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Civil Service or Teaching

  • 19-04-2019 5:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭


    Need some advice.
    I’m just about to finish my last year in a level 8 science course and always had it in the back of my mind to continue onto a PME and become a teacher. With this in mind I applied and got accepted for Maynooth this month for science and biology. I was over the moon!
    However, last summer on a whim I applied for an EO Competition in the civil service in Dublin. I passed all the tests and the interview and had a call this week about Garda vetting so getting offered a position is pretty imminent.
    I’m feeling a bit torn. I would have to commute to Dublin for the job (from the midlands) but it’s a stable, reliable full time position with a starting salary of 29,000.
    To do the teaching it would mean another 2 years of being a broke student living at home while studying for 2 years and completing teaching practice to be not even guaranteed a permanent job for years at the end of it. I honestly don’t know what to do.
    The Garda clearance for the EO could take a few months so I don’t have to make any decisions about that just yet.
    I want to know the reality of the job situation for teachers. With junior science and biology how likely would it be for me to get a full time job within a few years? I’m aware I’d have to subb around for a bit.
    I’m feeling a bit lost and don’t want to regret anything in a couple of years time..
    Any advice highly appreciated


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,107 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    I would not advise anyone I cared about to go into teaching.

    If you were my son/daughter, I would say go to the civil service where you can at least be earning something and maybe if things change re teaching you can train later to do it.

    Much better opportunities for promotion/better working conditions etc. in the civil service, plus it is a proper job, which you could be waiting years for after qualifying as a teacher, even in 'in demand' subjects.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,043 ✭✭✭Icsics


    spurious wrote: »
    I would not advise anyone I cared about to go into teaching.

    If you were my son/daughter, I would say go to the civil service where you can at least be earning something and maybe if things change re teaching you can train later to do it.

    Much better opportunities for promotion/better working conditions etc. in the civil service, plus it is a proper job, which you could be waiting years for after qualifying as a teacher, even in 'in demand' subjects.
    Agree with Spurious. You would be another (expensive) 2 yrs training & them no guarantee of a job, the only guarantee is you'd be on the lower pay scale & conditions have deteriorated significantly for teachers. Go for the civil service


  • Registered Users Posts: 571 ✭✭✭Buckfast W


    I joined the civil service last year as an EO and I have to say I'm very happy with it. Your pay will go up by roughly 2k per annum plus there'll be excellent chances for promotion over the next few years with the amount of people retiring. A HEO starts off on 45k and an AP 75k. Throw in flexi time and the fact that you can work up a day and a half a month on top of your holidays and your laughing. And you can also avail of the shorter working year if you want to go travelling. I'd say go for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭Lynnington3


    Thanks for the replies so far. Yeah I’m aware the Civil service is a grand place to work, my partner is in the service years and sings it’s praises. But as the position is for Garda civilian in Dublin I’m not sure if id have the same benefits as he has. A couple of things putting me off..

    1. Commuting from the midlands will mean being up early for the early train and then getting home late enough in the evenings (probably after 7)
    2. I’m not sure if there’s flexitime in most departments related to Garda. Generally the flexitime would be a major pro for me regarding the service but if it’s not an option..
    3. I don’t think I’d mind commuting for a few years but would eventually like to transfer down to somewhere closer to home but I have heard the mobility is moving very slowly in the service at the moment.

    I know I’d probably be commuting for teaching too as it would be unlikely I’d get a position close to home. Most of the science/biology jobs are in Dublin according to educationposts.

    One pro of the service though is that I could take a career break after 2 years and complete the PME then if I still want to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭Lynnington3


    Are there any science/biology teachers out there who qualified recently and managed to find a full time position quite quickly?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,347 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Mobility certainly isn't guaranteed, but if you're patient, you should be able to get something closer - both Tullamore and Athlone have significant numbers there. But you'd probably need to be less fussy about the job role/content. If you wanted to be fussy about the role or content, you'd probably be committing to Dublin in the long term, unless you just happen to get lucky on both.

    The big advantage of teaching is the summer holidays, especially if you're a parent. You would have the option for Shorter Working year in CS, though at a significant gross salary reduction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭John DoeReMi


    Coming in as an EO is a great start. If you put the work in there's no reason why you shouldn't make HEO in around 3- 4 years. I've spent my working life in the Civil Service and worked in several Departments. Some are better than others, but at the end of the day you're always working to better the lives of Joe and Jane Public. I'm currently working in an area where what I do - along with my colleagues - makes a real difference to people's lives. I imagine this is what attracts you to teaching in the first place. Plus you have the career break option as noted above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭cupcake queen


    Teaching has changed so much in the past few years for new entrants. It's true pay and conditions are not what they were in the past. However there are jobs there and always will be to some extent, though they may not be exactly where or (initially) for the kinds of hours you might wish for.
    I would ask yourself what you want from a job long term. There is a reason people often call teaching a vocation! Do you enjoy working with young people? Are you prepared to accept that you may end up teaching somewhere where motivation is low, where there are discipline problems, students with different needs, difficult backgrounds etc? I only say this because I am a teacher, and I often think how different my job is to the way I envisaged it starting out. I work in a disadvantaged area, in an all boys school, with a lot of SEN students. It's about as far from the kind of school I went to as it's possible to get, but I love it and will never leave (barring a lotto win!) I think if the unpredictable, varied nature of the job appeals then definitely consider it. But it is a very different daily routine to working in an office job surrounded by adults!
    I will add that, having married and had a child in the intervening years since I qualified, I do find teaching to be a very family friendly job and I would say I (generally) have a good work-life balance. But then I am lucky to work close enough to where I live.
    Having said all of this, I would strongly urge you to look at the pay scales for new entrants on the ASTI website and also pension entitlements and factor this information.
    It's a tough decision. Best of luck with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭OMM 0000


    You actually want to become a teacher.

    So become a teacher.

    You're going to spend the rest of your life working. So you should make sure it's in a job you want to do.

    Choosing the civil service over something you want to do seems like an obviously terrible decision.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭caviardreams


    Totally agree with OMM. It sounds from your post that teaching was something you had your heart set on, why change your plans?

    The civil service is not for everyone - working in an office is very different to working in a classroom. Personally I find an office environment stifling and a real struggle. I also found in the CS I didn't have a lot of opportunity to express any creativity and put my own slant on things which is important to me. Just some things to consider - maybe write a list of the things you would enjoy in a job and what you would not enjoy and see where both stack up?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭Clonmel1000


    Buckfast W wrote: »
    I joined the civil service last year as an EO and I have to say I'm very happy with it. Your pay will go up by roughly 2k per annum plus there'll be excellent chances for promotion over the next few years with the amount of people retiring. A HEO starts off on 45k and an AP 75k. Throw in flexi time and the fact that you can work up a day and a half a month on top of your holidays and your laughing. And you can also avail of the shorter working year if you want to go travelling. I'd say go for it.

    APs certainly don’t start at that salary.

    Do teaching. It pains me as a career civil servant to say it but do what your heart says have no regrets. CS will wear you down and crush you after a while especially certain departments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭John DoeReMi


    Totally agree with OMM. It sounds from your post that teaching was something you had your heart set on, why change your plans?

    The civil service is not for everyone - working in an office is very different to working in a classroom. Personally I find an office environment stifling and a real struggle. I also found in the CS I didn't have a lot of opportunity to express any creativity and put my own slant on things which is important to me. Just some things to consider - maybe write a list of the things you would enjoy in a job and what you would not enjoy and see where both stack up?

    Notwithstanding my earlier post, I'd agree with this. I'm very happy in my current position but it did take me a long time to get there. I entered the CS having no other real options. It was the early '80's, Fianna Fail had just done their first great job of destroying the economy and half the country was emigrating. You obviously have a passion for teaching which you'll need to satisfy one way or the other.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 3,635 CMod ✭✭✭✭Ravelleman


    2. I’m not sure if there’s flexitime in most departments related to Garda. Generally the flexitime would be a major pro for me regarding the service but if it’s not an option..

    Flexitime is very much a feature of working in AGS. However, this is always contingent on local needs/arrangements, as it is in the rest of the Civil Service (in theory at least).


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭judeboy101


    You'll spend less and less time actually teaching and more time on admin as the education system change, just be aware. It used to be 22hrs of teaching no more no less and only teaching. Now its 21hrs20 plus nearly 3 hrs of s&s pt meetings and staff meetings per week. Excluding admin


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,825 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    APs certainly don’t start at that salary.

    Do teaching. It pains me as a career civil servant to say it but do what your heart says have no regrets. CS will wear you down and crush you after a while especially certain departments.

    I am pretty sure an AP scale starts on approx 66k.

    To offer a counterpart I am CS (13sh years) always been in ICT. The key for promotion is to go for everything you can get, I have a network of friends who would have a good idea about what departments have opportunities.
    Flexitime is also fantastic though it stops at AP.

    But I would think those holiday would be a big draw for a teacher! If your passionate about teaching it seems a no brainer


  • Registered Users Posts: 433 ✭✭PCX


    judeboy101 wrote: »
    You'll spend less and less time actually teaching and more time on admin as the education system change, just be aware. It used to be 22hrs of teaching no more no less and only teaching. Now its 21hrs20 plus nearly 3 hrs of s&s pt meetings and staff meetings per week. Excluding admin

    As a civil servant they'll work 37.5 hours a week which would normally be all admin. So if admin is the part of the job your not keen on then teaching definitely wins in this comparison!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭judeboy101


    PCX wrote: »
    As a civil servant they'll work 37.5 hours a week which would normally be all admin. So if admin is the part of the job your not keen on then teaching definitely wins in this comparison!!

    I'd be worried OP has a "oh captain,my captain" view of teaching which is not the way teaching is going.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭Clonmel1000


    gmisk wrote: »
    I am pretty sure an AP scale starts on approx 66k.

    To offer a counterpart I am CS (13sh years) always been in ICT. The key for promotion is to go for everything you can get, I have a network of friends who would have a good idea about what departments have opportunities.
    Flexitime is also fantastic though it stops at AP.

    But I would think those holiday would be a big draw for a teacher! If your passionate about teaching it seems a no brainer

    The OP mentions 75k as the starting salary. Flexi as you say is not available to APs and like I said I’m sure different people will have different experiences in different departments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,825 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    The OP mentions 75k as the starting salary. Flexi as you say is not available to APs and like I said I’m sure different people will have different experiences in different departments.
    I know the OP mentions 75K for AP.
    But what I am saying is that isnt correct...unless possibly it is an AP higher, not a standard AP.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Buckfast W wrote: »
    I joined the civil service last year as an EO and I have to say I'm very happy with it. Your pay will go up by roughly 2k per annum plus there'll be excellent chances for promotion over the next few years with the amount of people retiring. A HEO starts off on 45k and an AP 75k. Throw in flexi time and the fact that you can work up a day and a half a month on top of your holidays and your laughing. And you can also avail of the shorter working year if you want to go travelling. I'd say go for it.


    the salary figures here are off (EO doesnt go up by that much consistently, over the scale it does go up to 48kish I think though, AP starts at 65kish) but i wouldnt think there is any reason to go into teaching as opposed to a good career with better options for progression and more interesting work as an EO as opposed to teaching, which always struck me as a vocation to be endured rather than a job to enjoy or go anywhere in.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭Ditzie


    @PCX agree with @judeboy101 , I have been teaching 6 years and it’s just more and more paperwork. I currently work 50 hours a week (that’s a week with no meetings, tests or reports and ignoring all but LC corrections) and am paid for 21hours 20 minutes of that time. That’s nearly 29 hours unpaid admin.



  • Registered Users Posts: 352 ✭✭LegallyAbroad


    Be a teacher. Much more interesting than being an EO and better pay and conditions.

    If you want to be an AP later then you can always apply later.



  • Registered Users Posts: 63 ✭✭757TFFIU


    OP - An option if you feel an offer of an EO position is imminent, is to perhaps accept the position and work as an EO for a while while you consider your options.

    My understanding of civil service career break rules is that you are eligible for one after 2 years service. Career breaks can be taken for education reasons. If you feel at that stage teaching is something you still are interested in and you feel there are teaching jobs out there, apply for the course and the career break. If the course goes well for you, and having been in the classroom for teaching practice you feel you enjoy it, you could resign at the end of the career break and just don't go back to the civil service.

    Having said that - if you feel at the end of the course that teaching isn't for you, or if the course just doesn't work out for some reason, you have your EO job to fall back on.

    (I'm making that comment while conscious though, having formerly been a teacher and now a civil servant for a number of years, that a postgraduate course in teaching is a significant financial investment - which is another consideration).



  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭Ahshurlookit


    I'm jumping to conclusions here, but considering the OP first asked the question almost 3 years ago, I'm going to assume they've made their decision!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 26 AuroraP


    Bear in mind that there are civil service laboratory/science-related positions in certian Departments if that would be of interest, these positions tend to be EO, AO and AP equivalents.



  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭James2020App


    So what did you decide on after? And any feedback on your decision.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,078 ✭✭✭salonfire


    Oh, you'd like to be paid according to the hours you work? Let's implement that then. Should save the country a fortune at Christmas, Mid-term, Easter, Summer and Mid-Term.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,204 ✭✭✭✭TheValeyard


    This just shows you actually have no idea how teachers are paid or what their pay is.

    Fcuk Putin. Glory to Ukraine!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,078 ✭✭✭salonfire


    It does actually show that I know. My comment is as farcical as the comment I replied to. The teacher expecting a full time salary yet moaning about having to work beyond the number of hours. You can't have it both ways, either you are paid hourly or by salary.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,929 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams




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