The thousand and one lives of the French engineer


Managers, builders, fighters, traders, destroyers, start-ups … "Ingested" are everywhere! Even where we do not expect. Demand far exceeds the supply of engineering schools.

France lacks engineers. It is however, par excellence, the job that offers work – whatever the chosen path (preparation, post-diploma, apprenticeship …).

By 2032, with the withdrawal of baby boomers and the numerous economic, ecological and technological changes taking place, at least 40,000 students should graduate in the year instead of 33,000 today. "The world is already devoid of engineers to nurture and care for people around the world, ensure access to clean water, build sustainable cities …", warned François Cansell, then president of the Conference of Directors of French engineering schools during the presidential election campaign, in February 2017.

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Engineering schools warn about the lack of graduates

The young graduates do not know the crisis, who gets a permanent contract just out of school – and sometimes even earlier! It is still necessary to convince students and high school students to choose these sometimes boring on paper channels. Engineering schools are committed to negotiating the shift of new trends. Avoid being limited to their specialty. Multiply hybrid paths.

A unique profession combined with the plural

What is the real or perceived impact of these initiatives? This is the World Campus Supplements menu published this week for the Salon des Grandes Ecoles. Explore the thousand facets of this singular profession that is conjugated to the plural, the thousand and one life of the engineer. Manager, builder, traveler, fighter, dealer, disrupteur, start-up … The "ingested" are everywhere! Even where we do not necessarily expect.

The world of health offers jobs with high added value, if not superior to traditional sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, robotics, chemistry, metallurgy … In CentraleSupélec, a quarter teacher-researchers work in connection with biotechnology. The industry of the future is looking for its male orchestras to drive factories, design them, build them – sometimes destroy them, as in the nuclear industry. The "quants", these mathematicians trained at the Polytechnique responsible for all the evils of the 2008 financial crisis, open new horizons in big data, artificial intelligence … Others prefer "Choose science on money"as this student of ESPCI, the high school of physics and industrial chemistry, six Nobel Prize winners.

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Industry: the permanent revolution

And then democratization is underway, to try to fill the lack of candidates and the appetite of young people for these jobs. Today, 20% of people admitted to engineering schools own a DUT or a BTS. Beyond their specialties (metallurgy, automobile, informatics …), institutions highlight the undeniable specificity of engineering training: learning to learn.


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