2018 is Bliain na Gaeilge. It is a year in which the Irish language will be celebrated across the country and beyond. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of postgraduate courses as Gaeilge as job prospects improve.
We connected one prospective student who wishes to study in Irish with a career adviser to help explore his options. We also spoke former postgraduate students to see how they have progressed in their careers with a qualification in Irish.
Oisín Ó Cléirigh is in his third and final year of a BA honours degree in Modern Irish and History. He's in the process of applying for a postgraduate master in education to teach in a secondary school with Galway and wants to study through Irish.
He spoke to Orla Donagher, the founder of InterviewTutor.ie, who has over 15 years industry experience in human resources, personnel management and staff recruitment. Orla regularly offers her services as a career coach at JobsExpo and has appeared as a career coach on RTÉ2 series The Unemployables.
Orla also works with PostGrad.ie, which provides information about postgraduate courses and study in Ireland.
Oisín Ó Cléirigh: What sort of paths are available to me through the medium of Irish? That is my main interest
Orla Donagher: The good news is in the past few years there has been a surge in the amount of jobs available using the Irish language. Some areas have seen a particularly large growth, including TV and radio production, the IT sector, Irish language software, jobs abroad (such as in teaching) and various public sector and political posts.
There are also opportunities for fluent Irish speakers within various government departments, arts and culture sector, translations and within Irish language organisations such as Conradh na Gaeilge. The list is endless. I would recommend you have a look at some useful sites such as gradireland.ie for job vacancies and general information on seeking employment.
In a broader sense, the most important bit of advice is to find a job you would love doing. Figure out first what would interest you in your career and then within those list of options target which will allow you to use your Irish. Doing it the other way around – chasing jobs that require fluent Irish – could, further down the track, lead to career dissatisfaction
Oisín Ó Cléirigh: In the event that I am not accepted for the PME, what is the best course for me to pursue a career through teaching?
Orla Donagher: There are number of third-level institutions which run a Master's in Professional Education. Each University will have specific entry requirements. For a list of these colleges and universities please have a look at Qualifax.ie. If your application is not successful, I would recommend you investigate where it fell down. In most cases it could be something to be rectified: for example, it maybe the issue is that you are missing a particular module and you could look into getting that module. If you do not gain entry to one of the larger universities there are other institutions such as Hibernia College Dublin which also runs a PME in primary and post-primary education and is recognised by the Teaching Council. Another alternative is that you go to the UK and acquire the PGCE qualification but in your case it would mean not using your Irish, which you may not want to do.
No matter what option you choose you must make absolute sure that it is recognised by the teaching council of Ireland; please refer to their website for further information see TeachingCouncil.ie.
Panel: Selection of postgrad courses in Irish
Focus: MSc i nGnó agus i dTeicneolaíocht an Eolais
This programme provides an opportunity for students to add to the broad educational and work expertise they already possess by gaining IT and business skills which will equip them for the workplace in either the public or private sector.
It is recognised by the Higher Education Authority under the Graduate Skills Conversion Programme. The programme can be taken on either a full-time or a part-time basis.
Other courses: MA i Léann na Gaeilge
Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge/OÉ Gaillimh
NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge was developed to deliver university education through the medium of Irish. The underlying philosophy of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is to provide for the specific needs of Irish speakers and Gaeltacht communities, through the promotion of academic programmes, courses and research activities in areas that are seen as being of vital importance to the future of these communities.
Focus: MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála)
This programme is in demand due primary to the Irish language status as an official language within the European Union – a development which has seen a dramatic increase in job vacancies in the EU for those with recognised qualifications in Irish language interpreting and translation skills.
Ard-Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach
MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin)
MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime (Léann Teanga)
Teastas Iarchéime (Léann an Aistriúcháin)
Teastas Iarchéime Ardscileanna Gaeilge do Mhúinteoirí
Gaelchultúr – Coláiste na hÉireann
Coláiste na hÉireann is the first Irish language third-level institute and it came into existence in the summer of 2013 when Gaelchultúr was awarded the status of third-level college by Hetac.
Focus: Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán (Postgraduate Diploma in Translation)
This is a Level 9 NFQ course and the programme lasts three semesters. It is aimed at those who already have a good standard of Irish, but who wish to acquire translation skills or to enhance the skills they already have.
It is also ideal for those who work through Irish on a daily basis – teachers and journalists, for example, who wish to improve their standard of writing in the language.
Focus: MA i Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge
This programme places focus on language, critical theory, translation, journalism and technology for students wishing to seek employment in education, research or State bodies. Work placements are also part of this course which also entail a research project encompassing interdisciplinary skills ranging from use of translation and media packages, to research skills, depending on the choices made by the student. Students will graduate with a high standard of accuracy in Irish language, and an understanding of its role in Irish society and Europe.
Selection of other courses:
Postgraduate Diploma in Old Irish and an MPhil in Early Irish (TCD)
Postgraduate in Modern Irish (UCC)
Diploma in Irish Language and European Law (DIT)
MA in Applied Irish (QUB)