Should you get a master’s degree? This is an age-old question that seems to never go away. What are the benefits? What are the downsides? Will that extra piece of paper on your wall result in more paper in your pocket? The answers to these questions vary depending on the industry and the company you work for.
Three times each year, typically in April, August, and December, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) offer the Professional Practice Examination (PPE) to engineers that wish to be licensed in Ontario.
Although many other Associations across Canada choose to use the NPPE exam, created by APEGA, PEO offers its own essay-format and short answer version of the exam.
The content of the PEO exam is the same as the NPPE, but the PEO PPE tests the individual’s ability to communicate effectively through the written essays as well as conceptual knowledge.
NPPE Exam Scope and Syllabus
The biggest mistake made when preparing for this exam is devoting most efforts to reading the suggested books, rather than planning your studies around the syllaubs. There are many sections of the suggested material that you shouldn’t bother reading at all. The materials suggested by your Association are around 875 pages.
The syllabus of the examination along with the weighting is shown below - feel free to print (adapted from APEGA).
So often I am asked whether students need to purchase the PPE or NPPE exam books. They are definitely not cheap. You are looking at approximately $250 CAD. You are also facing a significant amount of reading, in the order of 800 pages. Its easy to see the dilemma.
An alternative, is to purchase training material such as the study guide's offered at PPE Headquarters. If one passes the exam without purchasing the materials, then outstanding, a great save of money. If one fails without purchasing the materials ... its easy to feel like an idiot.
It's a tough question; however, here are the criteria I utilize to make a solid recommendation. First let's have a look at the texts in question as they differ for some Associations.
The fundamentals of engineering exam can make or break your career as an engineer. Well that's not actually true, but it will definitely feel that way if you don't pass. No pressure, discover the pitfalls that will held you back from passing this exam, and fix problems before it happens again.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) designed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam to test the technical knowledge needed in the engineering field. It is a necessary part of becoming a professional engineer in the United States. Students take the test in the last year of their undergraduate programs or soon after graduation. It is usually not required in Canada, but if you want to practice in the U.S. you need to take it. The NCEES YouTube channel has some more helpful information about the exam.
Whether you are starting your career or searching for a new opportunity, job-hunting can be a painful process. When you submit your resume online there is no guarantee the recruiter even sees it. If the recruiter does see it, he or she may spend 30 seconds reviewing it before moving on to the next resume. If you make it past this first hurdle, the recruiter will call you to set up an interview. So now what?
A major change is taking place with the National Professional Practices Exam (NPPE). Beginning October 19, 2015, all NPPE exams across Canada will be computer-based. This will provide all the benefits of a computerized exam, such as more testing options and quicker results. The exam will be the same basic format, with only a few minor changes. The last paper-based NPPE happened on July 20 of this year, so a computer is your only option now.
When it comes to engineers, most people think of men. Even in 2015, a large majority of engineers are men. Engineers Canada reports that less than 12% of practicing licensed Professional Engineers in Canada are women. The United States reports between 18% and 20%. Why is this? Women have the same intelligence and capabilities as men. What is it that keeps women from the profession? Part of it is misperceptions that women have, both about themselves and engineering in general. Part of it is a culture that doesn’t encourage young women to enter the profession.
Becoming a Professional Engineer can be a big hassle. Studying for the exam takes time away from family and friends. It is another strain to contend with in an already busy and stressful life. After receiving the P.E. designation, maintaining the license requires even more time and energy with Professional Development hours. When it comes time to decide whether to take that extra step, many engineers wonder if it is worth the effort. Yet, the P.E. title carries with it an inherent prestige, a wider range of career opportunities, and, very often, a higher salary.