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Engineering: Apprenticeship route or college route

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  • #2


    Hontou wrote: »
    Turbulent Bill, do you think the changes to corporation tax could mean being pigeon holed into a type of automation engineering, could be foolish? Will there be jobs in this area if the big pharma companies leave? Presumably not. If they leave because of tax changes.... that decision surely will be a few years into the future and she will at least get her degree with the apprenticeship so could travel for work. I see the wisdom now in doing a more general degree in engineering.

    I'd still expect there to be jobs in automation (pharma-related or otherwise), but fewer of them if/when corporation tax increases. Ireland doesn't have the indigenous manufacturing base of the bigger European countries, so the work will always be less certain. I don't think it's a factor though for the apprenticeship, will take a long time to play out.

    Wildly Boaring makes a great point, you have to be really adaptable as an engineer. A general degree is one way of broadening horizons, but it's really about a learning mindset (pardon the buzzwords!). For example, what do I need to learn for the next job, and what skills can I use if the current job goes? No 18 year old is going to know this, but they should be clear that they won't be doing the same job from apprenticeship to retirement (even if they wanted to), so they need to plan for it.


  • #2


    I have to agree with this need for adaptability - as someone who did civil engineering to begin with and is now essentially grappling with mechanical engineering, finance and project management. I had to change industries several times due to the recession. Just make sure she is aware (and you are aware) that while these apprenticeships are great opportunities, what skills or qualifications will she get from them that she can possibly bring to other jobs in the future, or carry on with if she decides to leave these companies. She may end up returning to college to do a degree down the line. The one thing about engineering is that you are taught to always look for new ways, be open to ideas and suggestions and ways of changing how things are done. You have to be adaptable as an engineer.



    Many engineering courses include a requirement to do work placements, by the way.


  • #2


    Thanks Shesty. She starts next week. Has made the decision to go for the bigger company. Automation/Robotics. The add-on level 8 is pretty much guaranteed at the end of the apprenticeship, or so she has been told and then it is up to her to go further if she needs to. At this stage, interference from me would make her go in the opposite direction. Seems great though that she is working, earning and getting qualified - and still only 18. Has sorted her own accommodation and car too. I haven't had to put my hand in my pocket. If she doesn't like it, she will be getting a CAO offer in September as an alternative but she is determined to make the apprenticeship work.


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