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Best path to Electrical Engineering Qualification?

Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1
#1
The education system is very confusing! There are N levels, NQF levels, S levels, certificates/diplomas & degrees all with levels of their own! What is the best route to this career, and what would be the most internationally acceptable form of this qualification? If anyone knows their stuff in this field, I would appreciate some guidance. TIA!
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
71,797
#2
Go to a decent university and do their Electrical Engineering degree if you goal is international acceptability.
 

brakpanpolisie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
300
#3
Contact the Engineering Council of Sa (ECSA), they will be able to guide in you in which course should have local / international accrediation.
 

newby_investor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
364
#4
Agreed. A university. Tuks, UCT, Stellenbosch, Wits or UJ if you must. Maybe UKZN.

The other ones you mentioned are called Electrical Engineering but won't qualify you to be an engineer in the internationally accepted sense, you'd be a technician or a technologist at best. If this is what you want it's an excellent career path, but likely you'd have a bit of a hard time with international recognition.
 

Sweevo

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
27,053
#5
Don't assume the best path is the path of least resistance, despite what they teach at school these days.
 

krycor

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
13,181
#6
University.. look for one with good recognition like UCT, SUN, Wits etc. careful with ones which say u need a 1yr BSc(Hons) Eng additional degree separately before Master’s.. as those are lesser I think Potch has this.. ie they want u to do it as their undergrad degree has lesser credit (SAQA)

If you do not get in for university admission, do one year tech and show u capable (>75% avg) or post qualification go back for a degree conversion at one of the above universities (2-3yrs, u basically do year 3 & 4 but I recommend doing it over 3yrs due to difference from university to tech or even joining at a 2nd year level is better).

A lot of people will push BTech but you need to get the BSc Eng to have the same opportunities internationally. Also BTech + MSc eng is not the same as BSc + MSc which u will see in the Engineering council registration.
 
Last edited:

newby_investor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
364
#7
University.. look for one with good recognition like UCT, SUN, Wits etc. careful with ones which say u need a 1yr BSc(Hons) Eng additional degree separately before Master’s.. as those are lesser I think Potch has this.. ie they want u to do it as their undergrad degree has lesser credit (SAQA).
I don't know about Potch, but UP has a BEng (Hons) option, not because their undergraduate course needs bulking up, but because the MEng is only 1 year. Most Masters courses have 2 years to them, a year of coursework and a year of research work. Tuks breaks it up because a lot of people choke at the research work, but then they at least have a certificate to show for completing the courses. Sure, internationally doesn't mean a great deal over and above the BEng, but it's useful to have in the local market.

A lot of people will push BTech but you need to get the BSc Eng to have the same opportunities internationally.
BTech is a perfectly fine career path to follow, if that's what you prefer. The former technikons (now Universities of Technology - DUT, CPUT, TUT, etc.) are ideal for those who prefer more hands-on and practical compared with abstract and theoretical. People with university degrees for some reason seem to look down on those with BTech degrees, but there's no reason to do so other than snobbery. The country (and the world in fact) needs technicians and technologists in addition to engineers. HOWEVER I'm not sure how these qualifications are recognised or what they compare to internationally.

It's worth noting that Tuks calls theirs BEng, Stellenbosch might as well, as opposed to BSc Eng, like UCT does, but it's the same thing. Not sure what the other universities do.

Also BTech + MSc eng is not the same as BSc + MSc which u will see in the Engineering council registration.
Correct, not the same, but as I noted, a perfectly valid path if the person prefers to take that route.

Also worth noting that, if your goal is going overseas, it may be worth considering going as far as Masters' level. In some countries (Germany for example), engineers graduate with the equivalent of an M-level qualification, though this isn't universally true (US and UK for example have plain ol' Bachelor's degrees for engineers, while Ms are certainly available). However that's a 6-year minimum commitment, and if you're thinking of going into the field, worry about the undergraduate part first. The M can be decided on during your 4th year. It's useful but not critical.
 

garyc

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,456
#8
Decide on the type of job you want to do, including where you want to be in 10 years time. Then see what qualification is needed for this.
 

krycor

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
13,181
#9
The BSc (eng) is different from BEng due to accreditation and course structures.

The reason I mention that not all eng degrees are honours degrees is that it makes a difference when applying to universities for Masters programs. Not knowing this means albeit you spend 4 yrs doing the course you effectively given a 3yr qualification which would piss me off greatly. That and you will need to do a honours year which is not exactly free either.

It also impacts other studies eg some MBA programs are now requiring honours level accreditation to qualify for the MBA program. Imagine the annoyance 5-8yrs down the line.. (I think 7+? With some u can get around it but speaking to MBA program people they kinda want to push for honours minimum).
 

krycor

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
13,181
#10
At the end of the day, most people don’t work as engineers unless you have a bursary or do technologist courses (which has its own limits). Sucks but that’s the way industry is built ie cheaper labor/skills are used more abundantly and the degreed people need to make companies or find a way in at a higher level.

I dunno.. I enjoyed my tech experience which made me more capable than most but having a university degree has/continues to open more doors I’d say longer term.
 
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