Mind-boggling variety of courses on offer
Engineers can build on their degrees by going back to school. Most engineering jobs in Hong Kong require a first degree in the discipline. Those wanting to move into more senior positions should consider a graduate diploma or a master of science (MSc) in the field.
A return to the classroom can also benefit those wanting to upgrade their skills or fill in gaps in their training or experience. The same goes for those wanting to effect a career change. Those wanting to pursue an academic career in engineering, however, should pursue a research-based programme leading to a master of philosophy (MPhil) or a PhD.
A mind-boggling variety of programmes are offered by several bodies in Hong Kong. Most local universities have engineering departments, with some offering engineering courses through their schools of continuing education.
The school of engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is among the largest and most respected in the SAR. It offers several postgraduate degree programmes leading to graduate diplomas, MScs, MPhils and PhDs.
The school's broad-based MSc and graduate diploma in civil infrastructural engineering and management are targeted at applicants with a first degree in a field related to civil engineering and at professionals with related technical experience. Fresh graduates are also welcome to apply. Graduates generally work in the civil engineering sector.
Offered jointly by the school of engineering and the school of business and administration, the MSc in engineering enterprise management is targeted at practicing engineers and scientists hoping to launch careers in management and at technical managers wanting to further their careers in global enterprises in either the services or the manufacturing industry.
An MSc in electronic engineering can be studied full time or part time. The full-time programme is aimed at students wanting to accelerate the completion of their degree. The part-time programme is targeted at working professionals wanting to upgrade their knowledge in a broad range of subjects. Students can modify the programme to suit their individual needs by substituting one of the courses for three units of independent study. They can also select courses from the MSc programmes in IC design engineering or telecommunications.
An MSc in intelligent building technology and management is targeted at architects, building operation professionals, building services engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and others wanting to join one of these professions. It provides comprehensive training in intelligent building design, operations and facility management to enhance the future.
'This is a very special programme on intelligent building,' said a spokesman for the programme. 'Instructors include both university faculty members who have expertise in this particular area as well as industrial practitioners who hold PhDs and have extensive work experience in this area.'
An MSc in IC design engineering is designed for students and professionals wanting to upgrade their knowledge in the field of integrated circuit design. 'It is the only programme of its kind in Hong Kong,' said a spokesman. 'Students will also be given the opportunity to work in the clean room - HKUST's microelectronics fabrication facility, the only such facility available in Hong Kong.'
An MSc in mechanical engineering is targeted at graduates from local and overseas universities with first degrees in engineering. Working civil engineers, environmental engineers, materials engineers and mechanical engineers will also find the programme useful.
'It is a very broad-based IT programme, also touching on many state-of-the-art IT technologies, including finance management and forensics,' said a spokesman. 'Many essential areas of IT will also be learned, including such things as data mining and computer graphics.'
An MSc in telecommunications is designed for engineers and professionals wanting to upgrade their knowledge in telecommunications.
'This is the only programme of its kind in Hong Kong,' said a spokesman. 'It touches not only the technical aspects but also the current telecommunication regulations, markets and services. Students will also be given an opportunity to handle a project of their individual interest in the programme.'
An MSc and graduate diploma are offered in environmental engineering. They are targeted at locally based practicing engineers engaged in the design, supply, commissioning and management of environmental facilities and infrastructure systems.
An MSc in information technology is targeted at graduates with a first degree in a computer-related field. To qualify for admission, applicants should have a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science or related fields.
HKUST's engineering MScs comprise 24 to 30 credits. Taken full-time, they can be completed in one year. Taken part time, they take from 2 to 21/2years to complete. Graduate diplomas comprise 15 credits. Most are studied part time and take 11/2years to complete. A few can be studied full time in one year. Classes generally take place week day evenings or Saturdays.