Agriculture continues to play a big role in the Irish economy. However, with the landscape of farming changing, so too is the education surrounding it.
Choosing a career can be a difficult task for many people. As the Leaving Certificate approaches, 6th year students across Ireland will begin to look at many different types of courses, internships, and jobs. For those interested in taking a step into the agriculture or horticulture industry, there are many options available.
With traditional farming, self-employment or working on a family farm is common. However, there are a number of other agri related career paths to consider. Some of these include agriscience research, wildlife and tourism, agribusiness, engineering and lecturing.
With many courses available to students, it may be difficult to navigate through the options. Below is a breakdown of some available options that might help students find the right career, course or pathway to follow.
Firstly, for those who are not interested in completing a third-level course there are a number of QQI courses available. These cover a variety of services and content including Agriculture, Food Science, Animal Management and Forestry. Those interested in finding out more can visit www.fetchcourses.ie or www.teagasc.ie.
The Green Cert
If you are interested in going into farming, the Green Cert is a good option to consider. The Green Cert is a full time (September – May) course and runs for two years. It is a mix of classroom-based learning and on-farm / work experience learning.
The Green Cert can be completed in Teagasc Colleges; Ballyhaise, Clonakility and Kildalton. It can also be completed in private colleges Gurteen, Pallaskenry, and Mountbellow. The above colleges offer Level 5 and 6 courses and collaborate with other third level institutions to offer higher level courses.
The Green Cert can be also completed through distance learning colleges and through a part-time course. This is for over 23’s only. To find out more information about The Green Cert, contact the college/Teagasc via their website as all applications are online.
Level 7 & 8
For those interested in undertaking a Level 7 or 8 course, there are a number of colleges, institutes and universities across Ireland with courses available. There is a wide variety to choose from in UCD, WIT and many others. Examples of courses include ‘Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness’ (Level 8) in Wexford, ‘Agricultural Engineering’ (Level 7) in Kerry and ‘Horticulture’ (Level 7) in Waterford. All courses will run from Sept – May. Depending on the course content, there may be practical work experience involved. A full list of courses can be found www.cao.ie along with information on each.
Choosing the right place to study can be a difficult task. We recommend going to open days. Visiting and getting a tour will give you a chance to ask any questions to help make up your mind. If you can’t make it, visit their website. Also, look up their social channels to learn more about the course you are interested in.
FRS Farm Relief
If you are interested in gaining practical farm experience, why not consider becoming a FRS operator. Visit www.farmrelief.ie/careers and fill out an application form online or alternatively you can call 1890 790 890 for more information.