I HAVE STARTED talking about major news items with my 11 yo daughter. This week, 10 items from the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post caught my attention. Two of them concern job opportunities for creative graduates.
MY JOB INVOLVES training students to join a rapidly evolving work force. If I do things right, those students graduate with an awareness that they need to do more than convert data from one format to another. I hope that is happening but I'm very concerned about an emerging trend.
Photo snapped during a third level Open Coffee session with @collision.
DURING A MORNING IRELAND conversation, Wendy Murphy from LinkedIn  shared insights from the Economic Graph, "a digital representation of the global economy which provides LinkedIn with unique insight into labour markets".  Several of the top 25 skills that got Irish professionals hired in 2015 feature in third level programmes delivered by Jackie Humphries and the staff on the LIT-Thurles campus.
As might be expected in a LinkedIn data set, technology skills dominated the list. Top of the lists are skills with strong academic courses running on the Thurles campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. Working with third level students taking business, creative multimedia and digital animation production degrees, I teach elements of search engine marketing and data visualisation.  The Economic Graph shows "huge demand for professionals in Ireland with expertise in areas like Cloud Computing, Big Data and IT Security". Companies need these skill sets as Ireland continues carving out data centres for big players like Facebook and Microsoft.
I SPENT SOME very productive years developing curriculum items for a blended education programme delivered to an international audience and noticed a job opening in the same space here in Limerick, Ireland.
The job is with SQT.ie and it involves developing, auditing and managing all aspects of the training company's Quality Management System. As a former member of three different accreditation teams, I examined the by-products of this kind of position. Clear quality control standards have been specified by Ireland's accreditation authorities and institutional frameworks need to be respected as well by training providers who aspire to maintain their accreditation and their professional relationships.
No more than a half dozen of the creative multimedia graduates from the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology have the skills for this interesting position. I have more details below the break.
EVEN THOUGH I am stuck in a job that has proven to lead to lower salaries the longer I remained in it, my career in teaching will lead me to "the good life" according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
Statistics don't lie: out of 14 major career categories, teachers are No. 2 in overall wellbeing, trailing only physicians. The Gallup Blog says, "Teachers have high wellbeing because they rate their lives highly and are in great emotional health, which are two key subcomponents of wellbeing. In those two categories, teachers also rank No. 2, beating out professional workers, nurses, business owners, and managers and executives, among others."
With the current hiring freeze in the Irish education sector and with normal retirements pushing teachers out of the classroom before the onset of senility, Ireland will need new blood in classrooms soon. Unfortunately, structural changes to the teaching pipeline (i.e., forced pay cuts for newly qualified teachers and low starting salaries for third level lecturers) means there is less excitement in Ireland about entering the teaching profession now. So the Gallup data could change things.
IT TOOK US several months to sort out a weak digital terrestrial television signal. The solution involved getting a big antenna with a preamp.
I talk about how we meandered to the solution and I shot a short video of our antenna installation. At the end of the day, you can't expect to get the Irish digital television signal with a puny antenna if you live outside a built-up area in Ireland. We live close to the Rock of Cashel and the granite mass appears to reflect the antenna that's located closer to us. We solved the problem by pointing a big antenna array at the DTT transmitter. On some days, we need a preamp on the antenna if we hope to keep a clear signal on the television set.
Bernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | Image from the Indo
I GET A STEADY FLOW of Irish job openings as a daily newsfeed. There isn't a day without an offer for web developers, content management specialists or front end designers.
We train Honours degree students in the fundamental skills related to new media. As recurring surveys show, the pay packages for these specialisms are recession-resistant. That is good news for those considering a career in the smart economy.
And if that's something intriguing to you, I strongly recommend the Level 8 Honours Degree in Creative Multimedia as a point of consideration.
Disclaimer: Bernie Goldbach teaches the LSAD Creative Multimedia degree.
I RECORDED A MINOR victory in the Honeydo DIY stakes when closing up the Wavin covers around our home this weekend. My iPod Touch makes one vantage point look eerie in the photo.
A big thanks to several readers who offered advice on detecting and correcting problems with home sewage systems. Although more needs to be done to completely fix problems we encountered during the humid Irish summer, I've reached the stage where we can restore normal ventilation in the house.
This is a big win for me, even though a more sophisticated engineering job remains to finish the task. I'll take the win.
Bernie Goldbach in Tipperary | Digging snapped with iTouch
I AM HELPING in a survey that may result in the reinstallation of some of the sewage lines outside a home and it's not easy. I already lost a weekend to this priority.
Some of the suspect 4" pipes expect water to flow uphill. You can actually see discrepancies in the starting and ending elevations of the lines without using any special laser equipment.
During the past month, several plumbers have measured the difference in elevation between start and ending points wherever the suspect sewage lines turn corners. One of the plumbers thinks the current pipe does not drop 1/4" per foot. In fact, one six metre section of pipe falls backwards.
I'm helping to dig up and reinstall the pipes but it's actually a job for a qualified engineer, so we're looking at Tradesmen.ie for ideas. I think the job requires a crew with construction laser measurement that corrects the current errors in the way the pipes lay in the ground. Too steep a drop and water flows over solid sewage instead of pushing it out into the main line.
Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Schematic from DIY Doctor
AN ARCHITECT REQUIRED several cuts in our roof to manage ventilation of toilets before we moved into our home. Because plumbers didn't do the work, we have problems seven years later.
We didn't cross-check the work done in the final architect's report and now we're smelling the results. Like all homes, we have toilets with waste that passes through traps on large diameter Wavin pipes. The traps hold water in the bend of Wavin pipes. Our current problem is the main sewage pipes are venting foul air from outside of our home, largely because our unfinished housing estate has clogged drain runs and manholes that show a massive accumulation of waste from 82 homes.
Normally the water sitting in the curve of the Wavin pipes under the toilets stops the back blast of bad air. And when toilets flush, water and waste enters the bowl, flows down the pipe and leaves the house.
In our case, the soil pipe is not venting correctly. It is supposed to carry foul gasses up to and beyond the roof but it terminates in our attic and runs horizontally. This is wrong on so many levels.