New name, improved vibe for Engineering Technology program

Management Systems Engineering Tech program aims to open more career doors for grads

2/21/2022 3:14:20 PM

STEPHENVILLE, NL – In keeping with College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) vision of being a leading-edge and progressive technological institution, the college is launching a revitalized program that is better-suited for today’s business needs.

If you haven’t heard of Management Systems Engineering Technology (MSET), don’t worry, you will. The three-year program will be offered in person at Ridge Road campus in September 2022, replacing the Industrial Engineering Technology program, which has been offered at CNA since the early 1990s.

Sonny Hegde, Dean of the School of Engineering Technology, explains that CNA’s Program Advisory Committee (an industry-led and driven group) recommended changes for the program, including its name. When looking at other programs under the school’s umbrella, such as Mechanical, Electrical or Chemical, graduates who work as engineering technologists usually have the name of one of those fields contained in the job title. The same could not be said for the Industrial stream because there hasn’t been a general awareness of what it meant to have this specialized and innovative credential. Until now.

“We believe the program name should be something that is a true reflection of the content of the program,” said Hegde. “It’s a marriage between both the engineering and management principles. The term industrial does have a negative connotation that we want to move away from – the times of the Industrial Revolution, dirty manufacturing plants, and the manufacturing transition from the 18th to the 19th century. People don’t think about Apple or Google, for example, but they should! This is a technology-focused program that covers many management-related principles, like supply chain management, quality control, and Lean management, in addition to some core business courses, like accounting and economics.”

To help the public, businesses and industry understand how they could benefit from having someone from the Management Systems Engineering Technology program on staff, Hegde highlighted a few points:
  1. MSET is a speciality where business and engineering meet. How? It incorporates the sciences of engineering, the analysis of systems, and the management of people.
  2. Graduates will solve problems that relate to productivity and organizational change to increase profitability, as well as help to grow a business and make it safer and more efficient.  
  3. Business and industry sectors have always needed these types of engineering technologists; they just didn’t realize it. MSET graduates are professionals who work in every industry and in turn, every business can benefit from their particular skillset.
Hegde notes that MSET is an accredited program through Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) – a national group of professionals who performed a very thorough audit of the offering.

“Accreditation provides our students with the knowledge that this program achieves a certain standard, and it’s also internationally recognized, which is especially important for our international students,” he said. “It will give peace of mind to our students and all our stakeholders, including employers who speak very highly of the program, and it was they who came up with the idea of a name change. I was really pleased with their involvement and the support we have from the community as well. It definitely speaks to the strength of the program.”

The program itself underwent significant changes over the past couple of years, bringing it to this point. One difference has been the introduction of three new courses: Supply Chain Management, Project Controls, and Decision-Making in Engineering. Major updates were also made in all other courses with a view to bring them in line with industry requirements, post-secondary trends, and the evolution of Management and Systems Engineering.

MSET is a Co-op program, which means there are two paid work placements for students in their second and third years.

Hegde says that the past has shown there was a high overall satisfaction rate with the program as it existed (varying between 71-85 per cent among respondents) from 2016 to 2020, but with the recent improvements, he is confident that number will rise.

Media contact:
Michelle Barry
Communications Manager
College of the North Atlantic