09 Mar Advice : all the routes to becoming an engineer
Today, there are nearly 140 000 students taking an engineering course and 35 000 graduates every year. So, how do you become an engineer? Altelios technology shall unwrap the 4 routes to enter the engineering profession.
Preparatory science classes
This is the most usual access route to get into the most prestigious schools of engineering. This is a two-to-three-year course in preparatory classes for the main engineering universities leading to a very competitive selection process. The preparatory classes are intense but this option allows you to prepare to compete for places at the most popular schools of engineering.
Several specialisations are open to candidates after their science baccalaureate: mpsi (maths, physics and engineering science), pcsi (physics, chemistry and engineering science), ptsi (physics, technology and engineering science) and bcpst (biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences).
Other preparatory classes for the main scientific universities are open to those with baccalaureates in non-scientific subjects: tb (technology and biology), tpc (technology, physics and chemistry) and tsi (technology and industrial science).
After a preparatory class, studies in schools of engineering last three years and allow you to specialise in a specific topic. About 40% of engineering students choose the preparatory class route.
Post-baccalaureate schools of engineering
Post-baccalaureate schools of engineering form the second, very widespread, route to entering the engineering profession. More than a hundred take post-baccalaureate admissions. Although some train general engineers, others train engineers to be specialised in a specific field.
Within various post-baccalaureate schools of engineering, the training model is quite similar. The first two years consist of preparing in the same way as the preparatory class model. The idea is to acquire a high level of scientific knowledge. The student starts to specialise in the 3rd year of their course.
You normally apply for a place at a school of engineering during the last year of school.
Bts (advanced vocational qualification) and dut (university technical diploma)
The third route by which you can apply to a school of engineering is a bts or dut. There are more than a hundred specialisations, but not all allow you to get into a school of engineering. So, make sure you choose bts and dut qualifications having a link to the scientific world in the industrial or agricultural fields.
This alternative will be suitable for students needing to flesh out their studies while being at the same level as school and college sixth forms. Nevertheless, the main aim of a bts or a dut is to train advanced technicians ready to the join the jobs market. It is reported that only 30% of graduates of a bts and 50% of graduates of a dut pursue their studies at the end of their training.
Fac (management-oriented training)
Finally, the last way of entering a school of engineering is the fac. No matter what specialisation you choose, it is possible to enter the third year of the bachelor’s course or the first year of the master’s course at a school of engineering. Access to this route is competitive.
Some universities provide bachelor’s courses specifically to prepare for this competition. The advantage of taking the fac route is that you avoid the pressure of preparatory classes while acquiring a solid level of scientific knowledge.