Are engineering university courses fit for purpose?

Are engineering university courses fit for purpose?

Engineering University Courses

How fit for purpose are our graduates once they’ve left the halls of academia? That was the question posed by a recent article on The Engineer’s website, posted by the magazine’s anonymous industry contributor, the ‘Secret Engineer’.

We found the content of the article – and the comments by readers – fascinating. In it, the Stig of the engineering world questions the quality of a modern university engineering education and highlights his/her concern that today’s graduates are being let down by the education system. That sad thing is, this is a common concern among many of us experienced engineering folk.

Some believe the issue stems from a decline in teaching standards. This is debatable. At the heart of the problem, however, is the failure to effectively cover the practical side of engineering. Understanding theory is one thing, but it is through putting theory into action that one truly learns and develops.

This can be a common problem when educating apprentices too. The importance of balancing theoretical and practical training can’t be underestimated. Shockingly, we’ve heard stories of some apprentices spending the vast majority of their time learning theory in the classroom and then a couple of hours in a real engineering environment each week working on their practical skills.

Whether at undergrad, apprentice or intern level, there is no substitute for getting stuck in and getting your hands dirty. We see it week in, week out with our own crop.

So what can prospective engineers do to overcome the apparent limitations of classroom learning? Build up a real-world experience to complement the theoretical knowledge they gain at university or college.

Engineering firms up and down the UK are always on the lookout for hungry young people looking to pursue a career in engineering. By choosing a company offering a structured and supportive programme, tomorrow’s engineers can gain the essential learning they need to succeed.

We run our own training programmes throughout the year. Click here for information on our apprentice scheme and here to learn about our positions for graduates and industrial placements.

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