The School of Industrial Engineering, through its Degree Board, under request of the School Board, approved a proposal of 10 vacant positions for the Double Degree at Bachelor Level of Mechanical Engineering and the Bachelor Degree in Industrial Electronic and Automatic Engineering. This bachelor degree under this modality was fundamentally designed based on a main criterion aimed at improving the training and employment of university students. Therefore, the fact of combining these bachelor degrees is not a question that seeks as the most attractive in obtaining two bachelor degrees in an easier way because of its sequencing, but rather the knowledge and skills of both, which amplifies the jobs to which it can aspire and makes the graduate profile one of the most attractive in the market for companies because of its specialization and, at the same time, because of its versatility. Consequently, with the aim of adapting to the new needs of the labour market, which increasingly demands graduates with multidisciplinary skills, and taking into account that one of the most requested profiles by companies in the field of engineering is a graduate with specific skills in mechanics, electronics and automation, this Joint Programme is justified.
On the other hand, the demands presented by the current labour market lead us even more to the students having the possibility of obtaining a greater differentiation that provides them with advantages in order to obtain a job. A double degree gives students many advantages when it comes to finding a job. On the one hand, he handles a greater number of areas of knowledge to which they can dedicate themselves in their professional career and, undoubtedly, with the advantage of a global vision that allows them to tackle problems that would not be possible independently with one of the separate bachelor degrees. At the same time, studying under this modality also provides a great motivation, the concern for acquiring greater knowledge to give an adequate response to the most complex problems and also the ability to have more resources to solve any kind of situation, covering a much wider range of needs in companies. In addition, if the areas in which these joint programs are developed are areas in high demand by companies, as is the case with these programs, professional development is highly favoured.
The interest of the Joint Programme is determined by the characteristics of the two bachelor degrees that constitute it. The contents addressed promoted an important change in economic activity in general, due to a greater presence of automation and intelligence in processes and products, which are increasingly complex, supported by IT and communications. Similarly, from the point of view of products and systems, the trend is towards greater functionality and precision, based on the integration of components, sensors and the introduction of microelectronics. On the other hand, both in modern society and in today’s production systems, the need for specialization in the techniques corresponding to mechanical systems is increasing. Mechanical engineers design, improve, produce and maintain mechanical devices and systems components, engines and industrial facilities. Its activities include activities of great economic relevance for any developed country, such as industrial manufacturing and production systems, transport, machinery, construction and industrial facilities. In summary, it can be said that the complementarity and synergies of these bachelor degrees are more than evident. Mechanical engineering focuses on the design of machines, engines, mechanisms and mechanical systems and is therefore closely linked to industrial production systems. On the other hand, the control and automation of the above-mentioned systems to make them faster, safer and more efficient belongs to the field of industrial and automatic electronic engineering. The Joint Programme in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Automatic Electronic Engineering provides the necessary training to conduct professional work in either of the two areas and, more importantly, to execute highly qualified tasks in which it is necessary to integrate in-depth knowledge in both fields. Innovation in the industrial sector, the new paradigm that defines the called Industry 4.0, needs this type of professionals. The combination of the specialities of industrial and automatic mechanics and electronics results in a highly sought-after profile in many industries today.
Likewise, this Joint Program allows to acquire a certain professional profile in the line of what could be called engineering in Mechatronics and that is being very demanded in the sector. If Mechatronics is a broader concept. Even so, the need for integration between the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Electronic and Automatic Engineering is revealed today as something that is essential for a large number of companies in the industrial sector that, due to technological development, are forced to master the knowledge of these two fields of engineering, among others, in their production processes. Considering the industrial environment in which many graduates of these degrees from the School of Industrial Engineering work, there is a growing demand for a versatile profile that combines knowledge of mechanics and industrial and automatic electronics. Therefore, this Joint Programme will make it possible to respond to the needs of the different industries related to our Community.
It is also very important to point out that the Joint Programmes of Official Degree Studies offered in this proposal will allow the students who take them to have an additional bachelor degree with professional attributes (at the level of Industrial Technical Engineer in Industrial Electronics and Automation or as Industrial Technical Engineer in Mechanics), or that it provides them, at first, with a greater guarantee for their future professional development. In addition, the bachelor degrees in Industrial Electronics and Automation Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, which form part of the Joint Programmes, are highly valued in the market and have a long trajectory at the School of Industrial Engineering of the University of Vigo. In fact, in recent years many requests for these profiles have been received and, from the School of Industrial Engineering of the University of Vigo, this offer is considered to adjust real needs.
In addition, if a student is attracted to more than one field of study, this option allows him/her not to have to choose only one and thus be able to develop his/her skills in a diversified way. On the one hand, studying contents of two bachelor degrees in which the student can have a greater field of application of the training contents received through the programme are undoubtedly a stimulus to additional motivation.
Similarly, if we take into account that a percentage of students starting university show interest in more than one bachelor degree, the joint programmes route can help to improve the options in the success of the choice or be included among the programmes of the double degree and not have to decide for any of them. In other words, a joint programme can help to make better selection that fit with those students who want to cover several things and, thus, not have to choose one of them.