Transition from master craftsman to engineering degree
Keywords:Bachelor’s Degree, Master Craftsman, Transition
There is a great need for Master-Craftsmen who are highly valued in industry locally but are not afforded the same recognition as in Germany, so in order to encourage more applicants a bridging progression to a Bachelor’s degree should be devised. There are several paths to the education of engineers. Traditionally students of engineering attend secondary school from which they matriculate to a tertiary institution. In many countries candidates may opt to do an Associate degree articulating to a Bachelor’s degree. However, in some countries, it is possible to become an engineer without a traditional degree, usually in a more practically-oriented apprenticeship programme. In Britain for example, such candidates complete National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in engineering while working at a company. NVQs typically range from Level 1 to Level 8, Levels 6 and 7 being equivalent to Bachelor’s and taught Master’s degrees respectively. In Germany, there is also an alternative qualification to the Bachelor’s degree, the more practically-oriented Meister (Master-Craftsman in English), both of which are equally recognized and respected professionally and are both pegged at Level 6 in the 8-Level German National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The MIC Institute of Technology has adopted a Master-Craftsman programme which is accredited by the German Chamber of Crafts and Trades. Candidates have to first complete the (trimester) Journeyman programme comprising three years, about 50% of which comprise industrial attachments/internships. Successful Journeyman graduates can progress to the Master-Craftsman qualification by completing an extra (trimester) year of study. This paper deals with the progression of Master-Craftsman graduates, through advanced placement, in a Bachelor of Technology programme. The Master-Craftsman curricula have to be mapped against a typical Bachelor of Technology programme to determine the gaps in mathematical, theoretical and other areas and mechanisms to fill any gaps.