first_imgShaun Friel pictured working with colleagues in the UK.Stephen Cuffe working in Inish Pharmacy.With the CAO application deadline looming (1 February at 5.15pm), approximately 2,400 Leaving Certificate students within Co. Donegal are currently making that all important choice.The great news for students is there are a large number of options out there for them, including at Letterkenny IT.At LYIT, they believe that learning can be engaging, practical and above all inspirational. They offer over 100 courses in Science, Engineering, Business and Tourism, many developed with industry, up to Masters level.One of the greatest strengths of LYIT is the fact that there is a proven track record of progression and employability on all CAO programmes being offered.This certainly was true for Shaun Friel who hails from Kerrykeel, Co. Donegal and currently lives in Dublin.Shaun originally completed a National Diploma in Civil Engineering (which in 2014 required 275 points to be guaranteed a place on course). He then proceeded to complete a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University where he was awarded a First Class Honours degree. He progressed to a Master of Science in Construction and Project Management at Queen’s University Belfast and concluded with a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering at University of Ulster, Jordanstown.A fantastic educational portfolio for any person to boast.When asked why he decided to take this route and choose LYIT as his first education destination Shaun said, “The reason I chose this path was because it gave me time to decide on which Level 8 course I wanted to pursue and at which university I wanted to pursue it.It is fair to say that this is one of the most common themes being fed back by Leaving Certificate students.Shaun added, “The lecturers and careers centre offered excellent advice on the options available to students post level 7 in Civil Engineering. “University open-day visits, career days and workshops made choosing my future career path and the transition to level 8 study straightforward.There is a lot of negative publicity around the construction sector at the minute but it is refreshing to hear a story of a person who is really succeeding and making a career for himself in this sector.Shaun’s career began as a Student Engineer with Donegal County Council where he worked in the Roads & Transportation and Water & Environment sections.From there he took up the position of Quality Manager with Pavement Management Services Ltd. in Co. Galway. After this he was employed as Technical/Laboratory Manager with Roadbridge Ltd. on the Shell Corrib Gas Terminal Project in Bellanaboy, Co. Mayo.Construction of the gas processing terminal was the largest engineering and construction project ever undertaken in Ireland, with 1,200 people employed on-site at peak construction.Shaun then held the position of Product Development Manager for Ennis-Flint in the UK.He is now currently employed as Research and Materials Engineer at Irish Tar and Bitumen Suppliers based in Dublin.His current role covers three main aspects: overseeing and providing technical designs for road surfacing materials to customers, provision of technical support to customers, and research and development of new products and techniques.When discussing the sector he is employed in Shaun reflects, “There is no doubt that the last seven years has been particularly tough for the Civil Engineering industry in terms of reducing budgets and reduced infrastructure investment.“This has had a significant knock-on effect on employment opportunities both locally and nationally within the industry.However, in my opinion the future is looking much brighter in terms of employment opportunities.“The world will always need Civil Engineers to design, construct and maintain infrastructure assets such as bridges, roads, railways, tunnels, buildings, transportation systems, water resources, coastal erosion and flood defences.“Without these assets, economies and societies cannot progress.”When Shaun was asked would he recommend LYIT and the educational route he took to others he said, “Yes I would, because it gives a solid grounding in a wide range of subject areas within Civil Engineering before progressing to level 8.“There are certain Universities in Ireland and the UK which offer level 8 Civil Engineering degrees but have very little time dedicated to practical training.“The emphasis on practical training within LYIT in subject areas such as surveying, soil mechanics and fluid mechanics were invaluable to me during my level 8 studies.“This helped me to develop my understanding of Civil Engineering principles as well as bridge the gap between the theory and practical in engineering projects after gaining employment.Stephen Cuffe, from Buncrana, is a Science graduate from LYIT who shares a similar story as Shaun.The first course he completed was the National Diploma in Analytical Science in 2003. Then in September 2009 he enrolled in the Higher Certificate in Science (Pharmacy Technician) which he completed in January 2011 (this course in 2014 required 285 points to be guaranteed a place).On completion of the Pharmacy Technician course he enrolled in the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) at Ulster University in September 2011 and is currently in the final year of the course.Such an impressive progression but as Stephen points out “Initially I started the course with the aim of becoming a Pharmacy Technician, but after encouragement from LYIT staff members I took the decision to advance to the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) course in Ulster University at the Coleraine campus.Stephen has worked at Inish Pharmacy since January 2011 and now works on a part-time basis while he completes his MPharm. He is delighted he followed this route. He added, “My experience at LYIT provided me with a great insight into my profession of choice.“The course provides great practical experience in the classroom as well as dedicated work experience.“Also if you don’t get into your number one choice on a high point course, LYIT can be a great starting point which can be used as a stepping stone for progression.“LYIT also has great degree courses with Masters opportunities as well.Stephen sums up his experience by adding, “LYIT have a wide variety of excellent courses taught by well-trained professionals.“The campus is continually expanding and progressing and has excellent facilities.” They also offer encouragement to proceed and succeed.There are many more great stories from students who have walked through the doors of LYIT – it is always nice to hear of local people who are doing well for themselves.This year LYIT has added more degrees in exciting new areas with almost half of their courses offering a work placement option.Over 3,500 students choose to study at Letterkenny IT for the relevance and quality of the courses.What they are guaranteed to take away are excellent qualifications and an innovative experience, one which will stay with them forever – just like Shaun and Stephen.For further information and before the deadline this coming Sunday, visit email [email protected] or contact Irene on 074 918 6120LETTERKENNY IT – COURSES WHICH GUARANTEE A BRIGHT CAREER was last modified: January 28th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessCAOFeaturesLYITnewslast_img


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