Career Guidance

What is Career Guidance and what parents need to know to help their children effectively.

Options after school

What options are available after school, the supports that are available, and how to apply to college .

Leaving Cert Results - What Next?

What to do in the days after the results come out and getting the most out of the options available.

Grants and Scholarships

Explore the range of supports available for students considering going to college.

Disabilities & Supports

Learn how to support children with differing abilities through our education system.

Leaving Cert Subject Guide

Explore leaving cert subjects and the skills and opportunities they offer.

Parents' Guide

If you want to understand the basics of career guidance and how it can work for your child, help is at hand with this concise guide.

Parents play a huge role in the choices children make when they start looking for a career. They influence the level of education or training that their children achieve, the knowledge they have about work and different occupations, the beliefs and attitudes they have to working, and the motivation they have to succeed.

Most of this is learned unconsciously – children and teenagers absorb the attitudes and expectations of them as they grow up. Some of the key influencers are:

  • The expectations parents have for their children's education and career;
  • The examples they set for their children;
  • The values they show to their family, friends and to society;
  • The opportunities they offer their children to learn and develop; and
  • The kind of parent-child relationship they develop.

To nourish a healthy and rewarding career for your child, the following factors are worth considering:

  • Encourage your children to get the best education possible.
  • Strengthen their self-understanding.
  • Develop their knowledge about work.
  • Teach them decision making skills.
  • Value gender equity and cultural diversity.
  • Become aware of career resources.
  • Help them become skill-oriented.

What is Career Guidance?

It’s useful to understand some of the basic principles of careers guidance and the processes involved in planning and building a successful career. Once you have familiarised yourself with these concepts, you can harness them as you support and guide your child on their career and life journey.

In this Parents' Guide to Career Guidance we:

  • Outline the main principles, influences and processes at work on your child’s career journey
  • Provide useful tips on how you can help along the way
  • Indicate school activities that support each stage of the process

For a detailed discussion on the main areas of concern expressed by parents, follow our extensive guide by using the buttons at the top of this page.

REACH+ Career & College Preparation Programme

The REACH+ Career and College Preparation Programme is Ireland's most comprehensive, in-depth and multi-format careers programme available. Much more than any textbook, it is a complete and integrated guidance programme, tailored to the classroom learning environment, that supports students, guidance counsellors and teachers throughout the career guidance process. The programme covers the entirety of the senior cycle, with lessons relevant to those in Transition Year, and those taking the Leaving Certificate Established, Leaving Certificate Applied, and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. 

The programme consists of a comprehensive range of topics designed to help your son/daughter prepare for the transition from school to either work or college. It is managed by the school guidance counsellor, is full of engaging activities and provides essential resources for helping your child to plan for their future. 

As a parent, you can view your son/daughter’s progress with them by discussing the many reports produced by the programme. These reports will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the the career planning process, which is supported by the guidance counsellor.

The REACH+ programme is continuously updated with relevant and timely content. Access to the online learning environment (the Career File) is through the internet and hence is always available.

For further information please contact your school’s guidance counsellor. For more information: click here 

Prefer to read a book?

For those who would like further information, we would recommend 'Sorted! A survival Guide for Parents of Students Making a Career Choice' which can be purchased from this link.

Aiming Higher: A Guide for Parents and Guardians, is a guide aimed at parents (and guardians) of prospective third-level students, to give them a practical understanding of the higher education system in Ireland and to help them to support their daughter or son in making informed decisions around third-level courses and career choices. It is the first guide of its kind that is specifically targeted at parents. A lot of the content of the book has come as a result of close consultation with parents who have supported their children's progression through the Irish education system.

Click here for more information.

For those who want to look at the bigger picture, Career Coach by Dearbhla Kelly teaches parents ways to identify abilities, skills and talents in their teenager, as well as their innate passions and values, so they can help them to realise their full potential. Career Coach can be purchased from this link.

BookCoverOrig200aCracking the College Code is a practical guide to making the most of the first-year college experience and covers just about everything that students and parents need to know about going to college.

"It is the indispensable companion for all parents, guardians and students embarking on the journey into third level. This book should be in every leaving cert student's bag as they depart on this exciting but often daunting new destination on their career path." Betty McLaughlin, PRO Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Click here for more information.