What Is Out There For Me?


In this section we will deliver some essential labour market information which explains exactly where the jobs are out there!

You can also learn about what kind of jobs you can do within each sector and the training courses you need to complete to qualify in each job. There are also some useful tips on working abroad, opening your own business and gaining work experience.


Job Opportunities:

If you are interested in a career change you are probably wondering where all the jobs are. According to Eurostat, the Irish job market is one of the strongest in Europe at the moment, with unemployment and long-term unemployment decreasing at a steady rate.

Large multinational companies have set up here and keep on coming as we have the perfect location for these companies and after Brexit, we will be the only English-speaking country in the EU.

We will have a look at several sectors which are thriving at the moment and link them with the appropriate courses we can provide to help you on your journey to your new career.

We will also discuss the working options available to you after you finish your course with us and some job searching tips.


Click on the below sections to reveal more information.




The first sector which has high shortages of qualified staff is the Healthcare sector, particularly in Nursing and Elderly Care workers.

With Ireland’s population ever increasing added to the fact that people are living longer, the demand for healthcare has dramatically increased. According to the Census 2016, the population of Ireland has shown an increase again and birth rates have increased by 27% and with medical advances, people are also living longer. Years ago, life expectancy was around 65 years of age, but this has now increased to an average of 77 years of age for a man and 81 years of age for woman.

One section of this sector that is experiencing huge growth is the need for healthcare support workers, both in care homes and private homes. Healthcare support workers help and support the elderly in either public/private care homes or in their own private homes. They help assist with daily living – washing, feeding, movement, etc. They also help with communication and companionship. Talking to the elderly about their life and history can really keep their minds active and help with wellbeing.

We have been working with healthcare support students for many years and although the job can be quite challenging at times, it is extremely rewarding.

Striking up companionships with the elderly and spending time with them, can really make you feel like you are giving something back to society by giving them the help and friendship they deserve.

It is a requirement that all healthcare support workers have the QQI level 5 Major Award in Healthcare Support. Most care organisations will prefer that you also have manual handling and occupational first aid certificates.

It may also a requirement that all healthcare staff complete an ‘Introduction to Childcare First’ course which promotes the safety and wellbeing of all children. Many Healthcare employers and organisations are now asking current staff and new employees to complete this course and its mandatory for staff of HSE funded agencies. This course can be completed for free at your own pace by following this link: https://childrenfirst.hseland.ie/


The QQI Level 5 Major Award in Healthcare Support is one of the more popular courses we run online. We also run attendance courses. The course consists of several essential healthcare modules and you also need to complete 150 hours work placement at your chosen care home/hospital.

We have had some excellent feedback on this course with the vast majority of students securing a job at the end of it. Some stay on at their placement as an employee or are successful obtaining a job in another care home/home help/care organisation.

According to Irelands Future Skills Needs 2020, there were around 112,000 people employed in the healthcare sector, which represents 6.4% of the Irish workforce. This is a huge percentage, so you can see the demand for healthcare workers. Recruitment controls in this section have been lifted, which is great news, but it has faced challenges and shortages continue to exist, particularly with care workers, nurses and doctors.

If you have an interest in this area, it would be a great idea for you to complete the QQI Level 5 Major Award in Healthcare Support with us. If you are already in the healthcare profession and would like to carry on with your studies, we also have a wide range of in-demand courses like Activities Co-Ordinator, where you get to organise activities for the elderly like exercise, yoga, painting and bingo, in order to keep their minds stimulated and remain physically active.

Dementia Care and Awareness is also a popular course, as this disease is on the increase. Other popular courses include Elder Abuse, Mental Health and Palliative Care Support.

We have also launched a brand new online Health and Social Care Degree course which aims to facilitate knowledge and professional health and social care practice while also completing a placement in several different essential health and social care areas. This is a good option if you have completed our Healthcare Support Course and want to follow on with a higher level degree course.


Please click on the link below for a full list of our eLearning part-time Healthcare Programmes:


Early Childhood Care & Education


As the population is increasing, so too are the number of births per year.

According to the 2016 census, Ireland has one of the highest birth-rates in Europe at the moment. The rise in births has not prepared the country for the huge demand for childcare places in both crèches and schools and this has resulted in an increased demand for childcare workers at all levels.

The future success of the Irish labour market depends on a high level of education, which begins at a very young age. Children are like sponges and begin to learn and take things in at a very young age, which reinforces the importance for more qualified childcare workers in creches and at home.

More and more parents are going back to work following maternity leave, so they need minders. There is a total of 4,800 creches in Ireland, and almost all of them are finding it hard to keep up with demand, so there are lots of jobs in this area.

Up to 90% of Childcare students find full or part time employment either in their placement or in a new job. Some of our students progress to level 6 or higher-level Childcare or Teaching courses.

From the 31st December 2016, as stated in the Child Care Act Regulations 2016, all staff working directly with children must hold a minimum of QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care & Education.

We offer this course which includes essential childcare modules while also incorporating work placement. You can then progress to the QQI Level 6 Major award in Advanced Early Childhood Care & Education, where you could work in a more supervisory role.

We also have many other QQI childcare courses like Child Psychology, Montessori, Special Needs Assistant and our exciting new course in Child Protection and Welfare.


Please click on the link below for a full listing of our part-time Distance Learning Childcare Programmes:



Business & Management


The Business and Management sector has shown a huge increase over the past few years due to the wide number of jobs available with some new major companies setting up in Ireland, as well as small businesses. There are a wide number of jobs that you can do in this sector and we offer some of the most important courses for these in demand jobs.

Every business has many employees who work at different levels, depending on what way the business is organised. Career options are varied depending on which level you want to work in, from entry level to specialist and executive level.

Managers can work in many levels and industries from high street retail stores to project managing in larger companies. Careers can include working for a large organisation in their various departments like marketing, finance or human resources. You can also run a department in a store like a clothes shop or a restaurant or hotel.

Most of the larger companies have the same structure, the senior managers make the major decisions and the middle managers make varied decisions, manage more people and projects and provide a lot of leadership. In the smaller businesses, you may be involved in all aspects of the company and make varied and the bigger decisions.

Either way, it is a very busy and demanding role, but can be quite satisfying if you think you have the right skills. You need to be very organised, be good with people and people management and can work to strict deadlines.

Conflict Management is another good skill to have here as you are constantly dealing with other departments/businesses and managing staff.

Because there is huge demand for managers at all levels, there is a shortage in this area and here at The Open College, we deliver distance learning Business and Management structured programmes which focus on what is needed in business today.

Some of the more popular courses in this category include our QQI Level 6 Major Award in Advanced Business Management or something shorter – our QQI Level 6 Component Award in Project Management.

Many organisations, no matter big or small, have project managers and theses roles are particularly suited to people who pay attention to detail and enjoy planning and organising to deadlines.

Our QQI Level 6 component Award in Human Resources is also a popular course if you are interested in employee relations, hiring, firing and recruitment. Events Management is another interesting and popular course, which was designed for those already working in event management companies and setting up events for charities, conferences, festivals, entertainment events, private social events and exhibitions.



The financial sector has experienced an increase in demand in Ireland because of the financial recovery which seems a long time ago now. More and more companies have set up business here and Ireland has always been known to be one of the financial hubs of Europe. Millions of financial transactions take place in Ireland every day. Companies rely on risk management and there is a wide number of jobs you can do in this sector like banking, insurance, accounting, pensions and stockbroking.

According to the report by EFGSN (Expert Group on Future Skills Needs), the financial sector has a growth potential of 3-4% per year, potentially creating 40,000 new jobs, which is great news. Career prospects are very promising in these areas for the foreseeable future, so if you have an interest in finance, a good starting point would be to complete one of our Finance programmes.

Because of high demand in this sector, there are skills shortages particularly in accounting and compliance management. All businesses must have their Annual Accounts signed off by a qualified accountant while most medium and large companies consult with financial experts to advise them on their financial and tax issues.

Compliance management involves making sure that businesses are following policies and procedures and are being run properly. Fraud is happening all over the world with an increase in people being able to hack into accounts. Businesses need to be very careful with regard to this threat, so the need for experts is extremely important.

Full and part time accountants, risk professionals and auditors are in demand in all industries, particularly pharmaceutical and manufacturing.
Whichever area in finance you are interested in, our finance courses will help start you off on the right path. Our courses set you up with the foundations for working in the financial sector.

A lot of our students go straight into employment, working in administration roles in the financial sector. This enables them to work their way up to becoming an accountant or whichever area they want to focus on. If you impress the employer and they can see potential, they may help with further study.

Please click on the links below for more information on all our flexible distance learning Business, Management and Finance Programmes:




Sports & Leisure


Have a think about your friends and family – how many of them go to a gym or are involved in sports? Sports and exercise has really taken off in this country in the past few years. People are more health conscious and generally have more time for leisure compared to the past. They want to take care of themselves and maintain a healthy weight.

This, combined with the way exercise makes us feel and the sheer variety of options and classes, guarantees that this industry will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. There are gyms popping up all over the place and they are also very many hotels, community centers and even holiday accommodation.

There are loads of TV programmes dedicated to encouraging a healthier lifestyle like Operation Transformation and Doctor in the House. A lot of emphasis is also put on sports on TV, like our Gaelic and soccer games, Rugby, the Olympic Games and Special Olympics, so we are constantly surrounded and being reminded of how important it is, which is a good thing.

The fitness industry offers many career opportunities and jobs in this area have increased. There are a wide number of areas you can specialise in with a sports and leisure qualification. You can become a gym instructor, yoga instructor, a pool worker (swimming instructor/aqua fit classes), dietitian, horse rider instructor, gym manager and carry on your studies to become a sports psychologist, sports educator, nutritionist or strength and conditioning coach.

At The Open College, we offer many different part-time flexible Sports and Leisure programmes designed to enable students to apply a range of essential skills and knowledge to the Sports Industry.

One of our more popular courses in this area is the QQI Level 5 Major Award in Sports, Recreation and Exercise. This course covers everything from exercise and fitness to nutrition, so that students are well prepared for their careers in this area. Past students have gone straight into employment at a gym, community center or hotel and others have gained some practical experience and then gone back to college to continue with their studies.

Competition is quite high in this area, so you need to be prepared to go the extra mile for the company and clients. There are many areas you can specialise in following on from this course like Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Ju-Jitzu, Brazilian Ju Jitzu and many of our past students have gone on to open their own businesses or work as a freelance instructor by going around different gyms and sports centers working with adults and children.

Other interesting courses on offer include our QQI Level 5 and Level 6 modules in Exercise & Fitness, Sports Psychology or Leisure Facility Operations.


Please click below for a full list of our distance learning Sports and Leisure Programmes:





Psychology is the study of our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. It delves into why we act the way we do and tries to help the individual feel better and work on their issues. Psychologists tend to work more with people who have serious mental illness and help them perform and function better, using different techniques and therapy.

This role often gets confused with counselling, but counsellors tend to focus on clients’ concerns and difficulties, no matter how small, and help them make changes in their lives through talking it out. A psychology qualification would enable you to work in either profession and specific areas listed below.

There are many different areas you can work with a psychology qualification either in the private or public sector. Because the population is growing and there are more stressors in life, the need for professionals in this area is growing. You can specialise in many different areas such as:

  • Family Psychologist
  • Relationship Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Health Psychologist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Occupational Psychologist
  • Mental Health Care Worker
  • Careers Advisor
  • Counsellor
  • Human Resource Officer.

If you are a people person and have a genuine enthusiasm for helping people, then gaining a psychology qualification would really help you.

Choose from our Distance Learning QQI accredited Psychology, Child Psychology or Sports Psychology. Some of our past students have gone on to work in areas such as human resources, care givers for the elderly and children, and organisations like the Well Women’s Centre and St. Vincent De Paul’s and the Simon Community.

Some students have gone on to study psychology at a higher level and even opened their own businesses. Those who completed the positive psychology course have gone on to work for some mindfulness/positive psychology companies who go around giving classes and talks throughout the country.

There is a huge demand for this particular area at the moment, as more and more people want to learn how to relax and think more positively.


Journalism and Digital Media


The media industry has developed at a fast pace over the past ten years. From satellite, to digital media, to the internet, the way companies advertise to their audiences has changed completely. Huge technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple, discovered new innovative ways of communicating and advertising to different audiences.

Unfortunately, print media has experienced a decline in advertising revenues, but it seems to be embracing what this modern technology has to offer.

Our need for up-to-date and important news on daily life, entertainment and politics, has made sure that the journalism industry has continued to thrive. Digital media is everything that can be read on a computer, laptop, iPad, mobile phone and all digital appliances.

You can read the news online and read hundreds of articles every day. The internet is full of different websites for whatever your interests are. Audio, video, and photo content are encoded and then easily distributed and played by computers and transmitted over computer networks.

Working for the media business is currently very competitive and jobs are in high demand. According to the National Union of Journalists, there are over 4,300 employed in the broadcasting (film & television) industry. Growth areas include digital technologies, mobile devices and internet. There are many different areas you can work in with a journalist qualification.

Broadcast journalism involves working on the TV, Investigative journalism involves investigating stories and printing in press. Sports journalism specialises in sports broadcasting or writing, and foreign correspondence reports on news overseas. Social media is another huge area which has rapidly developed over the years and jobs in this area include blogging, multimedia design, web design and social media management.

When you are starting off looking for a job in this area it can be quite daunting, as the competition is high. Many past students have had to start off in a lower level job and work their way up. Having a qualification in these areas will give you an edge over other candidates.

However, one thing is for sure, this industry is going through a major technological change at the moment and the need for news every day is essential, so there will always be a demand for people. Growth areas include digital technologies, mobile devices and internet.
Please see links below for our full range of QQI Journalism and Digital Media Programmes:






Everybody and every business needs legal advice about everything from buying a house, to making a will, to defending ourselves in court. There are approximately 2,000 practicing law firms in Ireland and even in the financial crash, a lot of people and businesses needed legal advice due to their businesses being shut down or not being able to pay their mortgage.

So, there is an ongoing need for experts in this area. There are many different jobs in the sector from solicitors, barristers and judges, to the more admin roles like legal assistants and administrators and you can work in either the public (state), private or commercial sector. Bigger firms tend to focus on many specialist areas, namely property, financial, employment, mergers and acquisitions, construction and taxation law. The Law Society of Ireland controls and monitors all training and operations of law firms.

According to Irelands Future Skills needs 2020, there were 39,200 people employed in legal occupations, amounting to 2.1% of the Irish workforce. Although the training in Ireland seems to be focused with general practice demand, there is a shortage in certain business and industry sectors such as fraud, compliance, finance and data analytics. Specialist areas are also emerging for intellectual property law, European law, medical breakthroughs and developments in science and technology, which have created even more legal jobs.

Our QQI Law courses set you up with the knowledge, skill and competence in the principles and practices of law, should you choose business or criminal areas.

Previous students have gone straight into employment working in legal support roles, such as legal secretaries, legal receptionists and administrators, while others work their way up and continue their studies at higher level. Theses courses in Law would be the ideal start and stepping stone towards your dream job in this area.


Please click on the link below for a full list of our part-time distance learning Law courses:



Training & Development


There continues to be a strong demand for education and training roles in this country. According to the National Skills Bulletin 2015, there were approximately 120,000 employed in education occupations, which represents 6.1% of national employment.

The growing cultural and ethnic diversity of our population requires trainers to process specific skills on how to manage a diverse classroom. Online learning providers like The Open College have opened opportunities to teach students from all over the world, so it is not just limited to the classroom.

Tutors for specific areas such as I.T, Healthcare, Childcare, Business and Finance Studies and Law, are in demand. If you are highly qualified in a subject and have some good experience in the area, then our QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer course would be ideal for you.

This course facilitates the understanding of the methodologies and processes involved with teaching adults and how different it is from teaching children. It equips you with the ability to develop your own course through planning, design, delivery, assessment, and evaluation. It is an extremely detailed course which includes understanding diversity in the classroom and legislation. Most training organisations require you to have this qualification to be able to work for them. Some won’t even consider you without this qualification. We deliver this course by Distance Learning & Attendance Learning.

You can either work face to face in the classroom with students, or work for an online provider and tutor through their online platform. Or you could do both. You could work for yourself or work for a training organisation. You could also use this course and experience as a stepping stone for a teaching course, like secondary or primary school teaching.

Please see link below for full list of our Train the Trainer classes and commencement dates:


Job Search


There are many ways of job searching these days. The old way was to just go online and apply through job websites or check the back of newspapers and apply this way. Things have really changed because competition is fierce and social media has had a huge influence on job searching.

Most employers and recruitment companies will use LinkedIn as their main platform to search for suitable candidates to invite for interview. LinkedIn also makes job recommendations for people and suggests people you can connect with. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, make sure to get one set up straight away. It is just like setting up any other social media site, but it can only be used for career and professional reasons. You can connect with people in the field or organisations you are interested in and ask about career opportunities and job specifications. The more connections you have relevant to your field, the better.

Very many employers advise that they always check social media for potential candidates. If they find someone on LinkedIn, they will check other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, so make sure to have a sensible profile picture and make your profile private.

Many candidates have been rejected due to a terrible profile picture or unruly comments. What you also need to do is update your LinkedIn profile and use key words and phrases used in your industry. You need to tailor your job search to the position you are seeking. Try to connect with people and even arrange a meeting with them. This shows determination and enthusiasm and will put you ahead of the competition.

You can also use job websites as they are still quite popular, although they do get a lot of applications per job advert. You can also search by using a recruitment agency who advertise hundreds of jobs each day.

A lot of companies and colleges will have open days and it is a great idea to pop along to these and talk to some employers. Get you name out there and look professional. Have business cards printed and have several copies of your CV ready to give to employers.

Older ways – don’t rule out looking at the back of newspapers and magazines for a job – it is best to exhaust all means when looking for employment.

You never know, you could find your dream job this way!


Work Placement and Work Experience Opportunities


There are lots of work placement opportunities available out there. All our students successfully find work placement and if they have any difficulty, we can help source a placement with our many partnerships with companies.  Employers are usually happy to have some students on board to help with the daily running of the business. If you do well and the employer can see potential, they may keep you on in full time employment after your course has finished, which has happened to a lot of our past students.

If you have trouble accessing work placement, the staff at The Open College are only too happy to help.

The best thing about work placement is that you gain the practical work that employers want. You also find out if you like the work. It’s one thing studying and reading about the subjects and a completely different thing working in it. You may decide that it is not for you and this is fine also. Just accept it and move on – remember you never fail, you always learn, so start planning your next move!

The best thing to do is to treat looking for a work placement the same way as you would be searching for a job – update your LinkedIn account and connect with people in the area and ask about placements. Call into the company and ask to speak to somebody about work placement opportunities.

Remember, the employer will always remember a face rather than an email inquiry, so look professional and take your CV and cover letter with you in a neat folder. Have your CV and cover letter in pristine condition and practice your interview questions. The more preparation you put in the better.

Remember to try to create rapport straight away – smile and give them a firm handshake. Always make eye contact and talk in a positive way. This will give you an advantage from the start.


Working Abroad


As our QQI Programmes are accepted in most countries, you can use them to move and work abroad. QQI qualifications are Nationally and Internationally recognised, so you can use them in different countries. This adds to the benefits of completing one of our courses. You may have the opportunity to move to Australia or another country you always wanted to visit and have a better chance of getting a job there.

There are a few things you need to think about before working abroad.

First of all, try to read and research as much about the country as possible. There are lots of things you may dislike about a country and it will be too late if you only find out when you arrive there.

Find out about language, weather, population, crime rates, unemployment numbers, health and social care etc. Another important thing to find out is if there are regular flights to the country and if the airports are easily accessible and not too far away. This is important should you need to return home urgently.

Find out about the country’s culture – the food, appropriate clothing, traditions etc. The more information you find out, the more you will be prepared and may decide on an alternative country. If you start work abroad, be courteous and helpful to everyone at your work and respect their positions. Work hard and try to get involved with company events and outings. This will enable you to get to know everyone and come across as being sociable and approachable. You never know where the job may take you! You may never want to return home at all!


Please click here for more information on Travelling with your QQI Qualification.


Further Training & Progression Routes


QQI FE awards offer access to further and higher education and training opportunities. Most Universities take in a certain percentage of QQI students on their courses per year. This is known as the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELs).

The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) links specific QQI Level 5 and 6 Advanced Certificates to reserved places in a variety of higher education programmes. For QQI CAO applicants there are 40 higher education institutions including universities, institutes of technology and private third level colleges offering places on a variety of courses.

In addition to the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) which links specific QQI Level 5 Certificates and some Level 6 Advanced Certificates to a number of reserved places on higher education courses, the Institutes of Technology and some higher education institutions operate an admissions criteria and scoring system for non-specific QQI Level 5 Certificate and Level 6 Advanced Certificate applicants.

In addition some higher institutions may have further education requirements, so it is important that you confirm this and any other specific requirements with the CAO and the Admissions Office of the individual institutions.

So, as you can see, you are not at a loss by not completing the leaving cert or dropping out, you can complete one of our QQI awards and apply for your dream course at the higher level this way!

For more information on Progression using QQI Awards please click here…..


Opening Up Your Own Business


Many of our past students have gone on to open up their own business. Some or our childcare students have opened up their own childcare business at home or in private homes. Many of our exercise and leisure students have opened up their own gyms or personal instructor business.

Some freelance around different gyms and teach yoga/Pilates/HITT/Boxer Fit classes. Many of our business and finance students have gone on to study at higher level and open up their own accountancy firms or management firms. Students who have completed our QQI Train the Trainer courses have gone on to open their own tutoring or coaching businesses.

Whatever field you are in, you have the opportunity to open your own business and be your own boss. The Open College will provide you with a great stepping stone to this when you complete one of our exciting courses.


Contract Work (Freelancer)


People also have the opportunity to work on a contract only basis. You normally charge a daily rate for your services and have to work out your own taxes. A lot of companies hire people on contracts to help with projects. When the work is completed, the contract may be extended.

The contractor is not employed by the company, so does not get any of the added benefits of pensions and medical insurance, but the daily rate may work out a little higher than those in full time employment. The contractor is free to see other clients at the same time and is essentially the operator of their own business. Many people prefer the flexibility of this option, but others find the not knowing if their contract will be extended to be stressful.