The UFV Diploma in Engineering Physics with a specialization in mechatronics is a new program unique to UFV, and has been approved to commence in the fall of 2014. It has been designed from the ground up with students in mind, specifically those students who wish to enter the workforce as soon as possible. The program itself is a response not only to the current labour market, but also a mandate from both the Federal and B.C. governments to address the shortage of workers with a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) background. Upon successful completion of the Diploma, students will have gained employable skills which are currently in demand from many companies worldwide.
Current engineering diploma programs in the province of B.C. allow students to gain valuable skills, but do not provide the strong academic background necessary to adapt to such a rapidly changing technological landscape. This is where the UFV Diploma differs from the others. Most diploma programs consist of two years of post secondary education after high school, but the UFV program length is two years following a first year of math and sciences at an approved university. In this way students are exposed to a much more advanced background in both mathematics and the physical sciences, which not only makes the successful student more attractive to employers, but also provides students with more flexibility in choosing their career path.
Benefits of the Diploma
For those students who find themselves wanting to pursue a more academic route after completing the Diploma, the UFV program allows them to do so. Many other diploma programs are effectively terminal paths, in that they do not easily allow the interested student to apply their time spent to a more advanced degree - in most cases they must start at the beginning or use a bridge program to upgrade. This is not the case for the UFV Diploma. If students wish to pursue an undergraduate degree after completing the diploma program, they can spend an additional year at UFV to graduate with a BSc degree in physics as well. This then allows students to continue on to graduate school to earn MSc or PhD degrees in either physics or engineering.
It also may be the case that students wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering once they have completed the diploma program. They can do this too. Due to the number of advanced academic courses students must take to complete the Diploma, they can transfer into an undergraduate engineering degree program at neighboring institutions (SFU, UBC, UVic). Thus in another 2-4 years following the Diploma, students would have a full undergraduate engineering degree allowing them all the opportunities that such a degree offers.
One important thing to keep in mind for those interested in continuing on the academic path after the Diploma, is that they are employable immediately after completing the Diploma. This means that students not only have the opportunity to enter the workforce, but to earn an above average income doing interesting work. This gives students the ability to work for a few years to earn some good money before going back to complete whatever field of study they are interested in. There are not too many undergraduate degrees that allow students to directly enter the workforce in their chosen field after completion. In most cases advanced graduate degrees are required. Again, the UFV program is extremely flexible.
If this program sounds right for you, then find out more about the program requirements and how to apply.