How a PLC and an apprenticeship led to a career in Network Engineering

How a PLC and an apprenticeship led to a career in Network Engineering


Dawn O’Brien was unsure of what to do after her Leaving Cert, so decided to explore her options and enrolled in a PLC course in Computer Systems and Networks.

The course ignited a love for IT and Dawn wanted to progress further, encouraged by the support and guidance of her classmates and tutors.

“I learned that there was a national apprenticeship programme available in Network Engineering,” says Dawn.

Attracted by the prospect of earning a wage and qualification while learning on the job, Dawn applied and was accepted. As with her PLC, Dawn found an encouraging environment in her apprenticeship, with great employers supporting her development.  

Dawn praises the apprenticeship with providing her with not only the traditional skills she needs to compete in her field, but broader skills to help her excel.

“For me, one of the primary skills that I have developed is communication. In my job I am part of a team that has two members based in America, so it’s essential that there is really effective communication between us.”

Dawn felt welcomed by her teammates from the very beginning and takes great satisfaction from working with such a hardworking team.

“I am lucky enough to be part of an incredibly hardworking, helpful and kind team of people. I was made feel so welcome from the very beginning.”

There are many elements of her job that she enjoys but what she most enjoys is putting her skills to use and solving problems.

“After a task is completed and you get confirmation that it is working, it’s a great feeling, and what makes this job all the more worthwhile.”

Dawn would recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone, explaining that working while learning provides a real insight to your future career.

“I’ve learned so much in such a short time. With the apprenticeship you truly get an understanding of what it is like to work as a Network Engineer.”

Her path through further education and training from a PLC course to an apprenticeship as a Network Engineer has unlocked Dawn’s potential and set her on the right career path.

“There is no doubt that I see my career in Network Engineering. My skills are not tied to one location and I look forward to the opportunity to work around the world.”

To see where a PLC or apprenticeship could lead you, visit

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