Have you been thinking about studying Commerce? Or maybe you’re trying to figure out what universities to put on your UAC preferences — USYD Commerce might be a viable option for you.
We’ve talked to Charlie, a Commerce student at USYD to hear about the pros and cons of this degree. If you want to know more about the degree in terms of subjects, assessments and scholarships, have a read of what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Commerce at USYD here.
Now, let’s jump into what Charlie has to say about Commerce at USYD!
Why should you study a Commerce degree at USYD?
The great thing about Commerce at USYD is that there’s a huge range of courses to choose from and diverse pools of majors. If you choose to complete Commerce in a double degree with a Bachelor of Advanced Studies, you’re also able to pick a second major from any other faculty in the University!
The social side of Commerce at USYD is also a big positive with the Sydney Uni Business Society (SUBS). It’s got a great sense of community, and a range of events including camps.
Top 3 Pros of a Commerce degree
#1: There’s flexibility in the degree
With a Bachelor of Commerce, you only have to do 4 core subjects, which gives you more choices in terms of picking subjects. This also means that there are often less prerequisites for subjects.
Charlie said that in terms of core/compulsory subjects, “All you have to do are Accounting, Statistics, BUSS1000, BUSS2000, and that gives you a solid foundation.”
#2: Alumni and Networks
USYD has connections with so many of its alumni currently in the business industry, which provides you with a number of opportunities to network with people.
“There are so many Sydney Uni alumni currently working in the business world, and I think having that as a starter point to connect with people that have gone on and done really good things, is something that’s not as evident with other universities,” Charlie said.
#3: Access to Resources
Alongside your standard tutorials and lectures, there’s a PASS program for Commerce students at USYD. The PASS program — Peer Assisted Study Sessions — is a great way to receive further help in certain subjects from older students!
“There are so many resources that the university offers to help people get through their degrees,” Charlie said.
There are also consultation times that you can arrange with your tutor, and a number of other resources set up by your lecturers and tutors to provide you with extra help.
Top 3 Cons of a Commerce degree
#1: It’s a very theoretical degree
Charlie said, “The things we learn are overly theoretical and lack practical application.”
With the absence of practical subjects, the content you learn doesn’t always translate clearly into real-life situations.
At times, lecturers will teach theoretical ideas without actually applying it to a real life example or situation. This makes it more difficult to grasp certain concepts and understand it in an industry setting.
#2: No internships
Similar to the previous point, of Commerce being a very theoretical degree, there are no accredited internships. This means there is no industry placement for you to gain work experience.
However, there is the opportunity to choose an interdisciplinary subject where you have more practical opportunities towards the end of the degree.
#3: You can feel like a number in the system
“With the large number of people that attend the uni, I think you can get the impression occasionally that ‘I’m just a number in the system’… there’s not always that strong sense of community with the cohort…” Charlie said.
With such large cohorts and not many core subjects, it becomes difficult to establish close friendships and strong relationships in this degree.
“I probably regret the idea of doing the Bachelor of Advanced Studies… I would have much preferred to do a combined degree like Arts and Commerce. No one understands what it is outside the university,” Charlie said.
Advanced Studies is essentially an option for combined/double degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies, or in this case, a Bachelor of Commerce.
It allows you to choose a second major from any other school in the university, or even combine majors. Generally speaking, Advanced Studies adds on a fourth year to your degree which you spend completing advanced coursework and developing your expertise in a field of study.
What do you wish you had known before starting USYD Commerce?
“I wish someone had told me not to go to live lectures, I think watching lectures live is just impossible… I’m not telling people not to watch their lectures, I’m saying to watch the recording,” Charlie said.
From Charlie’s experience, he found it was easier and more effective to watch lecture recordings because you’re able to pause and rewind at any time. It gives you the chance to take the content in and make notes at the same time.
It’s important to figure out what works for you, but essentially when you watch lectures live, you end up focusing so much on taking notes and recording content that you don’t actually keep up with the speed of the lecturer.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
A major standout is that USYD is the #1 university in NSW, and it has a huge variety of connections with other institutions all over the world. This is great if you’re looking to do exchange and study abroad.
Charlie also mentioned that, “If you’re really into sport, USYD is also good at accommodating for athletes’ needs and providing support for people with those kinds of commitments.”
What inspired you to choose USYD Commerce?
“Commerce is one of those generalist degrees whereby it teaches you a particular way of thinking that’s different to what you’d get in other schools.
“If you do Commerce at USYD you can go down any pathway, because it’s not necessarily what they’re teaching you, it’s the way they’re teaching you to think about what you’re learning that really sums up the Sydney Uni Commerce experience,” Charlie said.
What are the possible career paths?
Depending on whether you choose to complete Commerce at USYD in a single or double degree, and the major/s you select, there are a whole range of career paths you can follow.
For instance, if you choose to major in Marketing, you could enter into advertising. If you enjoy working with numbers, you could become an accountant or financial dealer.
Generally speaking, here are other careers you could pursue, just to name a few:
- Policy Adviser
- Human Resources Manager
- Government Relations
- Marketing Executive
- Investment Banker
There really are a huge number of different industries and professions you could enter as a Commerce graduate!
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.