Engineering graduates starting their careers look set to pick up higher salaries following the introduction of across the board four-year courses for chartered engineers.
The new format for engineering degrees will lead to a dramatic drop in the number of students reading for degrees that lead to Chartered rather than Incorporated status.
Currently, 17,000 school leavers embark on CEng courses, while only 2,600 start IEng courses.
This spread is expected to shift dramatically in favour of IEng courses as the new Standards and Routes to Registration (Sartor) admission rules enforce stricter entry requirements for CEng courses from 1999.
Alan Rudge, chairman of the Engineering Council, predicts the smaller number of newly qualified Chartered engineers will have a beneficial effect on pay.
`They’ll be better paid because they are getting in short supply,’ said Rudge on publication of the Sartor document last week.
`Competition for good engineers is sharpening, and the market must pay for what it wants. Salaries will respond to that,’ he said.
Fears that the new IEng courses will be seen as `second best’ and undersubscribed are to be tackled with a marketing campaign, aiming to sell the different kinds of engineering courses to school leavers.
`The message we want to sell is that there are good career prospects from the IEng route with a way into middle management,’ said David Nicoll, manager of qualifications at the Institution of Electronics and Electrical Incorporated Engineers.
* Details of the target grades required to get on to engineering courses were released last week.
A rising proportion (80% by 2002) of students will have to satisfy the following entry requirements: For the three-year IEng degree courses, 10 Ucas points (equivalent to CD or DDE at A-level). For the three-year BEng course (requiring a one-year industrial or research placement for CEng accreditation) 18 points (eg CCC or BCD grades). For the four-year MEng course, 24 points (BBB).