So you’ve gotten into a degree in Software Engineering at USYD, but you want to know what it’s really like to study?
Meet Rowan, a fourth year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student. He will fill you in on the details of the degree beyond the basic information, including the positives and the negatives.
If you want to find out more about the daily life of Software Engineering student at USYD, read on!
Why should you study a Software Engineering degree at USYD?
A Bachelor Engineering Honours (Software) at USYD combines practical learning with industry experience. You will meet people passionate about problem solving, and be immersed in a hands-on, creative environment with highly experienced teachers from the software engineering field.
Some of the skills you will develop include computer languages such as Java and Python, as well as problem solving, security and defence mechanisms, project planning and execution. You will also have the opportunity for practical work experience in the industry!
Top 3 Pros of a Software Engineering degree
#1: Problem solving skills
“You are given the tools to solve any technical problem,” says Rowan.
Over the course of your four-year degree, you can expect to develop your knowledge of modern computer systems and languages, software construction, data algorithms, maths and programming knowledge, and website building (plus more).
#2: Apply your creative side
“With these tools you can apply your creative side to build whatever you like,” says Rowan.
Despite the fact there is a lot of required technical and mathematical knowledge in a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Software), you will also experience scenario-based learning that demands creative problem solving using your acquired knowledge, and to develop user-friendly platforms like web browsers, computer programs and mobile apps.
#3: Diverse opportunities for growth
Internships are incredibly valuable in terms of what you can learn on the job and connections you can make.
If fortunate, you may also win an Engineering Sydney Industry Placement Scholarship (ESIPS), a six-month on-the-job experience as part of an industry team under the guidance of an industry mentor for students in their final year of studies. Rowan is currently at Commonwealth Bank completing his ESIPS program.
Top 3 Cons of a Software Engineering degree
#1: Very technical
“[This degree is] very technical, which is not a con if you like that!” Rowan exclaims.
The Software Engineering ‘stream’ means you’ll do a combination of engineering subjects (including maths) along with subjects specific to the software stream throughout your four years.
Studying Software Engineering at USYD has the option (not compulsory) for students to specialise in one of three areas including:
- Computer Engineering
- Intelligent Information Engineering
- Internet of Things
#2: Long hours
“There are lots of contact hours, but even more hours spent self teaching,” says Rowan.
Students can expect to spend on average around 20 contact hours per week studying Software Engineering at USYD in their first year.
On top of this, the workload is relatively high, with assessments involving projects where students can expect to build, test, and submit codes while documenting the process. So be prepared to take out time each week for your degree!
#3: Lots of time at a desk
For a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Software), this is to be expected. Not only do most tutorials occur in computer labs and tutorials, but your assessments largely comprise code-building projects and weekly quizzes.
Any regrets? What do you wish you had known before starting USYD Software Engineering?
“I have no regrets about my Software Engineering degree, however I do wish I kept my conjoint science degree. The diversity of thought would have been a welcome addition and I no longer feel the pressure to finish my degree as soon as possible,” Rowan shares.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“I would say Software Engineering gives you the skills and the canvas to create any sort of online product. You’ll meet a bunch of problem solving based people who like to get hands on and create things… At USYD in particular, the staff are very good and the people are nice.”
Another thing that differentiates USYD from other universities is its Professional Engagement Program, offered to all engineering students so that they have practical experience by the time they graduate.
What inspired you to choose USYD Software Engineering?
“I went to UoS for the social scene. I think the software engineering is pretty similar all over Australia and so it ends up being what you make of it!”
The university culture is incredibly positive, says Rowan, where students engage in a friendly, helpful and like-minded community.
Students in this degree can also get involved in the Sydney Computing Society, or ‘SYNCS’. The society boasts a range of events to meet new friends and further your software engineering and computer science passions.
What are the possible career paths?
Software Engineering at USYD offers you a broad choice of career pathways in tech and other industries at the end of your degree!
You can work for big tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, take up freelance/contracted work, or work within sectors like finance and business to improve their tech systems.
Some of these careers may include:
- Software analyst and engineer
- Information security specialist
- Artificial intelligence
- Internet programming
- Web developer
- Database programmer and management
And many more!
Zara Zadro is a Content Writer for Art of Smart and a current undergraduate student at the University of Sydney. She studies a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies majoring in Media & Communications and English. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music and discovering new parts of Sydney. She has also written for the student publications Honi Soit and Vertigo. After she graduates, Zara hopes to do a Masters in creative writing and live overseas, which she cannot wait for!