BlogUniversityPros and Cons of a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW

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So you pretty much know all the facts about studying a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW, but curious about what people really think?

Well, you’re in the right place! We had a chat with Katherine, who’s studying a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW, so that she can tell us all about it.

Let’s dive in!

Why should you study a Commerce degree at UNSW?
Top 3 Pros of a Commerce Degree
Top 3 Cons of a Commerce Degree
Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
Things to Know Before Starting UNSW Commerce
What Makes this Degree Different
Motivations for Studying UNSW Commerce
Potential Career Paths

Why should you study a Commerce degree at UNSW?

A Commerce degree is very flexible and extensive, offering lots of opportunities and future pathways! It’s a degree that will equip you with skills that are transferable in all kinds of careers, ensuring a high level of employability after you graduate. 

UNSW is also ranked 2nd for Business studies and 1st for Accounting and Finance in Australia, so you can be sure that it is a reputable university that will be looked on favourably by future employers!

UNSW Commerce - Student Quote

Top 3 Pros of a Commerce degree

#1: Wide Range of Opportunities

A degree in Commerce at UNSW offers you lots of opportunities for skill development and professional development, helping you get out there and figure out what you want to spend the rest of your life doing!

As Katherine explains, “UNSW has lots of opportunities to maximise your degree by doing things outside of it like internships, sub-committees and directorships, case competitions and exchange programs. It offers a lot more skill development from more than just the content you learn in your units.”

#2: You’ll Probably Find Something to Love About it!

UNSW offers 10 majors for Commerce, in the areas of business, data, regulation and global markets. With the added choice of taking another degree in Science, Engineering, Arts and much more, you’ll definitely find something to enjoy!

“Because it’s so broad, it can suit a lot of people. It’s also easy to combine with lots of different things, like Design, Arts — which I did — Education and Engineering; there’s so much to choose from,” Katherine reveals to us.

#3: Job Security and Direction

A degree in Commerce at UNSW prepares you for the workforce, developing skills both in and out of the course content that helps are relevant in a fast-paced work environment. The major(s) you choose will also give you a strong sense of job direction due to the specialisation it gives you.

“A lot of things filter into the business industry and a Commerce degree can really help you with job security during and after university,” Katherine tells us.


Top 3 Cons of a Commerce degree

#1: Can Feel Like a ‘Means to an End’

Due to the focus on preparation for the workforce and employability, studying Commerce can sometimes feel like just a step to get to the next stage. 

As we chatted about the culture and nature of studying a Commerce degree at UNSW, Katherine tells us, “The culture can feel a bit ‘meh’ and there doesn’t feel like anyone is passionate about what they’re learning.

What people are passionate about are the things that the degree will afford you outside of the classroom; like case competitions, internships and opportunities in summer vacation roles. The culture is very work-oriented and most people are there at uni not for the content itself but what the degree offers outside of it.”

That being said, there’s lots to learn and enjoy within the degree itself! It’s only that the culture perpetuated within it may make the content in your units feel less useful than it is.

#2: Difficult to Make Friends

With a very large cohort, so many units and low contact hours, it can be a challenge to form solid and long-lasting friendships. It will definitely take effort to reach out and invest in relationships outside of the classroom!

“One of my least favourite things is that it’s hard to make friends — not impossible — but it’s just such a big and flexible degree that it’s difficult to keep in touch with the same people,” Katherine explains.

#3: Dry Content

The breadth of content within general Commerce units lends towards its ‘dryness’ and it can be difficult to take an invested interest in it at first.

“It may not feel particularly tailored to your interests because what you learn is so broad and applicable to so many areas. It’s only once you really choose all your majors and specialisations that things start to click and feel interesting,” Katherine says, telling us about how her choice to major in Finance helped make her Commerce degree more interesting and fun.

Any regrets? 

“Earlier in my degree I would just go straight home after classes, but I think there’s a lot of value in just being present at uni and enjoying the experience of making friends outside of class, studying on campus and using the facilities there. I regret not taking the chance to spend more time enjoying the freedom that uni life offered,” Katherine tells us.

What do you wish you had known before starting the degree? 

A lot of the workload in this degree is spread out in a way that means you have on and off periods of stress and cramming. To avoid all that though, Katherine explains why she wished she had been told how important it was to manage her time well in this degree.

“The workload in a term is a lot like a rollercoaster. I did feel like I had to stress a lot during exam periods, then chill and almost relax too much, and then stress when something was due soon. I wished I had been told how important it was to manage my time better.”

What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities? 

#1: High Degree of Customisation

You may have heard the word ‘trimesters’ being thrown around whenever UNSW is brought up, perhaps even accompanied by a groan. But fear not! Trimesters means having three terms in a year, interspersed with a few weeks of holiday break.

An additional fourth term, called the Summer Term, is also available for increased flexibility. While this may not sound very fun, it does mean that, for a Commerce degree, you get a lot more freedom to tailor your degree to suit your needs! 

This may mean under-loading for a term to work part-time, or overloading to get your degree finished faster it’s completely up to you!

“My favourite thing about Commerce is how flexible and customisable it is. Because of trimesters, you get to decide how you progress through your degree, like whether or not to under-load for a term to do an internship. Some people spread out their units and study during the Summer Term so they get to work more hours alongside their degree and still complete it on time,” Katherine reveals to us.

#2: Global Reputation

As mentioned earlier, UNSW’s national and global reputation, ranked 15th in Accounting and Finance in the world, means that you can be sure you’re getting one of the best educations on offer.

It’s a really reputable uni, probably one of the top two in Sydney and is looked upon highly by employers,” Katherine says.

What inspired you to choose this degree?

Katherine tells us about how the opportunities for growth and future career paths that came from a Commerce degree was one of the factors that inspired her to choose it. 

“There’s a thing about climbing the corporate ladder, but a merging of commerce with the tech industry and digital world means that the business industry becomes more like a horizontal climb than an upward battle. You get to be in a lot of new and interesting roles.” Katherine explains to us.

What are the possible career paths?

UNSW Commerce - Careers

A degree in Commerce at UNSW opens many doors and career paths. You may even find that the roles you end up taking on merge into other industries, opening up even more opportunities for skill development and career progression. 

Some careers include:

We hope that hearing about Katherine’s experience helps you to figure out what to do after high school!

Millicent Tai hopes to one day become a full-time teacher and is currently studying a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science at UNSW. She enjoys tutoring students at Art of Smart in English and Maths and has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. In her spare time, you can find her avidly reading Christian biographies or fishing in Animal Crossing.

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