New master of applied science in engineering program to open for northern B.C. students

November 16, 2021 at 9:29 am  BC, News, Politics

Students in northern B.C. will be able to earn a master of applied science in engineering degree, which is the first of its kind to be offered in B.C.’s northern region.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding post-graduate education in the North so students can study closer to home,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This long-awaited engineering program opens doors to new career paths and good-paying jobs for students. At the same time, it answers the needs of local employers and will spur economic development in northern B.C.”

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George is offering the program as a research-based degree and focuses on managing engineering challenges and needs specific to cold environments. As the only program of its kind in B.C.’s North, it expands science, technology, engineering and math opportunities within the region and ensures high-tech programs are available to students outside major urban centres.

This degree program expands UNBC’s engineering student spaces by 30, with an additional 15 graduates per year, helping more students access promising careers. 

“This new master of applied science program is the next step in advancing engineering education in northern B.C.,” said Geoff Payne, interim president, UNBC. “Working under the supervision of UNBC’s exceptional school of engineering faculty, students in this program will acquire expertise in their chosen area of specialization and create knowledge that will contribute to the discovery of solutions that will have impacts locally and globally.”

Of the 75,000 job openings in tech-related fields anticipated in the next decade, 2,200 are expected to be in northern British Columbia. These additional engineering seats mean Prince George tech businesses will have a greater supply of advanced engineering graduates in the area.

“More people in northern B.C. will be given the opportunity to pursue a career in the tech sector through the new UNBC master of applied science – engineering degree program,” said Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation. “I look forward to seeing how the graduates of this program will use their expertise to address challenges in northern B.C. and around the world.”

The 30-credit degree program builds on UNBC’s existing engineering degrees: master of engineering in integrated wood design, and two bachelor of applied science (BASc) degrees. One is in civil engineering and the other in environmental engineering. UNBC also offers a joint BASc degree in environmental engineering with the University of British Columbia.

Quick Facts:

  • The tech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of B.C.’s economy, generating about $34.7 billion in revenue and supporting more than 123,000 jobs.
  • Approximately 42,000 engineers are working in B.C. and nearly 16,000 job openings are forecast over the next 10 years. Civil, mechanical and electrical engineers represent more than 50% of these job openings, while computer and software engineers represent another 35%.
  • Post-secondary institutions in B.C. award more than 10,000 credentials annually in programs that support the tech sector in science, technology, engineering and math.

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