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Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

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Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Moshe Waserman CEng on Nov 27, 2019 1:28 am

I saw this on LinkedIn
I think of this great achievement that can inspire engineers.



David Gillespie CEng MIET SMIEEE

Dropped out of school at 15 to join the Army. Got a trade, then a job, then started taking my hashtag#professionaldevelopment seriously and joined the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), started at the beginning. Lived the Engineering Council spec, saw the education and development gaps. Worked up from an open degree with The Open University to my current industrial PhD with University of Strathclyde. Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones. Find a team that will lift you up and the sky is the limit.
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Moshe Waserman BEET, MCGI, CEng MBCS, FEDIPAdvPra, MIET.

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Roy Bowdler on Nov 27, 2019 4:24 pm

Well done David!  It is always pleasing to see someone make a successful career journey over time, in this case supported by professional registration in all three categories. 

However, other types of journeys and choices are possible which may be equally valid.  The intent of each of the three categories of registration was to offer a respected career “destination”, not two “part-qualified” types.

The overwhelming majority of journeys to Chartered Engineer have been “direct” by virtue of gaining an accredited full-time degree, followed by a period of experience. Using this frame of reference, which gives primacy to academic achievement,  the “levels” equated with Eng Tech and IEng are quickly by-passed by full-time students in preparation for their career.  I won’t debate here, whether that is the most optimal approach for those engineers who operate at the more "scientific" or "intellectual" end of the spectrum.  What is clear however, is that from the perspective of that “advantaged” academic pathway, the skills and attributes of Technician, or “Technician Engineer” (an earlier name of IEng), or a “Technologist” (an alternative name for IEng “type” in some countries), may seem “lower” or “inferior”.    

I have posted this before in the context of an earlier thread discussing IEng, but set out below are the thoughts that a distinguished Professor sent to me in 2011, not intending for them to be published in this form.  They have however guided my thinking on the issue.  

I have always thought of the categories of registration as related to different sets of skills each deserving recognition and status. An Incorporated Engineer I would expect to be knowledgeable about specific engineering products or services, processes and machinery and able to explain things about them to people within his or her engineering organisation; I would expect them to be “streetwise” and able to supervise others confidently. An engineering or ICT technician I would expect to be a proficient user of particular tools, have patience and be thoroughly knowledgeable about the operation of a particular process or machine. A Chartered Engineer should have to be able at justifying engineering decisions to anyone especially themselves, be prepared to deliberate and research, set out an argument and work confidently in unfamiliar situations.

Because the skills required are different, anyone in one category does not automatically have the skills for another. Thus movement in any direction requires the honing of unrehearsed skills or their acquisition. Progress for an individual can be in any direction! It means Incorporated Engineers are not apprentice Chartered Engineers and to see them as such is to remove an important distinction. Nevertheless we should recognise that a competent Incorporated Engineer can through education and experience gain the skills of a Chartered Engineer so being an Incorporated Engineer is not a disqualification for later registration as a Chartered Engineer. Similarly being a Chartered Engineer is not a disqualification for becoming, with appropriate skill development, an Engineering technician.

It is the case that intellectual skills of deliberation and argumentation of a Chartered Engineer demand a longer time than the intellectual skills of an Engineering technician, however the technician has to develop “know how” for which an academic setting is not necessarily appropriate. And it is the case that there are some commonalities in the intellectual skill development of all categories but at some point they each go in a different direction to develop different portfolios.

We should be careful of the metaphors we use: words like “level” imply a hierarchy, “grade (as in “registration grade” ) implies a scale, “class” (at least for the English) implies a hierarchy, “progress” and “progressive” imply a forward movement and hence going the other way is backward!


Many careers still follow a very “traditional” hierarchical model with its origins in the military rank system. Academic qualifications also have a hierarchy, although for bachelors and masters its simply based on one step per year of study. However, I have seen many examples of young people pushed down the full-time student pathway for lack of a technician apprenticeship option, or influenced by social status/snobbery based arguments. We also need to recognise that for many people with engineering and technology knowledge and skills, careers and the nature of work is changing.          

 

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Rhino60 on Nov 28, 2019 8:27 am

Very interesting Moshe/Roy.
I am 59 (just!) and after consulting with a PRA, I am aiming to apply for I Eng in about a year. The job I am now doing is only the second one that is 'off tools' having started as a sixteen year old apprentice. No degree, C&G FTC highest qual.
My attitude is you never know!
As Churchill put it 'keep on buggering on'

Regards
Colin  

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Roy Bowdler on Nov 28, 2019 2:05 pm

Colin,

I won’t pursue Churchill’s naval connections 😉, but in the mid 1970s, most 16 year olds, left school and went to work.  In Comprehensive Schools with a Secondary Modern heritage , rates of “staying on” for A levels and subsequently going on to university were very low. In fact prior to 1972 the “normal” school leaving age was 15.  The situation was somewhat different in more affluent areas where a higher proportion of parents had “middle-class aspirations” and for Grammar Schools with selective entry via the 11+ exam.

Technical Apprenticeships were widely available in most areas of the country. Some were entirely craft (ie “on the tools”) focussed , others intentionally sought those with good O Levels (now GCSEs) for training as more technically advanced “technicians”, engineers and often ultimately managers.  City and Guilds “T” (Technician) courses were highly respected and a Full Technological Certificate was the pinnacle of those.  It was considered broadly comparable with a Higher National Certificate. A qualification that had at an earlier time been “acceptable” for Chartered Engineer, but by then was the expectation for Tech Eng (later IEng). However, TEC (later BTEC) started to replace the “T” courses and HNCs which had been awarded by a number of different organisations, including some professional institutions from the late 1970s.  

Within this group of former apprentices from the 70s and 80s, now in late career are many who found pathways to senior technical and managerial leadership.  For some in that group, part of that pathway involved some additional academic achievement, but there are some seriously high achieving people, with no qualification beyond a Full Technological Certificate or similar.

I’m sorry for that excursion, for the benefit of other readers and to anyone who doesn’t think that its relevant. Some may even disagree with my narrative (feel free!) or wish to share their perspective.

In its current form IEng as offered by the IET based on UK-SPEC, IEng is competence based.  So irrespective of formal or academic qualifications, a member of the IET needs to demonstrate proven practice as a “managing engineer”. This means that someone who has only worked  “on the tools” is likely to have some important “gaps” , most typically around the types of technical contribution they have been able to make or responsibility that they have exercised or the extent that they have been able to contribute to management.  The IET does take into account work-based learning, where academic qualifications aren’t ideal, but you still have to illustrate knowledge and understanding however you acquired it.  Qualifications can make this easier to assess and your C&G FTC, might have been recognised at the time you gained it by an institution, in effect “ticking a box”.                         

If using IEng as development target or template works well for you, which it sounds like it might, then good luck. My point and that of the professor who I quoted, is that some assumptions made by the professional engineering community, come from a particular perspective , which tends to focus on relative status and value “academic” achievement more highly than “vocational” (or practical). I won’t debate the reasons for that here, although they are fairly obvious.  However, what is important to me is that you as a vastly experienced Technician (I assume) are respected for what you have achieved, not what you haven’t. Many of those who gained Full Technological Certificates, would be at least the equal of many of today’s university graduates, but the pathways readily available to the different generations have changed.         

 

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Peter Miller on Nov 29, 2019 3:40 pm

Simple Calculus was covered in the Maths as well, although I never used it!
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Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Philip Oakley on Dec 2, 2019 10:48 pm

Well done Moshe,

Great to hear of such success and hope to see you any suitable the local network events (assuming your based near Strathclyde..)

Philip Oakley.

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Philip Oakley on Dec 2, 2019 10:53 pm

Rhino60:
Very interesting Moshe/Roy.
I am 59 (just!) and after consulting with a PRA, I am aiming to apply for I Eng in about a year. The job I am now doing is only the second one that is 'off tools' having started as a sixteen year old apprentice. No degree, C&G FTC highest qual.
My attitude is you never know!
As Churchill put it 'keep on buggering on'

Regards
Colin  

Definitely keep at it.

Just helped a chap who was well into his 70's get his CEng.

His career exceeded the word count limit by a wide margin!

Re: Everyone's journey is different, small goals make up the larger ones!

Posted by Moshe Waserman CEng on Dec 3, 2019 1:01 am

Philip Oakley:
Well done Moshe,

Great to hear of such success and hope to see you any suitable the local network events (assuming your based near Strathclyde..)

Philip Oakley.

Philip thanks,

While I also earned my way starting as a Technician and earning IEng registration and CEng registration but in this case, the congratulations are to David Gillespie.
I posted his achievement and story.

I thought it will be encouraging and inspiring.

 
Moshe Waserman BEET, MCGI, CEng MBCS, FEDIPAdvPra, MIET.

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