Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2017 Contents ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY 115
Engineering and technology
What majors can I study?
The following are just some of the majors you can study in this
What you’re in for
Engineers help to make things that we use on a daily basis —
from the cars we drive and the medical technology (including
pharmaceuticals) we depend on, to our cities’ buildings and our
regions’ water supplies. Inspired? You should be. This profession
boasts many important achievements, and there would appear to
be many more ahead. In particular, engineering and technology
graduates are tipped to be instrumental in meeting challenges
related to environmental change and the technologies that may
be employed to generate alternative energy sources.
Along with technical skills, attributes such as good oral and
written communication skills, an imagination, initiative and ability
to work in a team are required for employment.
For more information about careers in engineering, visit the
Engineers Australia website at www.engineersaustralia.org.au.
You can also see what Young Engineers Australia has to offer at
If you are interested in engineering, you could also consider built
environment, computing and information technology, surveying
and some specialisations within the sciences.
Courses and specialisations
Your first challenge is to think carefully about what kind of
engineer you want to be. Many courses automatically set you on
a path to one specialisation, although some provide a general
first year before you specialise. While some engineering
specialisations focus on a certain type of technology (automotive,
aerospace, biomedical, marine and telecommunications), others
are concerned with adapting certain base elements or resources
for a myriad of purposes (chemical, electrical, materials and
mechanical). Another group concentrates on harvesting,
developing and sustaining natural resources (agricultural,
environmental and mining). The newer engineering fields — such
as aeronautics, informatics and mechatronics — have been more
popular than the older sub-disciplines in recent years. This trend
may reverse over time, with industry and faculty leaders noting
shortages of qualified professionals in the more traditional
specialisations (civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical).
If you’re yet to find your specific interest within engineering, you
should research carefully and consider the following points. Most
engineering students become engineers and, what’s more, the
specialisation they study is the specialisation they practise. It’s
not a once-and-for-all decision though; many engineers move
into other fields (such as management, project management and
consultancy) a few years into their careers. Engineers of all
persuasions can also work across different sectors and
industries, offering some options for a change of scenery.
Nevertheless, this is a field that typically narrows down options.
Another option is to complete a double degree — you can
combine engineering with arts, business, computer science,
environmental science, commerce and law, among others. A
double degree allows you to add another dimension to your
technical skill-base and keeps your options open.
Where to study
Engineering degrees are offered at almost all universities,
although some specialisations are more widely available than
others. In order to practise, you will need to meet the
accreditation requirements set by Engineers Australia, which
includes a period of compulsory industry experience.
Overall, engineering is fairly tough to get into compared with
other fields. Subjects such as mathematics and sciences
(especially physics) are almost always required. Don’t forget,
there is often a difference in the cut-off scores between single and
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