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September 28, 2023, 03:00:45 pm

Author Topic: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great  (Read 17244 times)  Share 

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Chris Moltisanti

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Hey everyone
I am a first year ENG student at Monash Uni and my mid-branch selection is coming up in a Week. I am tossing up between electrical engineering and civil engineering. I know people here will say do what interests me, and I do find electrical more interesting HOWEVER I know that I am no genius. I  did a 2nd year electrical ENG unit as an elective this semester and found it quite hard and after having conversed with 3rd and 4th year electrical ENG students I heard it gets harder. I know that maths isn't a huge strength of mine however I can kinda manage...however I always thought electrical wouldn't require lots of maths...i was MISTAKEN. In electrical ENG we have to deal with trig functions and complex numbers. I am no genius and I am worried if I do select electrical I will reach a point in 3rd year where I just wont be able to do the maths...
Civil engineering is a bit bland and also has maths but i dont believe it involves very hard concepts like in electrical ENG.
ANY civil engineers or electrical engineers here who can give me ANY advice? ANY indication on the level of maths required etc?  :-[

PS  I have to admit that the job availablilty in Civil is also a reason why I am interested in Civil lol  :P

SammyBoy

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I'd go for electrical if I were you as you'll enjoy your degree and your job more than if you picked civil based on what you said. Engineering is a challenging field and you shouldn't be afraid of hard work for something you enjoy.

Chris Moltisanti

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Hey thanks for your reply

another reason why I am considering doing civil is that lab work for electrical is a pain in the &%@! Oscilloscope, signal generator, DC supply voltage etc etc is annoying and sometimes you don't even know what you are doing. I am pretty sure labs in Civil aren't easy but you kinda at least know what you are doing...

inish

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 10:54:33 pm »
0
Hey everyone
I am a first year ENG student at Monash Uni and my mid-branch selection is coming up in a Week. I am tossing up between electrical engineering and civil engineering. I know people here will say do what interests me, and I do find electrical more interesting HOWEVER I know that I am no genius. I  did a 2nd year electrical ENG unit as an elective this semester and found it quite hard and after having conversed with 3rd and 4th year electrical ENG students I heard it gets harder. I know that maths isn't a huge strength of mine however I can kinda manage...however I always thought electrical wouldn't require lots of maths...i was MISTAKEN. In electrical ENG we have to deal with trig functions and complex numbers. I am no genius and I am worried if I do select electrical I will reach a point in 3rd year where I just wont be able to do the maths...
Civil engineering is a bit bland and also has maths but i dont believe it involves very hard concepts like in electrical ENG.
ANY civil engineers or electrical engineers here who can give me ANY advice? ANY indication on the level of maths required etc?  :-[

PS  I have to admit that the job availablilty in Civil is also a reason why I am interested in Civil lol  :P

Civil engineering will get you a job.

Electrical engineering is more interesting but less likely to get a job.

huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 12:33:57 pm »
+5
Civil engineering will get you a job.

Electrical engineering is more interesting but less likely to get a job.

I am a final year Electrical Engineering Student with Job Offers from ASX200 Companies, so I think Im in a pretty good position to give you some advice.

Firstly, Electrical Engineering is very mathematics focused in a few areas.

There are less maths heavy electrical engineering areas.

The main areas of electrical engineering are
Control Systems, Communication, Signal Processing, Power System, Electronics. Out of them the communication and signal processing are very maths heavy, power and control are less so and Electronics is mostly about logical thinking.

So it's possible for you to specialise in less mathematics heavy areas, though some of the areas like communication, power and control are in demand in Australia.

Coming from someone who has worked in the industry and have contacts in the private sector, I would really recommend you to go with the area you are more interested in, look at it this way, this is an area where you will most likely be spending 20-30 years of your life down the track, and University is only a small aspect of your future.

I know definitely when you enter the work force, the technical work you do is 10 times easier than what you were taught in University. Most likely you will end up in management roles since engineers are so expensive, so there will be much less mathematics and hardcore engineering when you start working, unless you work for specialized branches of consulting.

Unlike what people said, currently all engineering areas are in a downbeat market, but if you are doing civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical you will have better chances than others.

Currently, if you study engineering, due to the mining downturn, you need to be quite good with good experience and OK marks to land a job anyway.

Academic marking only contribute perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of weighting in job applications, typically people with 70+ average can land a decent job, and 75+ gets you into the big players like BP, Exxonmobil, BHP Billiton.

It's more important to love what you do, actively engage with university society, industry and have experiences and extracurricular activities under your belt.
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huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 09:24:10 pm »
+1
Hi huaxiadragon,

The private message function isn't working at the moment so I'll just ask here.

I'm doing the electrical systems major as well, currently in 2nd year of Science.

Do you know much about the benefits of doing the Masters (with Business) rather than a pure Masters degree?
Does it actually allow me more options once I graduate? (Rather than just being an electrical engineer, I am qualified to enter other sectors, such as finance and accounting?)

Also what engineering-related societies did you participate in?
Only one that truly interests me is MUR Motorsports, but they're mainly all Masters students so I'll have to wait a bit until I can actually participate.


Finally, if possible, could you quickly list the subjects you've done from 2nd year to now? I'm curious about the breadths/electives you chose in 3rd year and in Masters.
Something like
"2nd year: Eng Math, Eng Comp, Foundations Elec Networks, etc..."
"3rd year: Digital Systems, Signals and systems, etc..."


Thanks and regards

Hi BasicAcid

The Electrical Engineering With Business would make you more attractive to employers in the finance/banking type of role. Moreover as I mentioned since a lot of the employers who hire electrical engineers groom them for managerial positions, then having a business background would help a lot. I've sort of did a lot of finance and management types of subjects for my undergrad and they are definitely very useful in the work place, especially project management, basic accounting and finance.

The with business degree doesn't necessarily open more doors, since people with pure electrical engineering degrees can also land jobs in the finance and banking sector. Finance and banking sector mainly hire engineers because they are trained with highly analytical thinking, a lot of engineers I know go into technology and risk consulting, one of my fellow engineering friends just landed a 80k job straight out of Uni for a Logistics and transport company, this is completely unrelated to engineering.

The With Business component would help with increasing the chances for some of the jobs, but you won't be able to compete with commerce graduates for the pure commerce jobs.

Again Banking and Finance hire engineers for roles that require highly analytical thinking which commerce graduate are not as well trained in.

As for Societies, I would recommend Robogals, Engineers without Borders, IEEE, MUEEC, Robogals especially can land you good internships and you don't have to be a girl to join xD.

As for my subjects, I won't list the core ones since you have to do them anyway, Im only listing breadth
2nd Year: Investments, Corporate Finance (Did Finance 1 and Business Finance First Year)
3rd Year: Project Management, Operations Management

Masters breadth/Electives
1st Year: Supply Chain Management, Advanced Control Systems, Power System Analysis
2nd Year: Programming and Software Development, Engineering Contracts and Procurement, Introduction to Power, Power Electronics

As you can see I've done a lot of finance and management types of subjects, I would say they definitely were very useful in the workplace, I used my project management skills as much as technical skills.

I am also specializing in the Power and Control type of area, this area is one of the major employers of electrical engineers in Australia, and specializing in this area has led me to obtain job offers for the company I will be working for next year.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 09:27:32 pm by huaxiadragon »
ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

2014-2015 (UoM | Master of Engineering | Electrical | First Class Honours)

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2017+ Senior Engineer (Electronic Maintenance)

My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)

huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 12:44:55 pm »
+1
Hi huaxiadragon,

Thanks for the detailed reply.

I guess I'll keep investigating the business part. I've heard heaps about the analytical/problem solving ability engineering graduates seem to have, and I was hoping to take advantage of that to break into other sectors.

I don't even know if I truly enjoy electrical eng (heck, I haven't even done any "real" engineering yet) so it's always nice to have other doors open when I graduate.


I'll definitely take a note of those societies. Did you participate in any of these clubs regularly in undergrad?


Jesus Christ... Your breadths are truly impressive.
I did Business Finance this semester as my breadth and found it pretty difficult to balance with my other subjects (got 72 so I guess that's ok)... But I can't imagine doing a level 3 Finance breadth.
I'm just going to stick with the "easier" breadths now haha (especially in third year... after reading your post lol).

In second/third year, there's only two compulsory subjects in each semester (then you had your breadth). I was just wondering what you filled up that other science elective spot with?

I've noted down your Masters electives too although I don't really know what they are haha, I was just curious.


Sorry about the barrage of questions.
I don't know anyone doing engineering at Melb Uni in their later years, yet alone another elec engineer student that's so similar to me.

I guess I might be able to make more older UoM engineering friends when I join these eng societies.

Thanks again

Yep, I suppose starting third year you will really start to get a feel of the areas and type of things you will be doing, note that most of what you learn at University wonít really be used in the work place, the subjects you do just gets you into the door. When you start working the companies would typically spend 2-4 years training you up on one particular area.

I personally am involved with MUEEC, I also go to a lot of the Robogals events, I am also an IEEE member.

For 2nd and 3rd year, I think I did Probability for Statistics and Stochastic Modelling, they are actually very useful since a core subject for electrical engineers is Probability and Random Models, doing those two maths subjects means you will be exempted for Probability and Random Models, thatís one of the hardest masters subjects since its essentially two maths heavy subjects done in one semester.

Yeah no worries, I am on holiday right now and except for capstone and socialising I have a lot of time free so no worries

ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

2014-2015 (UoM | Master of Engineering | Electrical | First Class Honours)

2016-2017 (Graduate Electrical Engineer)

2017+ Senior Engineer (Electronic Maintenance)

My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)

LOLs99

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 08:08:59 pm »
0
I am a final year Electrical Engineering Student with Job Offers from ASX200 Companies, so I think Im in a pretty good position to give you some advice.

Firstly, Electrical Engineering is very mathematics focused in a few areas.

There are less maths heavy electrical engineering areas.

The main areas of electrical engineering are
Control Systems, Communication, Signal Processing, Power System, Electronics. Out of them the communication and signal processing are very maths heavy, power and control are less so and Electronics is mostly about logical thinking.

So it's possible for you to specialise in less mathematics heavy areas, though some of the areas like communication, power and control are in demand in Australia.

Coming from someone who has worked in the industry and have contacts in the private sector, I would really recommend you to go with the area you are more interested in, look at it this way, this is an area where you will most likely be spending 20-30 years of your life down the track, and University is only a small aspect of your future.

I know definitely when you enter the work force, the technical work you do is 10 times easier than what you were taught in University. Most likely you will end up in management roles since engineers are so expensive, so there will be much less mathematics and hardcore engineering when you start working, unless you work for specialized branches of consulting.

Unlike what people said, currently all engineering areas are in a downbeat market, but if you are doing civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical you will have better chances than others.

Currently, if you study engineering, due to the mining downturn, you need to be quite good with good experience and OK marks to land a job anyway.

Academic marking only contribute perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of weighting in job applications, typically people with 70+ average can land a decent job, and 75+ gets you into the big players like BP, Exxonmobil, BHP Billiton.

It's more important to love what you do, actively engage with university society, industry and have experiences and extracurricular activities under your belt.
Hi huaxiadragon,

I would like to ask if it is hard to get through signals and systems without digital system design and ENAD. signals and system seem to have more maths in it and electrical device modelling are more physics-based so i actually prefer signals and system and will do it in sem 2 second year. I am not majoring in electrical though.
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huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 12:06:16 pm »
+2
Hi huaxiadragon,

I would like to ask if it is hard to get through signals and systems without digital system design and ENAD. signals and system seem to have more maths in it and electrical device modelling are more physics-based so i actually prefer signals and system and will do it in sem 2 second year. I am not majoring in electrical though.

Nah it's not hard at all. Whilst there are slight overlaps, but overall those subjects are quite independent from each other.

ENAD teaches you the basic circuit theory which leads to Electronic Circuit Design, ENAD is all about transistors and Operational Amplifiers. DSD teaches you the basic of digital micro controllers and how they work, it leads on to design of PCB in Embedded systems design.

Signals and Systems introduces you do basic fourier transform theory, which will lead on to signal processing and communication systems, it's also useful for understanding of Control Systems.

So yeah all three subjects leads to different areas and doing them in any order should be alright
ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

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My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)

LOLs99

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 07:26:56 pm »
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Nah it's not hard at all. Whilst there are slight overlaps, but overall those subjects are quite independent from each other.

ENAD teaches you the basic circuit theory which leads to Electronic Circuit Design, ENAD is all about transistors and Operational Amplifiers. DSD teaches you the basic of digital micro controllers and how they work, it leads on to design of PCB in Embedded systems design.

Signals and Systems introduces you do basic fourier transform theory, which will lead on to signal processing and communication systems, it's also useful for understanding of Control Systems.

So yeah all three subjects leads to different areas and doing them in any order should be alright

Alright thanks, that's great. Is it possible for me to get the lecture notes from you if u still have them ?
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huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 08:21:51 pm »
+1
Alright thanks, that's great. Is it possible for me to get the lecture notes from you if u still have them ?

I'm pretty sure they are in the Facebook groups of each respective subject.

Here's the links

Groups for 2nd year EEE Students

Semester 2
ELEN20005 Foundations of Electrical Networks
https://www.facebook.com/groups/115213415288120/

Groups for 3rd year EEE Students

Semester 1
ELEN30009 Electrical Network Analysis and Design (Unofficial)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/365991580090010/

ELEN30009 Electrical Network Analysis and Design (Lecturer Moderated)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/258706360977139/

ELEN30010 Digital System Design
https://www.facebook.com/groups/299072440159868/

Semester 2
ELEN30012 Signal and Systems
https://www.facebook.com/groups/222816007835462/

ELEN30013 Electronic System Implementation
https://www.facebook.com/groups/393311834045110/

ELEN30011 Electrical Device Modelling
https://www.facebook.com/groups/316813288397232/
ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

2014-2015 (UoM | Master of Engineering | Electrical | First Class Honours)

2016-2017 (Graduate Electrical Engineer)

2017+ Senior Engineer (Electronic Maintenance)

My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)

AbominableMowman

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 06:30:17 pm »
0
Hi BasicAcid

The Electrical Engineering With Business would make you more attractive to employers in the finance/banking type of role. Moreover as I mentioned since a lot of the employers who hire electrical engineers groom them for managerial positions, then having a business background would help a lot. I've sort of did a lot of finance and management types of subjects for my undergrad and they are definitely very useful in the work place, especially project management, basic accounting and finance.

The with business degree doesn't necessarily open more doors, since people with pure electrical engineering degrees can also land jobs in the finance and banking sector. Finance and banking sector mainly hire engineers because they are trained with highly analytical thinking, a lot of engineers I know go into technology and risk consulting, one of my fellow engineering friends just landed a 80k job straight out of Uni for a Logistics and transport company, this is completely unrelated to engineering.

The With Business component would help with increasing the chances for some of the jobs, but you won't be able to compete with commerce graduates for the pure commerce jobs.

Again Banking and Finance hire engineers for roles that require highly analytical thinking which commerce graduate are not as well trained in.

As for Societies, I would recommend Robogals, Engineers without Borders, IEEE, MUEEC, Robogals especially can land you good internships and you don't have to be a girl to join xD.

As for my subjects, I won't list the core ones since you have to do them anyway, Im only listing breadth
2nd Year: Investments, Corporate Finance (Did Finance 1 and Business Finance First Year)
3rd Year: Project Management, Operations Management

Masters breadth/Electives
1st Year: Supply Chain Management, Advanced Control Systems, Power System Analysis
2nd Year: Programming and Software Development, Engineering Contracts and Procurement, Introduction to Power, Power Electronics

As you can see I've done a lot of finance and management types of subjects, I would say they definitely were very useful in the workplace, I used my project management skills as much as technical skills.

I am also specializing in the Power and Control type of area, this area is one of the major employers of electrical engineers in Australia, and specializing in this area has led me to obtain job offers for the company I will be working for next year.
Hey Huaxidragon,
Do you think that doing an Engineering 'with business' degree will mean that I'll miss out on electives that could potentially open up employment opportunities in engineering sectors or do the electives not have much of a significance?
Thanks
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LOLs99

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 07:59:41 pm »
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Thankyou so much, huaxiadragon :D
I was wondering if there are facebook groups for mechanical engineering subjects too?
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huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 09:36:27 pm »
+1
Hey Huaxidragon,
Do you think that doing an Engineering 'with business' degree will mean that I'll miss out on electives that could potentially open up employment opportunities in engineering sectors or do the electives not have much of a significance?
Thanks


The truth is, you will learn a lot of stuff during University, most of them VERY BASIC compared to the current industrial standard. The other truth is that you will have to learn most of what you need on the job.

When applying for jobs, for engineers at least experience is much more important than what subject you did. In fact most employers I am aware of donít even glance at your transcript. They really just need to know whether you have past experience and whether your marks are good enough, whether you have good extracurricular activities.

So if due to your with business degree you were unable to do certain electives but you are able to get industry experience in that area, employers will happily hire you.

Engineering experience > Extracurricular experience > Subject Knowledge.

If you were unable to complete subjects in say power, but you did vacation work at one of the power companies, or you volunteered in the power distribution module of your university motorsport team, this will look much better than having done power subjects.

But if you have two graduates who are both applying for power positions and one has done more subjects than the other, and all other circumstances are the same, the graduate who did more power would look slightly more favourable.
ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

2014-2015 (UoM | Master of Engineering | Electrical | First Class Honours)

2016-2017 (Graduate Electrical Engineer)

2017+ Senior Engineer (Electronic Maintenance)

My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)

huaxiadragon

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Re: Electrical or Civil Engineering? Personal experience would be great
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2015, 09:38:01 pm »
0
Thankyou so much, huaxiadragon :D
I was wondering if there are facebook groups for mechanical engineering subjects too?

There is but I have no idea what their links are, Im not part of their group lol. Search on facebook or ask your friends. I know they are definitely there.
ATAR 2010: 98.15
Chemistry: 50

2011-2013 (UoM | Bachelor of Science | Electrical Systems Major)

2014-2015 (UoM | Master of Engineering | Electrical | First Class Honours)

2016-2017 (Graduate Electrical Engineer)

2017+ Senior Engineer (Electronic Maintenance)

My Personal Guide on How I studied to get a 50!
Huaxiadragon's Experience in getting a 50 in Chem (Guide to How I studied)