École polytechnique: “L’X’s MSc&T program has fully staked out its place”, says Anne Chrétien, Head of the MSc&T program

The Masters of Science & Technology program at École Polytechnique has nearly 300 alumni since the graduation ceremony of its class of 2020, which took place on March 5th. Well-identified among Ecole Polytechnique’s overall education programs, the employability of its graduates is getting more and more successful.



Screenshot of the Online MSc&T 2020 Class Graduation Ceremony with the special participation of Eric Labaye, president of Ecole Polytechnique and Mercedes Erra, Founding President of BETC Group.

Dixit – The graduation of the third MSc&T class took place on March 5th. How have the last few months been going for the MSc&T community in the unprecedented context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Anne Chrétien – The lockdown started on March 17, 2020, just when classes for the last semester ended and exams began. It is therefore the students’ internships, in France or abroad, that have been mostly impacted. Their cancellation or postponement by the companies caused concern and disappointment among our students regarding their training; in addition to the stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, thanks to everyone’s commitment, the Direction of Education and Research, the laboratories, the professors, the School’s Alumni Association (AX), our partner companies, it was possible to re-schedule internships which started remotely and then took place on-site over the summer or even to develop alternative academic projects. All the students were thus able to validate their studies and the Class of 2020 graduated and was celebrated, under somewhat unusual circumstances, at the graduation ceremony that took place virtually on March 5th.

Four years after the launch of this program, what have been its main achievements ?

The MSc&T program is a two-year multidisciplinary, professional program, taught entirely in English, addressing the 21st century’s major issues (cybersecurity, energy and the environment, data science, economy and smart cities…), recruiting the best international students after a Bachelor’s degree.

Launched in the fall of 2016 with three courses and 37 students, it offers four and a half years later, eight courses with 273 students all years combined, as well as a professional integration support program, « eXplore Your Future ».

60% of our students are international, with very different backgrounds and coming from various and often very much renowned universities, from all over the world. Each year several students from École Polytechnique follow our courses and, since the start of the 2020 academic year, an X Bachelor’s student has joined the crowd. This develops a great cultural and scientific diversity.

The program is now well identified in the School’s overall education offer. After four years, the outcome is very positive and we are eager to open a new chapter in this exiting project.

The second First Job Survey of MSc&T graduates was published in February. What are its main findings?

The second survey focuses on 2019 graduates. It clearly shows the program is attractive to employers. Two-thirds of students were recruited before the end of their studies. The program’s attractiveness is strong especially to companies where 82% of our graduates are hired and 88% of them on permanent contracts.

A comparison with the previous survey shows that, while the main sectors of activity remain Industry, Banking/Finance, Consulting, and the Public Service, there has been a sharp increase in the number of our graduates in Consulting (from 9% to 29%) in 2019. They generally work in very much renowned international companies.

It should be noted that some of our graduates start their own business.

Regarding their employment location, the majority of the 2019 graduates work in France. Half of the international students are employed in the country ; the other half work in Europe and Asia. More than two-thirds of French students work in France (74%) and the remainder got a job in the United Kingdom, the United States or the United Arab Emirates.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, are there any changes planned for the program in terms of education opportunities as well as teaching methods?

We have numerous and diverse projects which are linked to the consequences of the pandemic that we have been experiencing for the past year. The pandemic has prompted us all to review our teaching models. We are also working on the integration of the MSc&T program in overall offering of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, which brings together the strengths of the École Polytechnique and four other prestigious engineering schools (Telecom Paris, ENSTA Paris, ENSAE Paris and Telecom SudParis).

The MSc&T program will progressively enrich its educational provision, first of all with the launch of new programs based on the specificity of the scientific or economic fields carried by the laboratories of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, but also through the development apprenticeship opportunities allowing to diversify the public and the teaching methods.

The evolution of pedagogy will allow the development of a more open offer, building on the numerous international partnerships and alliances of the School: the European University EuroTeQ, the Alliance network, the European network EuroTech…

The MSc&T program is aimed at students who want to play a key role in the world of business and new technologies; its ambition is to train 500 of them within a few years. The best is yet to come !

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