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Thread: Petroleum Engineering - NAIT or U of A?

  1. #1

    Default Petroleum Engineering - NAIT or U of A?

    I am looking at schools to get a degree in Petroleum Engineering. There are some pros and cons to both U of A and NAIT, but what I'm looking for is the school that will give me the best recognition and employment opportunities. U of A is a 5 year course and more expensive, but I've heard it is the only university at which I will actually get a legitimate degree. NAIT is more cost and time effective, but is it a good option for a rewarding, top-notch career? If I can gain the same knowledge and recognition, as well as employment opportunities from NAIT as I would from U of A I will go there. Any thoughts? Any advice is greatly appreciated

  2. #2

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    I don't really know anything about Petroleum Engineering, but as a general rule, I'd always go for a degree (if that's your goal), from a university, and preferably a well recognized one like the U of A. I'd bite the bullet and get a student loan (that's what I did many years ago in another country, its long gone).

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    NAIT only offers DIPLOMAS in Engineering TECHNOLOGY - i.e. you do not become an Engineer, only an Engineering Technologist - two totally different things.

    The U of A is the only institution in Edmonton that offers a full BACHELORS DEGREE in Engineering, where you can one day become a professional Engineer.

  4. #4

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    Thank you! I am definitely going to have to get a student loan, this will be a long ride.

  5. #5

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    Okay, so it would be more beneficial to go to U of A and get a degree. Thank you!

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    NAIT has a great Petroleum Technology course. As has been mentioned, you would be a Technologist with this diploma. It is a 2 yr program.
    U of A has a good, but small Petroleum Engineering program. U of C's is bigger and better known, though they are both good. These are 4-5 year programs.

    Upon graduation, there's not a significant difference in salaries. However, after 5 years, it can be pronounced (unless the technologist does a lot of field work for OT). Long term, there's no contest. A good petroleum engineer would make 200-300K in Calgary. A top technologist maybe half of that.

    I work with the staff at both programs on a weekly basis.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMedm View Post
    Okay, so it would be more beneficial to go to U of A and get a degree. Thank you!
    I think you'd better do a b i t more research than relying a couple anonymous posts.

    Additionally there's always the option of doing both if a lot of courses are transferable (diploma first and then a degree).
    Last edited by KC; 14-11-2014 at 03:57 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    NAIT has a great Petroleum Technology course. As has been mentioned, you would be a Technologist with this diploma. It is a 2 yr program.
    U of A has a good, but small Petroleum Engineering program. U of C's is bigger and better known, though they are both good. These are 4-5 year programs.

    Upon graduation, there's not a significant difference in salaries. However, after 5 years, it can be pronounced (unless the technologist does a lot of field work for OT). Long term, there's no contest. A good petroleum engineer would make 200-300K in Calgary. A top technologist maybe half of that.

    I work with the staff at both programs on a weekly basis.
    Okay that is exactly what I wanted to know! I'll take a look at U of C as well and see if the program is 4 years, that would be awesome. Thank you so much!

  9. #9

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    In the long run U of A will likely pay off much better. However in the petroleum eng field this might be one place where you can get lucky and become equivalent after a lot of field experience. i.e. don't plan to ever be home or in one location.

    If you are considering the other two tech eng at NAIT (chem or geoscience) you are much much better going with U of A.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KMedm View Post
    Okay, so it would be more beneficial to go to U of A and get a degree. Thank you!
    I think you'd better do a b i t more research than relying a couple anonymous posts.

    Additionally there's always the option of doing both if a lot of courses are transferable (diploma first and then a degree).
    Typically there is very little transfer recognition to the local Universities. 1-3 courses max. Doesn't save you any duration of degree would only lighten your course load for a couple semesters.

  11. #11

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    You cannot be an engineer by going to NAIT. If you want to be an engineer, your only choice is UofA in this city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMorrocco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KMedm View Post
    Okay, so it would be more beneficial to go to U of A and get a degree. Thank you!
    I think you'd better do a b i t more research than relying a couple anonymous posts.

    Additionally there's always the option of doing both if a lot of courses are transferable (diploma first and then a degree).
    Typically there is very little transfer recognition to the local Universities. 1-3 courses max. Doesn't save you any duration of degree would only lighten your course load for a couple semesters.
    The U of A gives credit for the first year of engineering if you have an engineering technology diploma and you go into the corresponding engineering discipline.

    http://www.engineering.ualberta.ca/P...lPrograms.aspx

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    U of A will give you better recognize much more on BA degree than NAIT because this will gives you a bigger chance gaining employment with oil companies. Oil companies prefer hire professional engineer coming out of University than Tech school.
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  14. #14

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    Awesome thanks! This is all great stuff everyone!

  15. #15

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    I would also highly suggest the Co-op program at the U of A. While yes it takes longer you gain a whole lot more experience and can explore different aspects of the science during each placement- its also the best way to earn a full time job after school.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMorrocco View Post
    I would also highly suggest the Co-op program at the U of A. While yes it takes longer you gain a whole lot more experience and can explore different aspects of the science during each placement- its also the best way to earn a full time job after school.
    Thank you, I was actually just looking in to this yesterday! Very helpful information, thanks so much

  17. #17

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    I graduated from U of A Pet E program and have been in industry for a few years now, so I am qualified to give you some important advice.

    I have a huge respect for NAIT and their graduates. NAIT prepares their students for actual industry work better than U of A does. However, the reality is as a tech you will be capped at a ceiling. That ceiling is quite low to be honest compared to that of an Engineer - and the pay reflects that. Being an engineer affords more upside and better long-term prospects and lateral industries. As a petroleum engineer, you will have the option to transfer into management or energy related finance for example (ibanking, equity research, etc.). Certain roles within the industry are also typically filled only by engineers, not by techs, such as reserves evaluation, high level business stuff (A&D, business development) and exploitation/reservoir work. If that type of work interests you, you should aim to become an engineer.

    There's only one reason you should choose NAIT over U of A, and that is if you realistically think you cannot pass engineering school. 1st and 2nd year are hard - the math is theoretical. After that, in the PetE especially, it gets much easier. If you struggle academically but are determined, you can quit and go to NAIT, gain credits then transfer back to UofA.

    Also be cognizant of the fact that in the energy industry, commodity prices affects job prospects (duh). But you won't understand the implications unless you've lived through a downturn as a new grad (grads of 2009 for example). This means, you must absolutely try your best to get into Coop, and try your hardest to get solid coop experience. This will best prepare you to get an offer for your first post-grad job. If someone had told me this when I was in your position, it would have saved me years of grief.
    Last edited by tsumetai; 17-11-2014 at 12:14 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsumetai View Post
    I graduated from U of A Pet E program and have been in industry for a few years now, so I am qualified to give you some important advice.

    I have a huge respect for NAIT and their graduates. NAIT prepares their students for actual industry work better than U of A does. However, the reality is as a tech you will be capped at a ceiling. That ceiling is quite low to be honest compared to that of an Engineer - and the pay reflects that. Being an engineer affords more upside and better long-term prospects and lateral industries. As a petroleum engineer, you will have the option to transfer into management or energy related finance for example (ibanking, equity research, etc.). Certain roles within the industry are also typically filled only by engineers, not by techs, such as reserves evaluation, high level business stuff (A&D, business development) and exploitation/reservoir work. If that type of work interests you, you should aim to become an engineer.

    There's only one reason you should choose NAIT over U of A, and that is if you realistically think you cannot pass engineering school. 1st and 2nd year are hard - the math is theoretical. After that, in the PetE especially, it gets much easier. If you struggle academically but are determined, you can quit and go to NAIT, gain credits then transfer back to UofA.

    Also be cognizant of the fact that in the energy industry, commodity prices affects job prospects (duh). But you won't understand the implications unless you've lived through a downturn as a new grad (grads of 2009 for example). This means, you must absolutely try your best to get into Coop, and try your hardest to get solid coop experience. This will best prepare you to get an offer for your first post-grad job. If someone had told me this when I was in your position, it would have saved me years of grief.
    Thank you so much for this, it really helps my decision! I am going to try very hard for Co-op and hopefully I get in. Thank you again! Much appreciated

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