Leaving Cert Results 2021 - The options you might not know about

Leaving Cert Results 2021 - The options you might not know about

As society reopens, this year's leaving certificate students have even more reason to be excited about taking the next steps towards their future.  And there are many options and diverse opportunities in FET worth considering alongside the traditional ‘school to university' path to education.

FET brings something more to the table when deciding how to study. There are apprenticeships available allowing you to 'earn-while-you-learn' in areas such as finance, auctioneering and engineering, to name a few. There are subjects and careers that are only available through further education and training, such as Clare Cullen’s international award-winning beauty career.

Maybe the usual routes don't suit your style of learning. You may not be sure what it is you want to study or it could be that you didn't get the points you had hoped for this year. If any of this sounds like you, there are paths through FET to get you where you want to go.

"The established route from school to university is not a 'one size fits all' model," says Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority. "There are many students who will find that the best, most promising route to their career of choice is a FET course."

Students who took the FET path include Danay Berhane, who successfully completed a FET course after his leaving cert and went on to become an award-winning chef at the five-star Mount Juliette Estate restaurant. Have you heard of Wayne O’Connor, a Sunday Independent journalist? He also took the further education route to his success.

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 and 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.
  • Apprenticeships are available in a wide variety of areas, including international financial services, recruitment, auctioneering, engineering, hospitality and insurance practice.
  • 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.
  • Recent research has shown that having a foundation in FET helps the chances of getting your degree if you move into higher education.

Leaving Cert results time is no doubt stressful for students across the country. You may feel like you should have your education and career path mapped out. If you do, fantastic! If you don't, don't worry! Wherever you are coming from, there is a #FET pathway suited to you.

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

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