BlogUniversityPros and Cons of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at ANU

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at ANU

If you’re on the fence about studying Engineering, and maybe a little unsure about which universities you want to apply for, you’re at the right place to find out about the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at ANU!

But first, why not familiarise yourself with the degree? To learn about the types of subjects you’ll take, the course culture and skills you’ll develop — have a read of what it’s like studying Engineering at ANU here.

We’ve had a chat with Matt, a fifth year Engineering (Honours) and Commerce student, majoring in Renewable Energy and Finance, respectively, at ANU. 

So keep reading to hear more about some firsthand experiences in the degree!

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

Why should you study a Bachelor of Engineering at ANU?

If you’re someone that enjoys maths and science, and really love seeing it being applied to real situations, chances are — Engineering could be the path for you! 

Engineering at ANU is particularly unique for its multidisciplinary approach, where there are project management components to the degree. Meaning that not only are you learning the theoretical foundations of Engineering, but you also learn to manage, plan and process large projects. 

Matt said, “Engineering is not all about textbook learning, there are a lot of practical aspects involved!”

This is a really great graduate quality to have and is sought for by employers. At the end of the day, an engineer needs to be able to work with others and carry out major projects, and this degree prepares you for that! 

Top 3 Pros of an Engineering degree

#1: You aren’t forced to choose your major straight away

One of the great pros about Engineering at ANU is that you don’t need to pick a major straight away. Coming fresh into a new degree, it can be hard to know what you want to do, and even if you do have a general idea, that can change once you know what all your options are. 

The majors you can do at ANU for Engineering are: 

Further, being able to experience a little bit of every field might make you realise that majoring in Environmental Systems is not for you, and that you actually enjoy Electronic and Communications Systems much more!

#2: You become a great team worker!

“Another pro is the ability to develop team collaboration and cooperation skills which are really essential for work environments, and being able to communicate with others,” Matt said.

Whether working in teams is a strength or weakness of yours, you need to have collaborative skills as an engineer. Nonetheless, this degree helps you develop these teamwork skills with group projects and collaborative opportunities.

#3: The project management aspect of the degree

Bachelor of Engineering ANU - Quote

Learning about engineering beyond maths and science is incredibly important in ensuring the degree actually prepares you to enter the industry, so this is definitely a huge pro! 

Top 3 Cons of an Engineering degree

#1: It can be quite a stressful degree

Engineering is among some of the more demanding degrees so it can become quite stressful. Particularly in the lead up to exams and during busy assessment times, you can expect to feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Matt said, “In the case that a course is run poorly, it creates a lot of stress and panic for the students and you get insane workloads which makes it hard to keep up at times.”

#2: Heavy workload

“The workload — no one likes to do extra work and in Engineering there’s just a lot to do on top of contact hours,” Matt said.

Hand in hand with the stressful aspect of this degree, Engineering (Honours) at ANU has a heavy workload. Alongside contact hours of about 16 to 20 hours (if studying full-time) a week, there is a lot of content and a whole load of concepts, theories and formulas to learn and understand. 

#3: Less time is spent studying your major because of the flexibility in first and second year

“When it comes to specialising in a specific major, you don’t learn as much in comparison to learning the major at another uni because you spend less time doing the major and more time completing core units and prerequisites,” Matt said.

As you spend almost all of first and second year dabbling in the different areas for majors, you end up only really starting your major in third year, so half the degree is spent exploring different areas. 

While this is really helpful if you don’t know what you want to major in, for a student who knows they want to major in Mechatronic Systems, for instance, completing core units for the other two majors becomes unnecessary. This also takes time away from learning about Mechatronic systems in more depth and detail. 

Matt said, “The amount of knowledge you inherit is limited, and sometimes it can feel like a waste of time.”

Any regrets? 

I wish I spent more time learning the foundations in first and second year, because they do carry over in later courses,” Matt said. 

He added, “For example, I didn’t spend as much time on mechanics as I should have, and now [in fifth year] I’m doing a course on fluid mechanics and I find myself going back to those lecture slides to understand the foundational concepts and formulas.”

Make sure you have a strong understanding of the core units you take in first and second year — especially if you are considering majoring in a similar area down the line because, chances are, these concepts will pop up again! 

What do you wish you had known before starting a Bachelor of Engineering at ANU? 

Matt said, “I guess it would have been good to look into how much work is required for each course, and then being able to prepare myself beforehand, because that is a lot of shock.”

Engineering is by no means an easy degree, and is somewhat notorious for its heavier workload and contact hours as mentioned earlier. Remember that you will need to spend a lot of your own time studying and working through homework problems.

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

Two of the main standouts for Engineering (Honours) at ANU, are the project management component and not having to choose your major straight off the bat. 

As stated earlier, learning skills in managing and organising engineering projects is a great graduate quality and is largely valued by employers. 

Secondly, being able to complete some of the core units for every major allows you to have a taste in every field, before committing to one major. This is perfect for a lot of students because coming straight from high school, more often than not, you have no idea what you want to do, and that’s completely fine!

What inspired you to choose a Bachelor of Engineering at ANU?

Matt chose ANU because he knew some friends in the cohort above, who shared their experiences of the degree with him. Also being local, ANU was a great choice financially. 

In terms of choosing engineering, Matt said, “I think for me, there’s a passion to create impact on the world and a passion for building and designing things that can help others. 

“I want to know how I can use my abilities and what I’ve learnt to help regions that aren’t as fortunate in terms of innovation.” 

What are the possible career paths?

Bachelor of Engineering ANU - Careers

The problem solving abilities of engineering graduates are highly valued by employers. So aside from the obvious careers that you can step into, depending on your major, there are so many other careers an engineering student can explore in and out of the industry.

Here are a couple to give you the general gist:

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.   

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