While it’s exciting and a great opportunity, taking on the commitment of any university degree does require some thought before you decide to jump in. And, it’s no different for Electrical Engineering at USyd — here’s where this article will help you with your decision.
We’ve asked Hussam, an Electrical Engineering undergrad at USyd, to give his two cents and the pros and cons you should consider before applying for this degree.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study an Electrical Engineering degree at USYD?
“Engineering at USYD is full on from day one,” Hussam tells us. “You are always faced with complexity and are taught to push through adversity.”
A Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at USyd is a rigorous degree. If you enjoy a challenge and seeing your mental abilities grow further and further, this is a degree you should consider.
Graduating from this degree is a great feat, which is internally rewarding and advantageous in the sense that it opens many career paths for the graduate!
Specifically, if you enjoy working with digital forms, Hussam says “there’s a lot of coding, [this] allows you to branch into software roles“.
Top 3 Pros of an Electrical Engineering degree
#1: Hands-on learning approach
At USyd, the Electrical Engineering course is taught with a “very hands-on” approach. Hussam tells us that every unit has a practical component as part of the classes and assessments.
“Each unit teaches you how to design solutions, for example through code/circuit theory,” Hussam says.
This allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge and fully grasp these concepts in real-world settings, which is key to not only knowledge retention but forming their critical-thinking skills.
#2: Teaches a broad set of skills
Secondly, all the units in a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at USyd develop the particular skills which are in demand within the whole scope of the industry.
“Each unit has a focus on developing various hands-on skills desired in the industry (i.e. coding),” Hussam reiterates. At the core of it, you’ll develop a keen sense of problem-solving.
“Always having to solve physics questions, math questions, construct code that efficiently solves problems forces you to always think outside the box and analyse literature — even things you may not be familiar with — to solve new and challenging problems,” Hussam says.
This means that while the undergraduate degree is a very broad degree, “it teaches you the fundamentals to excel in various fields” — especially, considering that USyd ranks #4 in Australia for its Engineering courses.
#3: Vibrant student culture
Though there are at least 15 contact hours in a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at USyd, a great study-life balance can be found through the university’s vibrant student culture.
“There is a huge student culture in Engineering, where there are always weekly engineering events,” Hussam says.
“Getting involved with SparkSoc [the main Electrical Engineering Society at Usyd] has been so rewarding because it helped me contribute to the betterment of our community. Seeing people learn new things, meeting new people has been amazing.”
Finding a course with a student culture often boosts a student’s overall university experience; by having friends who study your course, there’s an increased motivation to study, discuss topics and therefore, this might factor into getting higher grades!
Top 3 Cons of an Electrical Engineering degree
#1: High level of difficulty
“It can get very difficult at times, as each unit is essentially problem solving and problems can be very full on,” Hussam tells us.
Candidly, he says, “I started off questioning my ability to succeed as an Engineer, due to the complexity it offers. However as each year went by, my confidence in my ability increased.”
He adds, “My peers also shared this sentiment. Each time however we made it, and every time we did, we conquered something we felt was impossible.”
#2: Self-directed learning
As a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at USyd is quite difficult, students will find that there is a lot of self-directed learning.
“A lot of the assignments will have you looking at literature outside of lectures to excel in them,” Hussam explains.
“You’ll also find that you’re using various resources to learn, not just your lectures. This led me to understand how to be self sufficient and take initiative when I didn’t understand something in the lectures. In the end, I was able to understand how to learn new and complex ideas in a short time.“
#3: Small cohort
Finally, Hussam tells us that the Electrical Engineering cohort has a small number of students.
So, “you won’t know many people from your degree, on the flip side you will get close to people you do know,” he says.
“The only regret I have is letting myself believe I won’t be able to make through my degree, as I was struggling initially,” Hussam explains.
Perseverance, confidence, and, sometimes, a dash of blind faith is what will get you through the difficult times of your university study!
What do you wish you had known before starting USYD Electrical Engineering?
Here, students are reminded that trial and error is a part of the pathway to success.
In tandem with his one regret, Hussam says, “I wish I had known that struggle is normal and is part of becoming a good Engineer… I wish I knew to embrace it.”
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
A Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at USyd stands out from other offered degrees with its commitment to develop students’ real-world capabilities.
As Hussam puts it, “The USYD degree will have you dealing with application of Electrical Engineering in real life contexts from the get-go.”
What inspired you to choose USYD Electrical Engineering?
For Hussam, he sees that “electrical engineering is a culmination of physics and maths. It’s the one degree where even though you might not be able to see the many natural laws you use on a daily basis, they still exist and have a major effect on our daily lives.”
“These two facts are my inspiration in pursuing this degree. USYD’s practical approach and focus on engineering culture is what drew me to studying here [sic],” he says.
What are the possible career paths?
The main career pathway for this degree is becoming an Electrical Engineer. Based on a graduate’s specialisation, they can diversify into careers including:
- Software Engineer
- Computer hardware designer
- Project Manager
Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.