Leaving Cert Results 2020 - The options you might not know about

Leaving Cert Results 2020 - The options you might not know about

2020 brings a whole new level of pressure and complication to deciding on your future. But there are many, many options and diverse opportunities open to you, beyond the traditional route of entry to higher education directly from school. 

There are many post-secondary education options beyond the traditional ‘school to university’ path.

There are apprenticeships available in areas such as finance and engineering that allow you to begin earning a salary right away. There are subjects and careers that are only available through further education and training, such as Clare Cullen’s international award-winning beauty career.

If you didn’t get the points to do the course you hoped to begin this year – there are paths through FET to get there. You can read about award winning chef Danay Berhane’s journey after not getting the points he needed, or that of Sunday Independent journalist Wayne O’Connor.


There are endless opportunities available in further education and training that allow you to begin your post-school career.

Education and career paths have changed dramatically over recent years. FET offers lots of interesting and beneficial routes to you.

FET Benefits

Among the benefits of further education and training (FET) are:

  • PLC courses can provide a foundation for you in a career area before they committing to completing an undergraduate course. Examples include Pre-University Law and Pre-University Science. You can get a sense of the area and decide if this is the one for you. Read about Al Higgins and how his PLC course helped him decide on a career that led him to be one of Ireland’s leading commercial photographers.
  • Recent research has shown that having a foundation in FET helps the chances of getting your degree if you move into higher education.
  • 1 in 5 of the current intake of students in institutes of technology and technological universities come from FET, with more and more people recognising the value of this FET to higher education pathway.
  • Many universities, colleges and Institutes of Technology have programmes in place to recognise FET qualifications as a route to entry. If you complete a PLC programme with good results and meets specific criteria, you have a good chance of securing a place on a third-level course.
  • FET courses and programmes are available in every county in Ireland, delivered through 16 Education and Training Boards nationwide.
  • Apprenticeships are now available in a wide variety of areas, including international financial services, recruitment, auctioneering, engineering, hospitality and insurance practice, with more set to be announced within the coming months.

Leaving Cert results time is stressful for students across the country. You may feel like you should have your education and career path mapped out. Don’t worry! There are so many options available that you may not have even heard of before. The CAO is not the only route.

Start your journey today. Read through some of the stories of past FET learners here, or browse the thousands of courses on offer at