Engineers Ireland calls for sixth year students to choose engineering courses at third level

Engineering
Pictured are a selection of students at regular women in engineering coffee mornings

Pictured are a selection of students at regular women in engineering coffee mornings

New common entry engineering option at WIT will make it even easier for students to decide which area of engineering they would like to specialise in

Engineers Ireland has called for sixth year students to choose engineering courses at third level to future-proof economic growth and meet future skills demand. The call to action has come in advance of the CAO deadline of Friday, 1 February.

Prospective students considering engineering have a number of ways to settle in to their college. An atrractive option for students unsure of what strand of engineering they wish to study is the common entry engineering degree.

WD007 or BEng (Hons) in Engineering (Common Entry) is the gateway for the following Level 8 BEng (Hons) degrees:

In semester 1, students explore each of the different engineering disciplines via the ‘Introduction to Engineering’ module. Students start to specialise in one of the four specialist engineering areas in Semester 2 of Year 1 and further specialise in the next three years.

The School of Engineering in partnership with the Department of Student Life and Learning at Waterford Institute of Technology setup an initiative called BYTE (Broadening Your Third-level Experience) in September 2015 which helps new students feel like they belong in engineering. It also enables them to get to know and help each other in a fun and safe environment. 

Skills shortage

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “Our recent survey of members has predicted that over 6,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector this year.  However, 94% of engineering employers surveyed see the shortage of engineers with the right skills as the main barrier to business growth. The reality is that the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet employers’ future needs for graduates.”
 
The professional body for engineers in Ireland has warned that Ireland has an acute shortage of engineers that could potentially undermine the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 goals. In particular, there are major concerns regarding a shortage of Civil & Building Engineering graduates, the numbers of which decreased by 45% in the period between 2011 - 2016.  
 
“If Ireland is to continue to be an attractive destination for high-value foreign direct investment, if we are to meet our goals in housing and broadband, and if we are to realise the ambitions mapped out in Project Ireland 2040, a ready supply of talented engineers will fundamental to realising these goals. I would therefore strongly encourage students making their CAO choices, and particularly young women, to consider a career in engineering and the fantastic and expanding opportunities that exist in the sector,” Spillane continued.

STEPS for school students

In an effort to demystify the subject of engineering, Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded under Science Foundation Ireland through their SFI Discover Programme -  and supported by industry leaders, Intel, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Arup and ESB, encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), while promoting engineering as a study and career choice.

In May WIT is participating in an Engineering Your Future programme, a week-long TY experience that gives students a hands-on, fun and practical insight into engineering at third level and as a career. Student apply via the Steps.ie website

WIT's BYTE programme

The BYTE programme operates in addition to core studies. Each week students are brought together for a BYTE timetabled session. The scheduled activities include: ‘finding your feet’, team building exercises, quizzes and ‘game of drones’; workshops on academic writing, critical thinking and exam preparation; presentations by graduates and employers.

As well has helping with retention, BYTE offers students a set of tangible skills that will scaffold their learning experience at WIT and benefit them throughout their engineering career and life.

Women in engineering

WIT's School of Engineering also reaches out to female engineering students by running regular informal coffee mornings, where female students can meet and create a network, share stories and enjoy a nice coffee and cake.

In March WIT will run its 'Women in Technology' event which aims to remove any barriers, perceived or otherwise, from women entering into the technological world. The 2018 event attracted over 1,000 female students from Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford.

Engineers Week

Engineers Ireland is calling on engineering firms, companies big and small, libraries, local authorities, schools and colleges nationwide to get involved in Engineers Week 2019, a seven-day programme of nationwide events taking place from 2 -8 March 2019. As well as events organised by companies, third-level institutions and the public sector, teachers are also encouraged to run their own classroom-based activities, quizzes and competitions. To find out more about events taking place around the country, download free resources or to register an event in your locality, visit www.engineersweek.ie.

Spillane added: “We must continue to inspire students at primary and post-primary levels to equip themselves with an adequate knowledge of STEM, to study engineering at third level and go on to work in the profession. Initiatives such as Engineers Week (2 -8 March), which is part of Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, actively encourages students, their teachers and parents to explore the diverse opportunities a career in engineering offers.”

Engineering facts 

Over 6,000 new jobs predicted in the engineering sector this year
94% of the engineering employers see the shortage of engineers with the right skills as the main barrier to business growth
79% of Irish adults believe engineering is a rewarding career choice for young people

Related Courses

Higher Certificate in Engineering in  Mechanical Engineering
Higher Certificate in Engineering in  Electronic Engineering
Bachelor of Science in  Architectural Technology
Bachelor of Science in  Architectural & Building Information Modelling Technology
Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) in  Architecture
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Quantity Surveying
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Construction Management & Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Civil Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Manufacturing Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Electrical Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Electronic Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Electrical Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Electronic Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Sustainable Civil Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Sustainable Energy Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Engineering (Common Entry)

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