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talljasperman's avatar

Why does engineering require such high entrance marks in Canada?

Asked by talljasperman (21858points) May 10th, 2015

I see averages higher than 80%. Why is engineering in such high demand? If so than why?

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15 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Well when you drive the 200 ton locomotive onto the railroad bridge, or the 75000 pound 18 wheeler across the river you hope the engineer wasn’t stoned out of his gourd when he drew up the design.

zenvelo's avatar

80% is not that high, considering under 70% is failing. An 80% is a B-.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Look around you right now. Go ahead.. Do it!. I’ll wait…
Virtually everything you see was either designed by an engineer or built on machines designed by engineers. If it was manufactured, every feature on that object was specified. Why? So you can have a product that works and does what you want, and does it at an affordable price.
Anyone can design a part. If you want it to work a long time and be reasonably priced you want the best engineers working on your projects.
If you don’t pay them a good salary they will end up working for your competitors and soon your company will be looking for work.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When you think about it everything is engineering. Your housing, your environment.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m nt an expert on the particulars of the Canadian engineering education system, but I assume the reason is the same for engineering programs in Canada as it would be for law, MBA, or MD programs in the US. It’s a supply/demand issue. There is a large demand for these degrees and a fairly limited supply (in terms of the number of “slots” available for each program). This causes the application process to be highly competitive.

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stanleybmanly's avatar

High marks are required because precision is mandatory. Engineering is one of those disciplines like medicine, where the consequences of ineptitude are so severe that standards must be high and rigorously maintained.

RedKnight's avatar

I have to emphasize what @stanleybmanly and @LuckyGuy said. Almost every field involves engineering in some form or fashion, and they have to do their job in excellence or there would be dire repercussions. Especially as everything moves forward and incorporates technology, the demand for engineers is increasing. Look what you used just to post your question. I’m sure fluther has software engineers that help run the website. The computer, tablet, or smartphone you use were all designed by engineers. In many cases, multiple types of engineers are involved in a single product. When a building is designed, expertise is needed from civil, electrical, etc. Engineering is everywhere and as technology becomes more and more integrated into everyone’s daily lives, the demand for engineering will continue to rise.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@RedKnight mentioned your computer. Engineers designed the keys, another engineer designed and specified the white paint that labels each key! Sounds like an overly specific job but if the letters came off in a week you would be very disappointed.
Seriously, look around your room and study each object. You will be surprised.

talljasperman's avatar

@LuckyGuy One would think that something in such high demand would lower the marks to get into a program. So as to have more students inventing.

Adagio's avatar

I suspect this article re the collapse of the CTV building in the Christchurch (NZ) earthquake might just have something to do with it:


All that remained of the CTV Building was the north wall and its lift shaft and stairwell complex, which loomed as a scarred and snarling tower over the carnage.

Of the 185 people killed in the February 22 earthquake, two-thirds – 115 people – perished in this one relatively modern building that had been designed only 25 years earlier by the firm of Alan Reay, one of the country’s most prominent structural engineers.

A small number of people emerged miraculously alive from the collapse. The bodies of four people were so damaged they were never recovered. Two 19-year-old Japanese students subsequently had legs amputated. Those who died were from China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Turkey and Christchurch. Seventy-one of the dead were students from Kings Education and nine were staff from the school.

No other building failed so catastrophically that day – not even the PGC Building, in which 18 people died; not the hundreds of unreinforced masonry buildings long known to be a serious earthquake risk; not even the red-stickered building in Gloucester St from which The Clinic had been forced to relocate.

The CTV Building had pancaked in a manner that left the occupants with little or no chance of survival.

(Quote from this article )

talljasperman's avatar

@Adagio the Fukashima reactor was built by Japanese engineers $hit happens. A slightly higher grade in math class wouldn’t change a thing.

Adagio's avatar

@talljasperman Of course entrance marks are only the start but because safety is involved I think the bar needs to be set high to start with. And yes, shit does happen, it happens every day, and your point being……?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@talljasperman There is a big demand for competent engineers. In our job we use math and science every day. If a student is not strong in both subjects, plus many others, they will not likely not be competent , creative engineers.

Universities use grades as a filter to select candidates that have a chance of success in the field. Grades might not be a perfect predictor but they are the best data the school, and the student, have.

Anyone can invent something. There is no engineering requirement to submit a patent. But if you want it to work, you need engineers. They can tell you if it is possible. They will make the prototypes They will make the samples. they will make the machines needed for production. They will do the packaging. Heck, they will even make the equipment that makes the paper and ink, so you can print out the patent.

zenvelo's avatar

A great example of lousy engineering on a large scale is the new Eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It cost close to 5 Billion dollars, and now is being re-evaluated after less than 20 months service because it may not stand an earthquake it was supposed to survive. Plus, there is salt water intrusion affecting the integrity of structural steel.

After years of construction and traffic rerouting and all kinds of design reviews, the whole thing might have to be replaced.

That’s what one gets with C average engineering.

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