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Life of Canadian PI by Ethel Clemente Fernandez

Of debates and statistics

By Ethel Clemente Fernandez

When I wrote the article “Crossing the Bridge from Eng’r. to P. Eng” a few months back, I received tons of inquiries as to which is the best option to complete APEGM’s academic qualification requirements. To recap, the options available to internationally educated engineers are as follows:

  • Writing the assigned confirmatory examinations
  • Taking equivalent courses at the University of Manitoba
  • Interview process – available to applicants with over 10 years of engineering experience
  • Completing the Internationally-Educated Engineers Qualification (IEEQ) program – available only to applicants assigned with five or fewer confirmatory exams
  • Completing a Masters degree or PhD in engineering - this option was just recently added.

Unfortunately, there is no particular answer to the aforementioned question. It really depends on one’s personal situation and priorities – and to whom the question is asked. The options have always been a great debate topic among Pinoy Inhinyero (PI) colleagues during events, meetings or just casual get-togethers. Interestingly, there are always great points from each unknowing debate participants, like considerations on time, finances, work, and personal goals. Each trying to convince the listeners to follow the path or options they’ve taken, while cheerfully discrediting other options. Of course, these all unfold in a jovial mood, not in a competitive way. I’ve always been partial to IEEQ, because I belonged to the ninth cohort of the program and was one of those who greatly benefitted from it.

Hence, in pursuit of fairness and equal exposure of all available options, future issues of this article will feature successful professional engineers or engineers-in-training from various engineering disciplines who have undergone different pathways. We will all discover what led them to the ultimate decision.

I hope that from these personal experiences one can further get a better insight and broader perspective of what it takes to embrace the life of a Canadian PI.

For now as a preview, I leave you with the current statistics based on FMC-APEGM membership registry as of February 18, 2015:

fmc apegm chart

Ethel Clemente Fernandez is a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM). She currently works for a federal crown corporation and is serving on the Executive Committee of the Filipino Members Chapter (FMC) - APEGM. For inquiries, please e-mail