Engineering school guide: definition, program, registration

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What is an engineering school?

An engineering school is a graduate school that trains students for the engineering profession. Most of the subjects taught are scientific and technological. With more than 200 establishments in France, this program has a strong potential of attractiveness.

Most of the schools are “generalist” because the education provided is multidisciplinary. Thus, the holders of such a diploma are considered versatile, as their fields of competence and their adaptability to various work environments are multiple.

Specialized schools, on the other hand, aim to deepen knowledge in a chosen and more targeted field. In both cases, the engineering degree represents a real quality of expertise in a sector of activity linked to innovation and progress. Thus, depending on the school, there are different types of engineering:

  • Civil engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Aeronautics
  • Chemical engineering …

Why go to an engineering school?

Joining an engineering school represents an incredible window of opportunity for a student who wants to work in areas of innovation, development and progress. Thus, the advantages are numerous and make engineering one of the most attractive fields in the world:

  • Taking place over a period of three to five years, depending on the time of admission (directly after the baccalaureate or in Bac+2), the training combines theoretical teaching and professional immersion. Thus, in addition to the courses provided allowing a technical, scientific and managerial learning of high level, the student is initiated to professionalizing activities, through work groups and internships in companies. 20 percent of the courses are taught by industry professionals. Thus, this training ensures an assured employability at the end of the course as the preparation is complete. In addition, the unemployment rate is twice as low as all other sectors.
  • Engineering professions are closely linked to globalization and international trade. In addition to the learning of foreign languages, the diversity of the interventions of professionals from partner schools gives engineering studies an incredible opening to the world. Most schools offer an expatriation ranging from 3 months to 1 year, in the form of an internship or a study period. In other cases, the possibility of doing a double degree allows the student to obtain a degree in his or her home school and to deepen his or her skills in a foreign partner school. Thus, engineering school is an effective way to prepare for an international career.
  • The average salary of a graduate engineer is 35200 euros gross. Compared to other sectors, the remuneration is very enviable, right from the beginning of the professionalization. Of course, this salary varies according to the size of the company, its region, the sector of activity and even the origin of its school. However, after the end of the program, the engineering profession provides a very good salary base, which can evolve over the course of a career.

What is the curriculum of an engineering school in Paris?

The aim of engineering schools is to prepare future professionals to develop great versatility and adaptability to the world of innovation. It is a mainly scientific program that delivers a Bac+3 or Master degree in five years.

  1. The first year of an engineering cycle begins with a semester of harmonization of knowledge. It is in a way the equivalent of a refresher course for beginners. The program is tailored to the students’ initial orientations. As for the candidates from the preparatory programs, they will already be oriented towards a professional program by doing a semester abroad.
  2. In the second semester, it is possible to study abroad, in partnership with partner schools, in order to reinforce language skills and deepen one’s knowledge of the international field through contact with professionals in the sector.
  3. The third semester integrates the specialization of their orientation. As an example, here is what the ECE school offers:
  • So-called “major” disciplines:
  • New energies and environments
  • Embedded systems, aeronautics and robotics
  • Information systems and defensive cybersecurity
  • Big data and Analytics
  • Finance and quantitative engineering…

  • “minors”:
  • research and development
  • entrepreneurship
  • commercial negotiation
  • jobs in digital creation…
  • and finally, in-depth options:
  • hybrid and digital vehicles
  • interactive design
  • commercial negotiation…

Of course, this engineering program is also available through an apprenticeship program.

What are the career opportunities at an engineering school in Île-de-France?

As engineering profiles are highly prized, it is estimated that about 95% of graduates find a job at the end of their studies, in France or abroad. Recruiters are particularly favourable to students with an engineering background, as their skills are so varied and their ability to evolve interesting. Thus, many areas of profession are covered, as much in the field of primary, secondary and tertiary:

  • Automotive
  • Transportation
  • Banks
  • Insurance
  • Chemistry
  • Environment
  • Geology
  • Large-scale distribution
  • Pharmacy
  • Biotechnologies…

What is the cost of an engineering school in Paris?

The diversity of schools and training courses leads to a large difference in prices depending on the institution, whether it is public or private. However, we note that the most expensive schools are mostly located in the Ile de France, in or around Paris. Focusing more specifically on the capital, we find rates higher than the national average. Here is a list of Parisian establishments:

  • Ecole des mines Paris Tech – 3500 euros per year
  • Télécom Paris Tech – 2650 euros per year
  • ENSTA Paris Tech – 2650 euros per year
  • Agro Paris Tech – 1765 euros per year
  • ESPCI – 700 euros per year
  • Arts et métiers Paris -608 euros

How to get into an engineering school in France?

In France, admission to an engineering school can be done in several ways:

  • After the baccalaureate (25% of applicants). On presentation of a file including his results, his assessments and a letter of motivation. The selection is then made through competition groups organizing a common selection. Among the most famous are :
    • AvenirBAc
    • Alpha Power
    • Advance
    • France Agro3
  • After an integrated preparatory class (34% of applicants). During 2 years, the student benefits from a refresher course on fundamental subjects (mathematics, computer science, chemistry…), before starting 3 years of studies in school (then a specialization in the last year). Courses in modern languages and communication as well as a one-month internship will be organized to consolidate the student’s knowledge base.
  • After a baccalaureate +2 (19% of applicants), through parallel admissions, the schools recruit students who have already completed a first course of study. The first cycle of engineering is accessible after a BTS, DUT, L2 or L3. The second is reserved for students who have completed a Master’s degree.

How to prepare for the engineering school exam?

There are many ways to prepare for an engineering school and to prepare your professional project:

  • The most common method (and the most effective in terms of results) is the scientific preparatory class (CPGE). Directly after the baccalaureate, it is a refresher course in specific disciplines and takes two years to complete. There are a good number of scientific preparatory courses:
  • MPSI – Mathematics, physics and engineering sciences
  • PCSI – Physics, chemistry and engineering science
  • BCPST – Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

  • Other pre-preparatory courses are more technology-oriented and are reserved for students coming from this field. Examples of these pre-preparednesses are :
  • TB – Technology and Biology
  • TPC – Technology, Physics and Chemistry
  • TSI – Technology and Industrial Sciences

  • The integrated preparatory program is also a solution, but it is carried out directly in specialized schools. The orientation is more precise and the teaching methods more practical.
  • The students of BTS and DUT have as for them the prepas ATS (Adaptation technicien Supérieur) which is proposed to them. A year during which a technological refresher course is offered before entering directly into the 3rd year of engineering school.

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Updated 2 January 2024