Engineering A Levels vs Btec

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  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,293 Forumite
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    Also worth looking at the quality of teaching available to her - how good are the results and reputation from the Btec and A levels, how many students are there on each course?  How well do her teachers anticipate she would do at either of the two options?  Which environment does she think she will enjoy more?
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  • RajaStyle said:
    Hi

    Not sure if this is the right place but... 


    I want to do engineering because maths and physics are my strong points but not sure which type of engineering I would enjoy most at the moment.

    Question is what would be best way forward 3 A levels or a btec in engineering and what would be best option next a good uni for degree or do an apprenticeship.

    Also if Btec engineering does it include enough maths to help with your career or do you need to do more maths later? 

    Thoughts and tips appreciated 

    Good university degree, there are no apprenticeships for engineers as far as I know.
    Having said that, it doesn't matter, if you think employers care about which specific courses you took or didn't take I'm sorry to dissapoint you but they don't. Having a year or a few months' experience in that field will instantly mean more than probably even having a first class degree. Don't make the mistake or assumption that what employers should care about (or, in this case, what you think they should care about, because I would agree, academic accomplishments are very mid or meh, very on-paper) is what they actually will care about.
    Also, most engineering graduates dont end up getting jobs in engineering positions, since, er, there's very few of them. Dyson might only need a few new engineers each year, and there's just not enough roles for all the graduates, even if they do have 2:1s and above. Most engineers end up working as something else.
  • NCC1701-A
    NCC1701-A Posts: 355 Forumite
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    ace4500 said:
    RajaStyle said:
    Hi

    Not sure if this is the right place but... 


    I want to do engineering because maths and physics are my strong points but not sure which type of engineering I would enjoy most at the moment.

    Question is what would be best way forward 3 A levels or a btec in engineering and what would be best option next a good uni for degree or do an apprenticeship.

    Also if Btec engineering does it include enough maths to help with your career or do you need to do more maths later? 

    Thoughts and tips appreciated 

    Good university degree, there are no apprenticeships for engineers as far as I know.
    Having said that, it doesn't matter, if you think employers care about which specific courses you took or didn't take I'm sorry to dissapoint you but they don't. Having a year or a few months' experience in that field will instantly mean more than probably even having a first class degree. Don't make the mistake or assumption that what employers should care about (or, in this case, what you think they should care about, because I would agree, academic accomplishments are very mid or meh, very on-paper) is what they actually will care about.
    Also, most engineering graduates dont end up getting jobs in engineering positions, since, er, there's very few of them. Dyson might only need a few new engineers each year, and there's just not enough roles for all the graduates, even if they do have 2:1s and above. Most engineers end up working as something else.
    perhaps use google before giving advice.  https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices/browse-by-interests/engineering-manufacturing#

    And can you give us a breakdown or link to the stats that show engineers end up working elsewhere?

    In my family there are 2 civil engineers who did sponsored degrees (which would be apprenticeships now) both earning mega bucks in Oz. My daughter chose mechanical engineering and is currently working on aircraft engines. That's because her degree had a common first year covering mechanical, electrical, aeronautical etc, and then they got to choose which area they wanted to specialise in.


  • gt568
    gt568 Posts: 2,493 Forumite
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    That post by ace4500 is largely bollox.

    My (mid to large) company runs engineering apprenticeships, graduate entry schemes, and experienced hire schemes (for ex-armed forces for instance) and is screaming out for all kinds of engineers.
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  • DigSunPap
    DigSunPap Posts: 375 Forumite
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    For sure choose maths and physics. It also depends on what your school offers. My school used to offer further maths at A-Level which was popular amongst those who wanted to be engineers. Other than that check on the university courses online as they should have the requirements.
  • gt568 said:
    That post by ace4500 is largely bollox.

    My (mid to large) company runs engineering apprenticeships, graduate entry schemes, and experienced hire schemes (for ex-armed forces for instance) and is screaming out for all kinds of engineers.
    Agreed. Dyson for example, run all manner of schemes and are very pro-active in our local schools.
    At our school career fair, it's bustling with local corporates and other businesses desperate to catch the bright kids before they default to University life.
  • RajaStyle
    RajaStyle Posts: 353 Forumite
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    edited 18 October 2023 at 8:46PM
    NCC1701-A said:
    In my family there are 2 civil engineers who did sponsored degrees (which would be apprenticeships now) both earning mega bucks in Oz. My daughter chose mechanical engineering and is currently working on aircraft engines. That's because her degree had a common first year covering mechanical, electrical, aeronautical etc, and then they got to choose which area they wanted to specialise in.


    Did your daughter do a degree or degree apprenticeship NCC ?
  • RajaStyle
    RajaStyle Posts: 353 Forumite
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    edited 18 October 2023 at 9:18PM
    Thanks all for all your thoughts, unless I have read this wrong there is a slight split between A Levels and Btec. On checking most of the Unis do indeed want A Level Maths but a few don't

    Hence can I ask the following and see what the majority would go with.

    Out of the below options which would you think would be the best way forward

    1. Three A Levels (Maths, Physics, Plus One More) - Concerned this may not help her decide which path of engineering she will enjoy or would that be ok and then when she does a degree the first year will expose her to all paths and she can choose the specialist path from year 2

    2. Extended National Diploma in Engineering which gives three Pass/Merit/Distinction, equivalent to 3 A Levels

    3. Extended National Diploma which gives three Pass/Merit/Distinction grades plus A Level Maths  equivalent to 4 A Levels (Concerned this might be too heavy for her)

    4. Two A Levels (Maths, Physics) plus Btec Engineering equivalent to 1 A Level  (Concerned this may not go into enough detail to help her decide which engineering path she may enjoy)

    5. One A Levels (Maths) plus Btec Engineering equivalent to 2 A Levels  ( Not as commonly available only few places at some distance)

    6. Sponsored Btec giving the skills required which is designed to go straight to work at age of 18 and maybe do degree later in life

    If option 1 to 5 would you recommend getting a degree next in the path she likes or a degree  apprenteship with a company that supports her with a degree hence getting the hands on experience?

    I have seen colleges / schools that offer all these options hence the ask.  

    Much Appreciated in Advance
  • RajaStyle said:
    NCC1701-A said:
    In my family there are 2 civil engineers who did sponsored degrees (which would be apprenticeships now) both earning mega bucks in Oz. My daughter chose mechanical engineering and is currently working on aircraft engines. That's because her degree had a common first year covering mechanical, electrical, aeronautical etc, and then they got to choose which area they wanted to specialise in.


    Did your daughter do a degree or degree apprenticeship NCC ?
    She ended up doing an integrated masters with a paid placement year, (not an apprenticeship degree), so has a mega student loan to pay off but well on way to chartership & mega bucks.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,014 Forumite
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    I wouldn't worry about what kind of engineer she wants to be at this stage, better to keep options open.
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