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I'm a civil engineer. Ask me anything you want to know about Civil Eng. (1 Viewer)

enghero

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Hi All,

I'm a civil engineer of 7 years. I have a combined civil engineering and commerce degree from UNSW.
My field is in infrastructure, mostly road and rail projects.

I have walked through the same journey you walked through.
Going through high school, and uni. Trying to figure out life, career choice, etc.
You can ask me anything you want to know from which subjects to choose in high school, what eng uni life is like, the civil engineering profession itself.

If you are thinking about civil engineering as a profession and career. Then don't hesitate to ask me.
Hopefully I can give a clearer picture of what you can expect.

I am kinda new in forum so apologies if I trespass my boundaries.
I will try to answer your questions as promptly as I can, but I do have other commitments and maybe tired after a hard day slog at work.

Kind Regards,
Enghero
 

blah21

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Civil or Surveying in terms of job prospects?
 

enghero

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Civil or Surveying in terms of job prospects?
Civil engineering is quite diverse. There's always a demand for civil engineering as it involves anything with civilization.
Buildings, bridges, roads, rails, drainage system, sewer, dams.
If you're not building them, you're maintaining them.

Surveying itself is also on demand. There is a shortage of surveyors. We can't seem to get enough of them.
In terms of progression, I am not sure what a surveyor can progress to. If you're good, you can have your own surveying business, as it is more like a trade.
There was a project early this year where I asked if a surveyor can support my job, and he said his resources was booked out for the next 3-4 months and he can only slot me in then.
In terms of the future, there is going to be a big disruption for surveying especially with how technology is evolving really quickly. There are already myriad of evolving surveying technology out there. LiDAR, Point cloud to name a few. But I suspect it just means that surveyors tools are changed from a tripod to more advanced equipment.

Whereas civil engineering, you can choose from being a contractor, or designer/consultant or project manager.
Most of civil engineers go into management. Or you can focus on your technical skills and become a subject matter expert like say bridge expert or tunnel expert, etc.
In regards to the future, engineers still have to make an engineering judgement and decision. This is not something that can be replaced by an AI or computer. Some things just can't be decided by an algorithm.
 

FellowStudent

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Welcome to the forum :)
Since you have experienced civil engineering for 7 years, I was wondering what are your dislikes/ likes of civil engineering. also, I'm curious as to why civil appealed to you as there is a vast range of engineering options to choose from. Currently, I'm deciding between civil and space engineering
:confused:
 

parallaxd12

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I'm looking to do the exact same dual degree as you did at UNSW. What are the main advantages of having the Commerce degree as opposed to only the Engineering degree?
 

enghero

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Welcome to the forum :)
Since you have experienced civil engineering for 7 years, I was wondering what are your dislikes/ likes of civil engineering. also, I'm curious as to why civil appealed to you as there is a vast range of engineering options to choose from. Currently, I'm deciding between civil and space engineering
:confused:
My likes for Civil Engineering is that the field itself is quite diverse. You can choose from geotech, structural, water. You can choose from bridges, buildings, dams, coastal protection, roads, rails, etc. From an altruistic point of view, your project can benefit lots of people.
Civil appealed to me because my father was a structural engineer. Statistically speaking, most engineers become engineers because they know someone who is an engineer. I was deciding between naval engineering and civil engineering, because I also like ships.
But then I chose Civil as I didn't want to be away from my family and friends at the time. (Only 1 uni in Tasmania offered the naval engineering course)

Space engineering is a new frontier. And Australia did open up a new space agency. However space engineering is not only shooting rockets to the space. You will still need bases, telecommunication, satellite dishes, comms array, etc. So all field of engineering would also thrive, electronics, telecomms, electrical, etc.
 

enghero

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I'm looking to do the exact same dual degree as you did at UNSW. What are the main advantages of having the Commerce degree as opposed to only the Engineering degree?
Apologies, but I will be absolutely honest:
- Commerce girls. Not many female students do engineering back in my days. Though now is probably improved? I don't know. You can probably go their interdepartmental social event. That's how I met my missus.

Back to business:
Adv: Depending on your stream for commerce, you will learn how a company is structured, profit/loss for accounting. and I did Finance which is more for banking, learn how a company is valued, etc.

Disadv: Speaking from my experience. The commerce knowledge is useful to value a project cost and benefit. But not to the extent that you need to do the extra 1.5 years at university and the extra debt. I have only paid off my HECS debt this year. After 7 years... You can pick up this kind of knowledge from any books of Dymocks or Book Depository for $20 bucks if you want to know more.

My advice is choose one profession and stick with it.
 

-s-

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What do you think the most important skill to learn/develop while at uni to be a successful civil engineer?
 

enghero

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What do you think the most important skill to learn/develop while at uni to be a successful civil engineer?
The most important skill to learn/develop while you're at uni is communication.
I can't stress this enough.
Most of the time, by the time you're at uni, you're already got good foundation for problem solving, say maths problem. You also have a good grasp of logical thinking and understanding concepts, which is related to anything science related, physics, chemistry, etc.

However, in the real world. Problem solving is not as easy as the problem given to you on a piece of paper, in tut sheets or exam papers.
Most of the time, in real world. You have to find the problem first.
You need to ask the right questions, by all means don't be afraid of asking dumb questions because eventually you'll hit the right questions. Similarly for solution, there are more senior people than you, you can ask them from their experience, how to solve the problem, etc.
Now when you get good at this, the project will run smoothly. I kid you not.

It's like a game of chinese whispers. If the end person has only 20% of what the original person said, then you are not managing the job well.

I have worked with some of the smartest engineer, but when their communication skill is poor. It's hard to understand what the problem of the project is. So please work on your communication skill. In engineering, there would be lots of jargon. But you will need to simplify concept to everyday english where everyone can understand. Because you're not communicating just between engineers, you will need to communicate with tradesperson, residents, environmental specialist, biologist, whoever.
 

cherryboi

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Hi,

Im interested in studying Computer science next year and although your in the civil engineering field, whats the most important advice would you like to give me, in terms of what I must do at UNI to be ahead of other graduates in some way? like for example: the things employers are really looking for.

I am just asking as you may have some idea although your not doing computer science, as comp sci is considered engineering in some way.


Thank You.
 
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enghero

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Hi,

Im interested in studying Computer science next year and although your in the civil engineering field, whats the most important advice would you like to give me, in terms of what I must do at UNI to be ahead of other graduates in some way? like for example: the things employers are really looking for.

I am just asking as you may have some idea although your not doing computer science, as comp sci is considered engineering in some way.


Thank You.
In order to be ahead of other graduates, you need to have something that other graduates don't have.
My answer is experience. Don't wait until you graduate to get a job.

If you already started working in your field, then you're pretty lucky and already ahead of your peers.
If you're not yet working, then volunteer in a company. Find internship/cadetship, etc. Start work early.
It will pay off in the future.
 

cherryboi

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Thank you for your reply enghero, i really appreciate it.

I also have a few more questions which may sound silly, but Im curious to know.

1. As a student is it important to update things over the years such as linkedin profiles for prospective employers. Did you do this?

2. Is social media important in anyway for a job. Is there any importance of social media in the workplace or for opportunities? Im inactive on facebook.

3. Is there any real advantages of going to UNSW rather than UTS?
 
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enghero

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Thank you for your reply enghero, i really appreciate it.

I also have a few more questions which may sound silly, but Im curious to know.

1. As a student is it important to update things over the years such as linkedin profiles for prospective employers. Did you do this?

2. Is social media important in anyway for a job. Is there any importance of social media in the workplace or for opportunities? Im inactive on facebook.

3. Is there any real advantages of going to UNSW rather than UTS?
Hi Cherryboi,

1. Back when I was a student Linkedin was not around. Though I do understand that the times have moved on and social media is very important now.
I think with your linkedin, put information in this preference starting from highest relevance to lowest relevance:
Start with your aspiration make it brief, what your interest related to comp sci, what projects you've worked on, etc.
And if you play team sport, other extra curricular activities/volunteering ,etc. Then you can list your part time job. So the focus is whats relevant to your comp sci and get progressively irrelevant
And of course, review this information every 6 months and update it as you get newer experience, involvement, etc.

2. Social media is important these days. I ensure that my Linkedin profile is up to date. These days I get the odd 1 or 2 recruiter contacting me out of the blue to see if I'm interested to go for a job. I even got two interviews out of it. Facebook is not so much, no HR person/recruiter want to see your party pictures last weekend where you got wasted. With social media, the rule of thumb is what you show to others is how they will perceive you.

3. People say that UNSW is theory/knowledge heavy whilst UTS have better relationship with the industry. A recruiter told my colleague that they don't really look at the university degree. More weighting on experience. The only advantage of going to UNSW is that it's close to Coogee beach. Nice to go for a swim between classes. It has a nice campus, lots of greens, it has more of a university feels to it.
 
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blah21

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Whats the dropout rate generally for civil and other engineerings/comp sci at UNSW?
 

enghero

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Whats the dropout rate generally for civil and other engineerings/comp sci at UNSW?
Not sure, you might have to look at other sources to find out.
I heard that in the US, the drop out rate is about 60%, 40% won't even pass first year. They also say that Engineering is one of the more demanding courses compared to others.
 

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