NCI Blog

Career Change in Ireland: Steps You Need to Follow

Posted by Conor Sisk on 16 January 2024

Career Change in Ireland Steps You Need to Follow blog

COVID-19 had a major impact on businesses worldwide, with employees facing several challenges as a result. Adapting to a hybrid working model, uncertainty around job security and an unsettled jobs market resulted in many employees staying in their existing roles throughout the pandemic as it was considered the safer option.

However, with more and more companies returning to the office, workers are now becoming increasingly confident in the jobs market, as seen by 59% of Irish people being open to changing roles in 2023, with this figure rising to 71% for Gen Z workers.

If you are part of this increasing number of workers who are looking to make a career change but are unsure of where to start, we have you covered.

At National College of Ireland, we provide a range of Springboard+ courses that can help facilitate a career change for you. These courses have been designed to address skill shortages in the workforce and are an excellent way to quickly develop key skills in industries urgently seeking new talent. 

We have also compiled some tips that you should consider before starting the next phase of your career journey, check them out below.

1. Self-Assessment

Before jumping into a new career, take a moment to sit back and reflect on your current situation and evaluate the potential opportunities available to you. This can involve several things:

  • Ask yourself what your skills, interests, values, and passions are. Identify areas and subjects that you enjoy working in and where your strengths lie.
  • Research potential careers that align with your skills, identify opportunities for roles in industries that interest you.
  • Consider taking career assessment tests or seeking guidance from career counsellors to gain more insights into suitable career options.

For NCI students, our award-winning Careers Team is always on hand to help you plan and manage your career development. Visit our Careers section for useful information, advice, and resources on how to advance your career prospects.

2. Research and Networking

Upon reflecting on your interests and gaining a clearer picture of potential career paths, it is important to fully research these areas, so you have a strong understanding of what is required to start a career in this industry.

  • Use online resources to understand the job market you are interested in joining. Does your new role require qualifications? What potential growth opportunities come with the role?
  • Connect with professionals currently working in your field of interest to gain a better understanding of what work is involved. Attending industry events and conferences, will provide networking opportunities to meet these professionals face-to-face and create potential opportunities for employment.
  • Join social media platforms like LinkedIn to build your professional network and learn more about specific careers from those already working in them. Join industry groups to read and review the challenges facing the industry and learn about the latest updates.

When researching a new career path, take into consideration fast-growing industries where there is a high demand for skilled workers. For example, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are vastly changing how the world works and continue to grow and develop, making now an excellent time to join these areas. Programmes such as our Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cybersecurity or Artificial Intelligence can provide you with the skills required to make an immediate impact in a new role.

3. Skill Development

As mentioned in the self-assessment step, reviewing your existing skillset is very important before making a career change as it will give you a clearer understanding of whether you will excel in a new area or find yourself out of your depth.

  • Research the skills required for your target career. Do you possess these skills? What gaps in your current skillset might affect your performance in this career?
  • If you have identified any significant skills shortages, research what relevant courses, certifications, or workshops are available which would help acquire the necessary skills.
  • Consider registering for online or part-time courses to build and develop your skillset for your new chosen career path, such as Springboard+.

Springboard+ courses are an excellent way of developing skills that are in high demand in the current jobs market and a fantastic solution to individuals looking to move into the computing industry. For more information on the entry requirements for a Springboard courses, please visit the Springboard website or contact our dedicated Springboard team.

4. Update Your CV and Cover Letter

An up-to-date CV is crucial when applying for new roles as you want to clearly highlight to potential employers what your experience is and what your strongest skills are. An eye-catching CV, coupled with a strong cover letter which has been tailored to match the job description, will ensure your application stands out from the other candidates and improve your chances of earning an interview.

  • It is important that you adjust your CV depending on the role you are applying. Only include information that is relevant to the role and that will highlight why you are suitable candidate.
  • Craft a compelling cover letter that explains your career change, emphasizing your motivation, relevant skills, and how your previous experience contributes to your suitability for the new role.
  • Seek feedback from mentors or career advisors to enhance the effectiveness of your application materials.

5. Job Search and Application

When you are satisfied with your CV template, start signing up for various job sites to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest opportunities in your area.

  • Whether the website involves you creating a personal profile, or simply uploading your resume, websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed or Jobbio to name just a few, are a great way to meet potential employers and showcase your skills and abilities.
  • Remember to customise your application for each position you apply to, highlighting how your skills and experience align with the job requirements outlined.
  • Prepare for interviews by practicing common questions related to your career change and showcasing how your past experiences make you a valuable candidate.

Additionally, it's crucial to remain adaptable and persistent throughout the process. Career changes can take time, so be patient and open to opportunities that may arise along the way.

Applications for NCI’s Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) courses in computing starting in January 2024 are currently open. Visit the Springboard+ page on our website for full details.

Springboard+ HCI Programmes September 2024


Topics: Springboard+, Advice, Career Tips