Welcome to the St Columbanus’ College Careers Department. In this section you will find careers information for all year groups and parents. We endeavour to ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Careers Education is a continuous process and an important element of the College curriculum. Through the Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance programme, students work on self-assessment exercises which look at their ability, personality, interests and opportunities. This allows pupils to make informed choices in Years 10,12 and 14 and ultimately to make the transition from leaving school to full-time employment, Apprenticeships, Further or Higher Education or some other pathway suitable to their strengths and aspirations.

People don’t choose their careers; they are engulfed by them.

John Dos Passos

Everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You will learn from it.

Lou Holtz

To be successful, the first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.”

Sister Mary Lauretta

Careers Information

St.Columbanus’ College has a progressive CEIAG programme from KS3 up to Sixth form. The Careers Department also uses expert support from the Northern Ireland Careers Service, F.E. Colleges and Universities, local businesses and parents to enrich provision.

Key Stage 3

Years 8-10

Personal Career Planning Process is at the heart of the junior school programme. Pupils evaluate themselves through self-assessment exercises and by the end of the process, should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Students participate in Young Enterprise programmes including: “Step Up” and “Blast Off”, which aim to promote enterprise through hands-on learning experiences. A decision-making module is covered in Year 10 prior to subject choices. Impartial Careers advice is provided through our Careers Adviser and this information and guidance is shared with students and parents during the Year 10 Induction Day. Advice about choosing subjects for GCSE is also shared with students and parents through this website and also through the specific Google Classroom. Year 9 students also participated in an interactive event at the Blair Mayne Centre, 4C UR Future, which gave them an insight into the future world of work.

The best career advice given to the young is: Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.

Katherine Whitethorn

Click HERE to view the College’s Careers Guidance for choosing GCSE options.

Other relevant sources of advice for choosing subjects:

General link to Careers A – Z

Key Stage 4

Year 11

Action Planning Process – students build on the process of Personal Career Planning which commenced in Year 8. Students are given the opportunity to research potential career and job interests and relevant pathways being aware of the twin demands of the labour market and their own interests and level of skills. We will be exploring work related learning including virtual work opportunities and engagement activities with local employers and education providers. A module of Financial Capability will be included and students also participate in Young Enterprise. Students will start the year with a motivational presentation by Mr Pat Jamison, MBE, outlining the importance of learning for earning potential and future pathways.

Year 12

Students will start the year with a motivational presentation by Mr Pat Jamison, MBE, outlining the importance of learning for earning potential and future pathways.

All students have the opportunity to have an individual guidance interview with our Careers Adviser. This impartial guidance allows them to review their options carefully and make more informed decisions.

Advice on Post-16 choices and opportunities is provided and a range of information including virtual work experience, courses and applications to a variety of courses and schemes is made available to all students through the Year 12 Careers Google Classroom.

Link to Making choices at Year 12 Guidance booklet.

Post 16

 Years 13 & 14

At Post 16, opportunities are given for students to consider future options and build upon skills and knowledge gained in Years 11 and 12. Additional time is devoted to preparation for options post 18 including Further Education, Higher Education (UCAS Process), Apprenticeships and the world of work. Students are encouraged to attend Careers Conventions and Careers Fairs such as The BGS Careers and Universities’ Fair, 10th February 2023.

This year, we will also be welcoming the University Roadshow in September.


Within the Careers Department we promote an interactive approach to developing skills and encouraging students to embrace life-long learning.

This is a forward-thinking department committed to forging a very strong link between the demands of the curriculum and the reality of the world of work. This link between learning and earning is enhanced through visiting speakers, enterprise workshops, cross curricular projects and work related learning. The range of activities we offer enables all our students to learn through work, learn about work and learn for work.

Enterprise education is vital to our future economic success. A can-do enterprise mind-set benefits the individual, be it in a work-related or social setting. Our collaboration with Young Enterprise ensures that all students develop awareness of innovation, risk and change, running a business, and budgeting. These workshops enhance employability skills such as team work, problem-solving and communication.

Year 13 and Year 14 students are expected to join their designated Google Classroom which provides information about career pathways and opportunities including virtual placements when available.

Click HERE to view the Parent's Options Booklet for KS5

Careers Staff

Parents may book an appointment with Mrs Gethin to discuss issues regarding careers and pathways. Currently, this may not be possible face-to-face but parents may arrange for Mrs Gethin to contact them by phone or e-mail if they have a query about pathways.

Our Head of Department, Mrs Gethin, is more than happy to meet with students to discuss their individual pathway.

The Head of Careers is assisted by Mrs Dempster and Ms Canavan with the support of our staff, and a Careers Adviser from the Northern Ireland Careers Service. There is a designated Careers Library within the main Library housing a range of careers literature. Web resources are signposted on departmental noticeboards and on Google Classrooms.

Head of Department

Mrs Gethin, B.A (Hons); PGCE(Distinction); CPD Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.

Carlton Fisk

Related Links

Links that will help students and parents research options.


You never stop earning when you do what you love.

Asha Tyson