• Question: Hello I'm in yr9 at school and was wondering what qualifications you neede to get to where you're at with your career currently

    Asked by 862cars54 to Beth, Evan, Hayley, Heather, Holly, Ian, Jennifer, Joanna, John, Katie, Marianne, Melanie, Michael, Ollie, Rebecca, Rebecca, Shona, Simon, Tadhg on 21 Sep 2016.
    • Photo: Katie Mahon

      Katie Mahon answered on 21 Sep 2016:

      I did my Leaving Cert in Ireland (Like the A-Levels in the UK) and then I did a 4 year degree in Mechanical Engineering. Then when I finished in college I started working!

    • Photo: Joanna Bagniewska

      Joanna Bagniewska answered on 21 Sep 2016:

      I did an International Baccalaureate (like A-levels), an undergraduate degree, a Master’s and a doctorate.

    • Photo: Rebecca Dewey

      Rebecca Dewey answered on 21 Sep 2016:

      I did GCSEs (3A*s, 3As, 4Bs and a C) – most importantly, I got 2A*s in double science, A in maths and I’m sometimes still asked what my highest qualification in English language is (B).

      Then I did AS levels (As in Physics, Maths and Further Maths and a B in Chemistry).

      Then A levels (As in Maths and Further Maths and a B in Physics).

      Then I did an undergraduate masters (MPhys) in Theoretical Physics – this is a 4 year degree that goes straight through so I didn’t have to do a dissertation at the end of my 3rd year.

      Then I did a PhD. A PhD is like doing a research job for 3 and a bit years, and then getting a qualification at the end of it. You get paid (not sure of the exact amounts now but probably about £15000 a year BUT this is TAX FREE and you don’t pay council tax etc.). There are no exams in a PhD only a long interview at the end (called a viva voce).

    • Photo: John Allport

      John Allport answered on 21 Sep 2016:

      I needed a good understanding of Maths and Physics, as well as an inquisitive mind – engineering is all about understanding how things work, whether that is in the literal sense as with a machine, or at the atomic level with materials. I started off with A levels in these subjects, followed by a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later a PhD in computer simulation of non-linear materials. Plus a lot of hard work and a few lucky breaks!

    • Photo: Shona Whittam

      Shona Whittam answered on 21 Sep 2016:

      You can start on my career path with a Bsc in Physics. To study physics at University you need to do A-Levels in maths and physics.

      To become a medical physicists you usually do a graduate training scheme where you are paid a salary to train at hospitals and they pay for your MSc in medical physics.

    • Photo: Hayley Moulding

      Hayley Moulding answered on 22 Sep 2016:

      I did 12 GCSE’s – including triple science, maths and english – the most imporant!

      I did AS Level Maths (Didn’t go so well!) and A2 Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Geography (and Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives).

      I then did a 4-year sandwich degree in Biochemistry. This meant my third year I was out working in industry or as I did, in a NHS laboratory.

      I am now doing a PhD which is another 4-years to get to being a fully-qualified scientist!

    • Photo: Ian Hands-Portman

      Ian Hands-Portman answered on 22 Sep 2016:

      I did the usual GCSE’s, Chem, Bio, Physics at A level and a degree in Biochemistry. I didn’t do a PhD – it’s not compulsory for Scientists!

    • Photo: Michael Sulu

      Michael Sulu answered on 8 Jul 2017:

      I did A levels in MAths, chemistry and physics, then a degree and PhD in Biochemical Engineering

    • Photo: Tadhg O'Donovan

      Tadhg O'Donovan answered on 29 Sep 2017:

      So I did the Leaving Cert (Irish Version of A-Levels or Highers, in Scotland), but the equivalent entry standard for Engineering Degree Programmes here is: AAAA (Scottish Highers) or BBB (A-Levels) for Year 1 of a 4 year BEng. A-Level Students can go directly into the second year with AAB and all qualifications need Maths and Physics/Chemistry.

      To get to where I am now, I needed to do a PhD – which is 3.5 years researching one topic!

    • Photo: Melanie Zimmer

      Melanie Zimmer answered on 6 Oct 2017:

      Hi 862cars54,

      I graduated from a school in Germany, so I have a so called “Abitur”, which allows you to study at a university. I then did maths for my Bachelor’s programme and computer science (or as the programme was called “Software Technology”) for my Master’s.

      The technical qualifications might seem quite important (and they probably are), but a lot of companies also look for so called “Soft Skills”, which means for example that you have good communication skills and can work in a team, but also that you are motivated!