certificate students, Carmela, who took six subjects with us and attained one A1, two A2s, two B1s and one B2 has shared her success story with us.  Read on to find out she accomplished this.

Home Schooling

Students study with us for many different reasons: some have decided that a school environment is not for them after the Junior Cycle and work with us to continue in the education system from home with a view to completing the Leaving Certificate and, in many cases, progress onto a third level course.

Repeat Leaving Certificate

Other students repeat the Leaving Certificate with a view to getting the points that they need to enter third level in Ireland or abroad.  As our Leaving Certificate course is delivered by distance learning and is self-paced students can also earn as they learn!

Academic Entry Requirements

For students who decide on a change of career or course and need higher level Irish for Primary Education or a science subject or a modern language for a particular College course our flexible home study Leaving Certificate course can enable them to achieve their goal.

International Students

We also have a cohort of international students based all over the world, who study with Kilroy’s College from home.  In many cases they plan to  enter third level education in Ireland or in their home country once they have sat the Leaving Certificate.

We interviewed one such student, Carmela Zazpe Revello, who studied six subjects with us from Uruguay to find out how she got on!

Leaving Certificate student Carmela Zazape Revello
  1. You were based in Uruguay when you enrolled in our distance learning Leaving Certificate courses.  What inspired you to study for the Irish Leaving Certificate examination?

I had already sat the Junior Certificate when I lived in Dublin and I had a delightful experience. I knew I wanted to finish my studies in English, since it would help me to expand my vocabulary even more and better my English skills. I especially like the fact that you get to choose the subjects you want to do, and you’re more in control with what you would like to study, which is a privilege we don’t have here in Uruguay.

2. How did you initially hear about Kilroy’s College and our Leaving Certificate home study programme?

I was looking online for options to study from a distance, and I found Kilroy’s College programme.

3. You enrolled in September and sat the examinations the following June. Were you comfortable with the nine month time line that you had to complete your studies?

Yes, I was comfortable with it. Maybe it was because I had sat the Junior Certificate not too long before that and I knew how everything works. I think doing it in 9 months instead of 2 years was perfect in my case since doing it long distance for 2 whole years maybe would’ve caused me to lose motivation or focus towards the end. Every case is different, but 9 months were sufficient for me.

4. Which subjects did you enrol in?

I enrolled in six subjects: English, Maths, Spanish, Accounting, Business and Economics.

5. How did you get on in the examinations?  Were you happy with your results?

I got on really well – an A1 in Spanish, an A2 in Maths and Economics, a B1 in Accounting and Business and a B2 in English. I studied and practised a lot beforehand so I was as well prepared as I could be. I was extremely happy with the results since they reflected the amount of effort and hard work I put in.

6. Did you find it easy to complete the home study programme from abroad? 

I found it pretty easy. The only thing I had trouble with, was finding the motivation to do it myself. Since nobody is watching over you or telling you to do it constantly, and you don’t really have definite deadlines, I sometimes found it hard to actually sit down and do the work when I first started the programme. Once I got used to how everything worked, and received the grades back for the assignments I sent, it was easier to make a routine for studying and completing everything on time.

7. Were you happy with the guidance that you got from your personal subject tutors and also from the Kilroy’s Student Services team?

Yes, everyone at Kilroy’s College were really supportive and always willing to help me. They definitely made the whole experience easier and more enjoyable. Despite the distance, I got quick answers. We had issues at first due to the assignments having to be delivered by post and having to go back and forth, it took a pretty long time for things to get all the way to Uruguay and back to Ireland. We realized this was slowing the process down. We decided I would scan the assignments and send them by e-mail since it was way quicker and more efficient.

8. Had you any experience of taking any other distance learning courses at all before you enrolled with Kilroy’s College?

No, I hadn’t had any experience or knew anyone that had done anything remotely similar. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised!

Leaving Certificate External Candidacy

9. How did you go about finding a secondary school in Ireland to sit the examinations in?

I had no problem finding one since I lived in Ireland for 2 years and attended school there. I sat the Junior Certificate while I lived in Dublin. I got in touch with my old school and they were extremely helpful and supportive of me sitting the exams there.

10.  Was it an easy process to register as an external candidate online at with the State Examinations Commission?

I honestly don’t remember much about this process so I assume it wasn’t difficult at all!

11. When you went into the school to sit the examination were there any other external candidates in the exam hall?  How did you feel?

Yes, they were other external candidates who were sitting the exams, a lot of them actually. We were always in a separated group from the rest of the students that actually studied at that school. I felt comfortable because I saw some familiar faces and old friends. I chatted with the Principal and some of my old teachers as well.

12. Which subject did you personally find the most challenging and did you find our course helpful and useful in getting to grips with that subject?

The most challenging subject for me was Economics, more specifically microeconomics. I found the programme helpful because it had everything well summarized and exactly what you needed in order to understand some of the difficult concepts in the course. It didn’t have unnecessary information that would have confused me or made it more difficult.

13. Which subject did you find the most enjoyable? 

I found Accounting the most enjoyable, which wasn’t really a surprise since I’ve always known I liked it better than any other subject.

Leaving Certificate home study from Uruguay!

14. What did you do next? 

I started university here in Uruguay, I’m studying to become an accountant. I’m currently halfway through my third year.

15. Were you offered a place at university in Ireland or anywhere else?

I wasn’t really looking to go to university in Ireland, that was never my plan. I knew I wanted to study here, in Uruguay, and that’s what I’m doing.

16. Would you recommend the home study leaving certificate programme to students who are perhaps planning to apply to study in Ireland at a third level institution/university?

Yes, I would definitely recommend it. The best thing to do is probably find out beforehand what are the requirements, in terms of subjects and grades, for the university you want to go to, and start planning from there.

17. What are you most looking forward to next in your career path?

I’m really looking forward to continue studying accounting and getting my degree. Once I finish, I will most definitely be doing a Masters Degree in some area related to Accounting or International Commerce, which I’m also really interested in, but I plan on doing that abroad. Maybe Ireland, who knows?

Enrol Today and Save 25% on your Leaving Certificate Home Study Course Fees

There is no better time than now to enrol and start working towards the 2018 or 2019 Leaving Certificate examination!  Each course is tutor-supported and self-paced right up until the date of the examination and can be completed in as little as 6-9 months!

Enrol before midnight Tuesday August 29th and save 25% off your course fees.  Your course can be put on hold for you until you are ready to commence your studies – so you can still avail of the discount even if you plan to start later in the year.  Please just contact our Student Services team once you have enrolled to organise this.

We support our students every step of the way in their learning journey.  At Kilroy’s College you are in a class of one, but are never alone!

10 IT Job Skills In High Demand For 2017 & Beyond!

IT Job Skills In-Demand for 2017

If 2016 was a good year to be in IT, it looks like 2017 is going to be an even better year! Unemployment rates in the IT industry in 2016 were at around 1% in some areas – such as network and web security engineers and software developers and are forecast to fall even more in 2017. Given those numbers, it will come as no surprise that 81% of IT leaders have said that they have a real problem finding IT talent (as found in a recent TEKsystems survey).

10 IT skills that were in high demand for 2016:

  1. UI/UX designers/developers
  2. Full-stack Web & product developers
  3. Network engineers
  4. Security/web security professionals
  5. Mobile Engineers
  6. Data analysts
  7. IT project managers (vertical specific)
  8. Cloud architects/integration
  9. Data scientists
  10. Content Management Systems

 

So, even if you’re not a web security expert or a software developer, there’s still a lot of opportunity out there for you!

Interview With An Expert Recruiter

We spoke to one of the IT recruitment industry’s best in Ireland, Charlene Heaney. Charlene is Co-Founder & Managing Director at HP|konnect.

Charlene Heaney

We asked Charlene to forecast what the trends for IT recruitment will look like in 2017 for our IT students and graduates:

  1. Do you see the same dominance for recruitment of cyber security experts and software developers so far in 2017?

Absolutely, and it’s going to get stronger as time goes on.  I’ve read a few different articles across the web noting that by 2020 there will be 1 million more jobs, than IT skilled professionals to fill them.  That is a massive gap for any industry.  In our day to day work of recruiting IT professionals, I’m noticing this trend already.  There is so much competition out there for good IT professionals, I will emphasise “good”.  If your students plan their career strategy correctly, they will be in a position to chose what type of work they want.

2. Are there any emerging new trends for in-demand IT skills in 2017?

Much the same as above in 2016, UX/UI is hot right now, and a lot of people in the market moved jobs in 2016, this will slow down a little however the demand is still there.

Look at the last 5-10yrs evolution in both the IT and digital industries.  With the commercialisation of the internet (digital) it has changed how we do business.  Thus, if companies want to remain competitive they have to evolve with the trends which means that “practically” every business will have some sort of IT/Digital bow to their belt, hence the rise in demand of UX/UI designers.  Digital is now mainstream, it’s not the privilege of the big tech companies anymore.  Costs of operating a business online has never been cheaper, which in turn spurs new entrepreneurs to take the risk and creates more jobs in our economy.

So what does all this mean for your students, especially cyber security students?  The more businesses online, the more demand that will generate for cyber security professionals as more laws and compliance will be introduced to protect businesses from cyber threats.  This is a complex industry in itself, however very rewarding one.

For the remaining IT domains, UPC (now Virgin) released an insights report on the affects of digital economy in Ireland in 2014, forecasting a minimum of 150,000 jobs will be created by 2020 in Ireland.

3. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of changing career to enter the IT sector?

The IT sector is a vocation, and a profession in one.  I would encourage people who are thinking about changing careers to seek advice.  Understand what the role entails, talk to people who are currently in the role you desire.  Find out the good aspects and the not so good aspects.  Does this career fit into your ideal lifestyle?  Changing careers is a big decision and should be carefully considered as you may have to start at the bottom again.

The IT industry is one of the best industries to be in, you will be at the forefront of innovation, be part of something that’s bigger than yourself and could possibly change history.  It’s exciting, it’s very very challenging and IT is here to stay forever…

4. What qualities do you look for in the ideal candidate?
  • Education
  • Skills / experience
  • Attitude / personality
5. How can you best upskill to keep ahead of the pack?

Keep an eye on the market trends for your chosen field.  Network and find out what you should be learning.  Read industry blogs and attend events and meetups.  Meetups are a great way to network, and are pretty informal/friendly atmosphere.

Have personal projects – hiring managers love to see candidates who have personal side-projects.  It shows you are enthusiastic and passionate about what you do, while helping you to upskill and learn more about your chosen field.

Take The First Step To A New Career In IT Today!

To reflect the current trends in IT Skills, Kilroy’s College IT Department is proud to announce that it has just launched 2 new online CIW courses in Web Security and Data Analytics. Or take a look at our full range of IT courses to find an online course that really interests to you.

Each course can be completed in as little as 160 hours of learning effort and successful completion leads to a CIW certificate.  CIW is the most recognised vendor-neutral Web technology education programme in the world.

So, what are you waiting for?  Enrol today and start your journey towards a brighter future in this exciting, new and brave digital world!

6 Steps to Funding for Job Seekers

Now is the perfect time to get back to the books and start working towards a new qualification – at your own pace during the summer months.  Kilroy’s College has extended its summer learning offer into July with up to 50% off most of our distance training courses to accommodate prospective students who are thinking of up-skilling or changing career.

Our Hottest Discounts Yet!

Funded Training Courses

Did you know that job seekers who wish to participate on our extensive range of online and correspondence distance learning courses may be eligible to avail of Department of Social Welfare funding? The allocation of funding for participation in one of our courses, is at the discretion of your local Social Welfare advisor. It is dependent upon two key criteria:

  1. The availability of funding at the time of application and
  2. The applicant’s ability to satisfy the eligibility criteria.

 

Occasionally employers also fund courses either fully or partially and local charitable organisations may assist with fee contributions, if approached. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask!

6 Steps To Success

Schedule a Meeting To Chat About Your Preferred Course

Department of Social Welfare Funding

To make an application for funding for your preferred course from the Department of Social Welfare the following 6 steps must be completed:

  1. Schedule A Meeting

Arrange an appointment with a job facilitator in your local Department of Social Welfare office to check your eligibility for funding.  We advise you to print off the course details that are of interest to you and take them with you to the meeting to show your local employment officer.

  1. Be Proactive

During the meeting with your Department of Social Welfare job facilitator, be proactive and explain to the facilitator that completing the training course is key to your back to work plan.

  1. Funding Form

If you are successful in obtaining funding, your facilitator will provide you with a funding form.  Please complete the relevant section of this form.

  1. Post

Please then post your form to Kilroy’s College, Wentworth House, Lower Grand Canal Street, FREEPOST, D02 Y970, Dublin  2 and we will fill out the rest of the form. We will then return the completed form, together with any other necessary documentation directly to your local social welfare office.

  1. Enrol

If you are successful in obtaining your funding please then contact our Admissions team to book your place on the training course.

  1. Approval & Verification

We will then obtain an Approval & Verification form from your Social Welfare advisor (which must be signed by you and by the College upon successful completion of your course).  You are then good to go!

Childcare Courses By Distance Learning

At Kilroy’s College we really value having students contact us to tell us about their experience in our nationally recognised distance learning training courses. This week, Lisa Wright (our resident blogger), was privileged to hear from one of our recent QQI childcare training graduates, Sarah Finlay.

Sarah Finlay (recent graduate of our QQI Level 6 Early Childhood Curriculum minor award programme)

Childcare Training Success Story -Unwrapped!

 

LW: “Sarah, what inspired you to to go back to education and work towards your QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education (6M2007)?

SF: “About eight years ago I got a summer job in a creche and found it was the right job for me.  It became a legal requirement to have a qualification when working with Early Years so I decided to go and complete my QQI level 6“.

LW: “How did you hear about Kilroy’s College and our distance learning childcare programmes?”

SF: “I searched for distance courses online and came across Kilroy’s College and it offered exactly what I was looking for”.

LW: “Which programme did you enrol in?”

SF: “I enrolled in the QQI Level 6 minor certificate in Early Childhood Curriculum (6N1944)”.

LW: “Did you find it easy to complete the 12 week programme?”

SF: “Yes definitely.  After enrolling in the course I received a course folder which had absolutely everything I needed in it to complete the course.  I just read all the materials (which wasn’t too much either and contained very easy to read materials) and just followed the tutor’s instructions within the folders”.

LW: “Had you an experience of taking any other home study courses in the past?”

SF: ” Never!  I was nervous at first as I had been in full time and part time courses and swore I would never do a distance learning course – as I didn’t believe I would sit down in my own time and work – but with a two and a half year old and working part time it was the best option for me.  Now I don’t think I would do anything other than distance courses”.

LW: “Some of our students contact local creches to find a work placement for their course.  How did you go about finding a creche for your supervised work placement?”

SF: “I was lucky enough to be working in a creche so I had no issue here”.

LW: “Was it an easy process to apply for Garda vetting?”

SF: “I had Garda vetting when I started in September and it was quick – it took about two weeks when using Early Childhood Ireland“.

LW:”When you went into the creche to complete your work placement did you find it enjoyable?”

SF: “Absolutely!  I love working with young children especially the pre-school room, which this certificate allows me to do now”.

Creativity in the pre-school classroom

LW: “Would you recommend the programme to others who are thinking about working in the childcare sector in Ireland or who would like to up skill from QQI level 5?”

SF: “Yes definitely.  It is an easy course to follow and Kilroy’s College offer so much support and the tutors are always just an email away.  The modules are run over twelve weeks which is ideal and there is very little pressure.  Again the folders are perfect and if you follow the tutor’s instructions you will pass with flying colours”.

LW: “How did you get on in the course?  Were you happy with your result?”

SF: “I did really well and received a distinction in this course.  I failed this module in another College so I was delighted to have done so well.  It was my final module for my level 6.”

LW: “What are you most looking forward to next in your learning journey?”

SF: “I was having a little look at the Child Psychology courses with Kilroy’s College as it’s something that I have always had an interest in”.

Want to learn more for less?

Why not take a look at our full range of online and correspondence courses which are discounted by up to 50% until midnight Friday June 16th 2017!