I am very interested in Engineering but unsure about the exact specifics of what engineering field I want to pursue. Does anyone have any ideas about what Civil is like?
I completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with first class honours in 2012 at the University of Auckland.
The University of Auckland offers a broad spectrum of specialisations within each engineering discipline. Within Civil, students can choose to take papers that cover Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Coastal Design, Geology to name a few. For the full list take a look at:
In your third year you will need to choose between Structural and Environmental engineering for your major which will lock you into several compulsory papers in your third and fourth year.
In your fourth (honours) year, you will be required to complete a research project and publish at least one paper. My project took up around 400 hours of my time, so make sure you choose your research topic very carefully as it is almost impossible to change your mind once you’ve committed.
Unlike other degrees at the University of Auckland, the Engineering degree includes a “general” year where students are not required to specialise - rather to complete 1 or 2 papers of each discipline. I would encourage students to take advantage of this first year to do some “soul searching” and pursue the specialisation that you are most passionate about.
I’ve also worked had considerable work experience at large companies in both Civil and Software Engineering and my final piece of advice is to pursue breadth over depth as a general rule. Employers want to see that you are capable of learning new skills - they don’t care as much about whether you’ve done one structural paper or five.
So get your feet wet and most importantly, have fun!