Growing New Brunswick’s engineering technology workforce

Canada’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sector is expanding faster than its workforce, and that means opportunity for those who choose a career in one of the many related industries. At NBCC, the School of Engineering Technologies provides a number of post-secondary pathways to exciting careers in this ever-changing field.

“Through workplace entry, exit, re-entry, and continuing education, tech is changing and so is the way we train the workforce,” said Jodi Stringer-Webb, dean of Engineering Technologies. “It’s all about pathways. I describe it as ‘Choose Your Own Adventure.’ Wherever you are, we can provide the training you need.”

In addition to traditional two-year programs in building, electrical, chemical, and civil engineering, NBCC now also offers two post-graduate certificate programs that build upon the training engineers have obtained through a two-year diploma or four-year degree, at any point in their careers. Applied Manufacturing Methods gives students the skills to take their ideas beyond plans to production, while Applied Energy Management provides training in commercial building energy auditing and efficiency.

“These are very specific skillsets to supplement the education they already have to elevate them in their positions, without having to commit to a two-year program,” said Stringer-Webb.

With NBCC’s engineering program enrolment split approximately 50/50 domestic/international, Stringer-Webb sees domestic enrolment as a growth opportunity for NBCC. To encourage more domestic students to consider a career in engineering, NBCC fosters partnerships with industry and community to spread the word about the opportunities available in STEM.

One of these partnerships is with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development through its Centre of Excellence for Energy, which exposes middle and high school students in New Brunswick to the possibilities of STEM with experiential learning. Earlier this year, more than 300 middle school students visited the chemistry lab at NBCC for a tour and live demonstrations.

“The Centre of Excellence is a direct pathway to middle and high school students, so they can know and understand the opportunities that exist in New Brunswick,” said Stringer-Webb. “My hope is that we can drive interest in energy for the domestic demographic.”

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