How many years of study does it take to become an engineer?

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How many years of study are required to become an engineer?

Overall, the engineering degree is obtained after a total of 5 years of study. Becoming an engineer requires a long course of study and a high level of qualifications. However, the duration of the training depends on various criteria and can vary according to the profile. The first two years represent a preparatory cycle and focus on harmonizing knowledge at the general level. The following years are focused on orientation and specialization in a field of expertise within an engineering school.

Is it possible to enter an engineering school after the baccalaureate?

It is possible to enter an engineering school directly after the baccalauréat. Engineering students who have made this choice represent 25% of the applicants.

In order to follow this orientation, the candidate’s validity study is carried out from the first to the last year of high school, in addition to the final exams based on the programs of the scientific last year. The post-baccalaureate curriculum can take several forms depending on the profile:

  • The post-baccalaureate course of study can begin with two years of “integrated prep school” classes in the original high school. Similar to a standard preparatory course, the method combines theoretical teaching, with a reduced number of lectures, with practical work to consolidate the student’s knowledge. A professionally oriented pedagogy that emphasizes teamwork and concrete projects. Distribution to the top schools will be based on individual rankings and results throughout the year.
  • The classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles prepare students in 2 years for a wide choice of specialized schools. They offer several courses of study to choose from, depending on your preferences and wishes. Among them, we can cite as an example:
    -Physics and engineering science
    -Mathematics and physics
    -Biology, chemistry and earth science
    -Technology and biology

Is it possible to transfer to an engineering school during graduate school?

It is possible, in the middle of a course, to change one’s mind and review one’s orientation. Unconvincing subjects for the student, failed exams… Some students can change their desires and make a turn towards other fields, like an engineering school for example. In this specific case, a gateway system exists.

This is not a minority case. For example, 85 percent of students are not admitted after the first year of PACES (health studies). Faced with the difficulty of the curriculum, many candidates try to find a new direction, more in line with their skills.

With the worst results, the change can be made as early as the end of the first semester. Thus, a second chance is possible although subject to selection.

The results of the baccalaureate as well as the grades obtained in higher education will be taken into account in the evaluation of the student, accompanied by a preliminary oral interview.

Some schools offer accelerated refresher courses starting in March to prepare for the start of the school year in September. As such, ECE is the first school to offer the Prepac, a specialization training to integrate a post-baccalaureate engineering cycle. It is offered to outside majors, such as medical school. Their place is guaranteed in school after a successful passage via the passerelles.

What are the advantages of being an engineer?

Choosing engineering studies has many advantages.

  • First of all, the engineering sector covers a particularly wide range of sectors of activity. The offer is multiple and contains many types of profiles. In addition, it is possible to move from one field to another and combine complementary skills in several sectors. The engineering professions can be practiced in many fields:
    – Nuclear power
    – Cybersecurity
    – Environment
    – Geology
    – Defense
    – Aeronautics
    – Biotechnologies…
  • The great versatility of the engineering profession is therefore a real asset on the job market
    The high skills of an engineer generally ensure a comfortable salary. Of course, income is relative to the level of experience, schools attended, and level of education. At the beginning of a career, the average salary is around 35,000 euros gross. The possibilities of evolution are very important, both in the function exercised and in the sectors of competence. At the end of the journey, on average, revenues can double or triple.

What are the disadvantages of being an engineer?

Even if it is true that the engineering profession can make people dream because of the variety of jobs it offers, as well as its very attractive salary, it is a demanding field that can have its drawbacks.

  • High responsibilities imply a very high level of education. Five years of particularly demanding and rigorous learning. The pressure of continuing education, final exams, and internships throughout a student’s curriculum is a long and intense journey. As they train the engineers of tomorrow, the grandes écoles require a very high level of competence on an ongoing basis. This selective sorting can represent a significant mental burden for students.
  • In addition to a certain amount of hardship during the studies, the cost of the training is an element to be taken into account. Becoming an engineer is not, at first glance, accessible to everyone despite the possibilities of financial aid. In public schools, tuition fees can be around 600 to 800 euros per year. Private schools, on the other hand, can triple that number. This has a strong impact on the social mix and maintains an imbalance in terms of the chances of certain social classes to enter the engineering profession.

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Updated 2 January 2024