Future-ready career in engineering through future-geared engineering school

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Future-ready career in engineering through future-geared engineering school

Engineers are considered future-ready professionals due to their expertise and the demand for them by almost all industries. From construction to manufacturing, to healthcare and aviation, engineers often play key roles towards profitability and relevance.

They are in fact society’s enablers of progress since they continuously create better systems using their knowledge in math and science.

Engineers are considered “rising stars” in the fourth industrial revolution from a report by the Industrial Labour Organization’s (ILO) entitled “The Future of Work in the Philippines: Assessing the impact of technological changes on occupations and sectors.” Their competency and background enable them to easily adapt to the new work qualifications and jobs that are emerging moving forward.

Manufacturing engineers design, process, and manufacture products and technologies needed by various industries and sectors. 3D printing technology is one of the processes they undergo to upscale the design of innovations and products.

Sanitary engineers design and propose systems that ensure the safe disposal of waste products. These systems promote hygiene, sanitation, public health, and environmental protection and conservation. They analyze and simulate different design for piping system using full-scale sewerage system.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Science Education Institute meanwhile projects a steady growth and demand for engineering graduates in the domestic market in the coming years.

It takes time and effort to develop the engineering expertise that employers look for. In becoming an engineer, one starts with the academic training he needs to develop the required competencies. But what should you really be looking for?

Mapúa University president Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea emphasized the importance of carefully mapping out one's future career and meticulously choosing an educational institution that can empower them.

"Graduating senior high school students should be very discerning in choosing undergraduate degrees and colleges. The four to five years they spend in college will determine how they will fare in life and in their chosen profession. Now that the wheels of the fourth industrial revolution are turning, they must do everything they can to remain competitive and relevant," Vea said.

While shortlisting colleges and universities for engineering, students should consider their strength and expertise in engineering education, and one good indicator is the breadth of degree programs they offer. Some universities only focus on four major categories: civil, mechanical, electrical, and industrial, while others provide new, highly specialized tracks with double majors or dual degrees.

Electronics engineers design, manufacture, and develop integrated circuits and systems, telecommunication technologies, robotics, and other communication and network systems. One activity they conduct is the testing of integrated circuits to compare output signals against expected values to check and verify if it meets the design specifications.

Biological engineers study biological processes and integrate them with different areas of engineering to develop innovations that will level up the delivery of healthcare among individuals. They collaborate with other medical practitioners and researchers to improve existing medical systems and tools and generate new technologies to address existing clinical problems to help improve the condition of people with illnesses.

Universities with a full spectrum of engineering tracks like Mapúa University gives students access to the best minds in each field and a comprehensive view of each discipline. It also provides opportunities for collaboration with other disciplines – much like a real-world scenario.

The next important consideration is the school's curriculum. Aspiring engineers who plan to work overseas should opt for internationally accredited or recognized schools. Foreign employers want assurance that the education of potential employees meets the current global professional standards. Engineering and technology schools that have programs accredited by international bodies such as ABET have this guarantee. ABET is a US-based organization that accredits programs in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Its accreditation assures confidence that a collegiate program has met standards essential to prepare graduates to enter critical engineering and computing fields in the global workforce.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) meanwhile monitors, regulates, and certifies higher education institutions and programs. CHED classifies a program with exemplary curriculum, facilities, and faculty and staff as either a Center of Excellence or Center of Development.

In the Philippines, Mapúa University is one of the few universities with internationally and locally accredited engineering programs. Mapúa has 14 ABET-accredited programs with 11 engineering and three (3) computing programs. It also has seven programs named by CHED as Centers of Excellence, the most number for a university in the country. These are: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Its Industrial Engineering program is classified as a Center of Development.

Incoming college students should also assess the credentials of a school's faculty and staff. Universities that are also flanked by highly credentialed professors and instructors with doctorate or master’s degrees, who are actively involved in research, and collaborative work with the public or private sector are likely to give well-rounded and up-to-date lessons.

Advanced and state-of-the-art learning facilities, learning management systems, laboratories, online resource materials, and software should also be readily available to enrolled students. The same goes for academic support and regular teacher-student consultations. All these to ensure effective learning regardless of modality of learning delivery.

Aspiring engineers should also look for colleges that will develop their soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork, organization, adaptability and a growth mindset. Meanwhile, schools that foster innovation and problem-solving like Mapúa help students establish a creative mindset and engineering judgment early in their careers.