How to choose the best engineering degree for you

how to choose the best engineering degrees for you

Have a passion for engineering, but not sure which uni course you should be signing up for? Read on…

So, you want to study engineering and have the perfect uni in mind, but did you know the minimum high school ranking (ATAR) requirements for uni admission can be heaps different depending on where you want to go?


Let’s recap… what is an ATAR?

Firstly, your ATAR is not the key measure of school success! It’s a rank. Not a mark.

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, and indicates where you fall in relation to other students across Australia in a given year. For example, an ATAR of 70% means you are ranked in the top 30% of your year group. ATARs are primarily used by unis to select students for admission.

As the University of Sydney describes on their admissions homepage: “this generally means that ATARs reflect supply and demand more than the intellectual capacity needed to study the course”.



Which engineer are you?


Why do ATAR cut-offs vary?

Although the basic curriculum for the Bachelor of Engineering majors may be similar, unis vary in terms of teaching style, cohort size, facilities and international reputation. There are so many ways to rank a uni – graduate employment outcomes, research output – but it’s impossible for any ranking method to figure out which one is best for you.


2017 ATAR cut-offs for engineering

Here are the minimum ATAR cut-offs for Engineering degrees at Australian universities

Looking for your perfect STEM degree?

The Careers with STEM app lets you choose your interest, subject area and region to find all the courses open to you, plus career info and job availability. Search ‘STEM career finder’ on Google Play and the App Store.

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How do I choose the best engineering degrees for me?

Once you’ve got the ATAR down, location and course costs are also big considerations when you’re deciding where to apply.


Narrowing down your choices

Got a uni in mind? Find out as much about the course as you can. Visit the School of Engineering home page and, if possible, take a trip to the campus.

Some engineering courses have more of an emphasis on theory. Others cover the vocational, hands-on approach. Majors on offer will also vary, so check that what you’re interested in is available. Industry experience is also compulsory to graduate, so find out if your uni has an industry engagement program, too.

University open days often have programs just for engineering students. You can visit the facilities and talk to students, lecturers and careers advisors.

With the right info, you’ll be able to choose the best course for you, with your ATAR in hand and ready to go!

– Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.


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