We’re all familiar with “red flags” or warning signs that are usually missed or ignored in a person, a relationship, or in a certain environment, but what about the green flags or the positive signs, especially when it comes to a decision that will change your life forever?
The green flags of an engineering school aren’t hard to miss, but some of them can be left unnoticed.
Not so Fast… First, the Red Flags
We tend to downplay the severity of certain warning signs, so it’s important to pinpoint them. The earlier the better, especially when picking a school that will impact the course of your academic and professional life. Watch out for:
High faculty turnover
It’s particularly troubling when an engineering school isn’t able to keep good professors, professionals, and researchers. This might be caused by multiple worrying factors such as poor work conditions, or incompetent coordination between departments which will often cause the best talents to leave. This translates later on to classes either taught by overworked/underpaid teachers or recently graduate students rather than full-time professors.
Lack of accreditation
Not to seem pretentious, but accredited schools earned it for a reason and after a lot of effort from the working members. Accreditation provides legitimacy to a degree or programme, and for the most part, a lack of accreditation means that a school does not meet the standards set by its accrediting body. This means less value, and zero attractiveness level to future employees, that is if the school even manages to get market visibility to begin with.
Everyone applicant gets in
High acceptance rates vs low graduation is always a topic of debate. The goal of so many engineering schools out there is to make more money from the most students applying, and this begins by accepting them into the programme without taking into consideration their background or merit. This is not only damaging on an ethical level but also financial level, as many of these students, especially foreign/international students, will take out loans to pay tuition.
Engineering School Green Flags
Offers diverse specialties that interest potential students, attract the job market, and tackles current issues
While researching, ask yourself: does this engineering school offer courses and research opportunities in a particular area that taps into my passion, potential, and skillset? How many of the teachers or professors have specialized and are currently engaged in the field to make them equipped to teach me? Whether you’re interested in financial engineering or aeronautics, you must absolutely ensure that the school department has the resources to cater to your academic and professional goals.
The school connects the dots between innovation and industry
The best engineering schools will add value to your degree by introducing you to various industry leaders which will increase your chance of employability. Top schools organize regular networking events with alumni in the field and recruiters, and offer resources designed to connect ambitious students to the ‘real world’.
In addition, this connection starts early on, with the syllabus itself, which should be theory-based and hands-on at the same time.
How come? Because this will guarantee that whether you pick a career in academia, research, operation, design, or logistics, in any industry and in whichever sub-specialty, the programme should prepare you well to handle any real-work scenario. That is why studying engineering in both practical and theoretical terms will equip you with the transferrable skills and knowledge required for a successful and bright career.
Does it offer student support?
You’ll feel it. For instance at ESiLV, besides the conviviality that reigns on the campus, the associations of the Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci are part of the students’ training. Each student can find through different associations a cultural, humanitarian, or sports activity that enables him/her to express his/her talents, his/her ability of organization, management, and business and acquire a real human and professional experience.
From student associations, international students guides, mentoring, and facility tours, nothing beats a healthy study environment that advocates mental health, reliable technologies, and supportive resources.
After starting with the right engineering school, it’s time to finish on the right path!