Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2015 Contents ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY 107
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, but this trend may reverse,
with industry and faculty leaders decrying shortages of qualified
professionals in the more traditional engineering 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
combined degrees. Some engineering courses have special
scholarships and programs aimed at attracting female applicants,
who currently make up a small percentage of the workforce.
To compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
‘How tough is it to get in?’ tables in Section 4.
In the midst of an engineering shortage, Engineers Australia has
confirmed that, while the number of new engineering graduates is
increasing slightly, it is growing much slower than the demand.
It has been suggested that an increased exposure to science
and mathematics subjects in secondary school will encourage
students to opt for engineering courses when it comes to
choosing a degree. A mandatory digital technologies subject, to
be taught up to Year 8 level as part of the Australian Curriculum,
has been welcomed by Engineers Australia. The subject will aim
to provide students with the skills to be ‘efficient operators of
technology and critical users of information’.
The industry has been looking at solutions to the gender bias
inherent in engineering. One theory suggests that embedding
gender inclusiveness in engineering curricula would encourage
more women to study in the field — women currently make up
around 15 per cent of undergraduate students. The Women in
Engineering National Committee, run by Engineers Australia,
works to attract, support and retain women in the field. See
www.engineersaustralia.org.au/women-engineering for more
details about the steps being taken to foster a more welcoming
and desirable working environment for women in engineering.
The student body and graduate ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
tuition costs for
Teaching quality Generic skills
The fees shown are for the whole course and are approximate. Confirm with the institution concerned. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 429.
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