SAIT engineering technology grads high in demand by employers despite COVID-19 impacts
25, Apr, 2022
EDMONTON, April 25, 2022 – In challenging times when there are few certainties in life, the results of a SAIT survey are significant in their confirmation that finding gainful employment following completion of one of its engineering technology programs is something on which graduates can rely.
According to SAIT’s 2019 graduate employment survey conducted in 2020, an average of 85 per cent of graduates in its 14 engineering technology programs had landed employment in their field within six to nine months of graduation. Among the five programs with the highest rate of post-graduation employment was petroleum engineering technology at 88 per cent.
“These survey results represent a win-win for SAIT and engineering technology students,” said Barry Cavanaugh, CEO of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). “Terrific job prospects will encourage Albertans - who are contemplating post-secondary education or even a midlife career change - to explore careers in one of engineering technology’s many exciting disciplines. This, in turn, will address any enrolment challenges caused by the pandemic.”
Since the emergence of COVID-19, enrolment rates for engineering technology programs at SAIT and other polytechnics/technical colleges in the province have declined mildly. In 2019, SAIT engineering technology programs had an average fill rate of 93 per cent. After the pandemic started in 2020, that fill rate decreased to 85 per cent. It inched up to 86 percent in fall 2021. Fall 2022 enrolments are on track to equal or exceed those for 2021.
Prior to the pandemic, SAIT’s petroleum engineering technology program had already seen slightly declining enrolments as a direct reflection of the downturn in the oil and gas industry since 2015. However, recent news reports that Canada is boosting its oil and gas exports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to have an impact on the industry and Alberta as a whole.
“All of the engineering technology programs at SAIT present a sure path to rewarding, interesting and well-remunerated careers,” said Reva Bond Ramsden, SAIT dean, school of construction division.
Ryan Capri, a SAIT petroleum engineering technology graduate and ASET member, says that opting to enrol in that program was the single best decision he ever made.
“Having begun the petroleum engineering technology program in 2015 when I had no family or friends in the oil and gas industry and no network to speak of, I have only good things to say about how SAIT helped prepare me for my first role as a quality control specialist with an oilfield services company - a job I had lined up prior to graduation,” said Capri.
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 16,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.
About ASET members
Nothing works in Alberta without ASET members; they are the behind-the-scenes, hard-working people who keep this province safe. ASET members represent a wide range of sectors, including civil engineering and construction, avionics, biomedical, chemical, computers, electrical, environmental, geological, instrumentation, oil and gas, and telecommunications. From the moment Albertans wake up in the morning and turn on a light switch or shower until the end of the day, they rely on the work of these professionals.
Technicians install cable and phone, monitor traffic, work in labs, and serve as process workers in refineries and manufacturing. Technologists design plans with engineers, create commercial buildings and return well sites properly to nature. They ensure fast-acting telephone networks, smart bus connections, proper water pressure at home, perfectly clean water to drink, reliable natural gas service and electrical power, smooth roads for driving, and responsible oil and gas exploration/production/processing and distribution.
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET