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192 posts

Master Geek


# 80685 3-Apr-2011 00:03
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Hey all,

Im a 16 year old high school student currently doing NCEA level 2.
I'd just like some opinions on what subjects I should be doing in level 2 and 3 if Im looking at going on to uni. Im thinking Ill do something in the likes of a bachelor of engineering technology degree so I can go on to work as a computer technician, telecommunications engineer or something similar.

Im currently doing level 2 maths, english, graphics, art design and music but will hopefully be changing from music to physics sometime this week as this makes more sense in terms of what I want to do for a career.

Im also thinking about dropping english as soon as I can because I cant stand the subject and I dont see how it would really help in the type of career field I want to work in (however my teacher doesnt seem to think so). Is english much use in this career field and how much would universities look at your level 2 and 3 english results when trying to get into these type of courses?


Opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

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124 posts

Master Geek


  # 454693 3-Apr-2011 01:38
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It honestly doesn't matter too much, just get any requirements and do what you enjoy the most, first year is quite basic.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 454704 3-Apr-2011 06:55
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I would stick with English. Helps with report writing, which you will end up doing in any uni course. What maths courses are available. You ideally want to be doing Statistics, Calculus and Linear Algebra.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 454705 3-Apr-2011 06:59
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Physics is also a good course to take. Depending on where you go you are likely to be doing a fundamentals of engineering course in your first year. The one I did was heavily weighted towards maths, english and physics. There was a fair bit of programming too. I would suggest looking at the courses you want to do in the future now and see what programming languages they are using. If you started learning any programming language now it would give you a massive head start. Just because you would start to understand the structures of programs etc.

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Uber Geek

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  # 454714 3-Apr-2011 08:46
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It really depends on the institution you attend. First year at Christchurch Polytechnic (and maybe AUT) is vastly different to first year engineering intermediate at UoC. They are both training different people though, CPIT train technicians and (in theory) UoC train professional engineers. A lot of CPIT graduates would have little or no grasp of differential equations or even simple algebra.




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  # 454726 3-Apr-2011 09:32
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Mooseboy: It honestly doesn't matter too much, just get any requirements and do what you enjoy the most, first year is quite basic.


 

I would agree with this, but obviously if you choose courses outside of anything that will offer benefit then your being silly.  Ie. dont do drama, or PE or cooking if you want to work in IT!!

536 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 454728 3-Apr-2011 09:35

Telecommunications? Definitely Physics (Level 2 and 3), especially the Waves topic. And with Physics comes Math - so make sure you do Level 3 Calculus and Level 3 Stats.

If your school offers special courses in the areas (like our school offered Electro-Computing) then take those.

English only up to (and including) Level 2 really - Level 3 is just a whole lot of metaphorical Shakespeare stuff that isn't applicable to anything.

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  # 454738 3-Apr-2011 10:10
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I wouldnt sweat it about the stats, calculus is more important, you can pick up stats when you get to uni. I did calculus at L3 and then ended up doing the first year stats paper at canterbury and got an A fairly easily.

If you are comfortable with essay writing, then drop english, but if you're not doing so well in english then its probably best to stick with it this year. Even though writing about literature seems isolated from technical report writing, its the practice in writing in structuring essays that is really important, and will pay off in pretty much any avenue you choose at Uni.

As others have said, picking up some basic programing whether through college or in your spare time would be beneficial. I learnt html in my spare time and thats been a good foundation for picking up other programming languages with relative ease.

 
 
 
 


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  # 454742 3-Apr-2011 10:21
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If you're looking at doing a BE the most important subject is Calculus, followed by Physics. Chemistry and Stats are useful but hardly vital.

If you are thinking about doing a BE make sure you focus on calculus it really is the key to getting through. When I did my BE (at Auckland) we didn't do a heap of circuit design but we sure spent a lot of time doing Fourier transforms.

FYI I haven't done a Fourier transform in 10 years of working in the industry. Just sayin...

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 454787 3-Apr-2011 13:12
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FYI I haven't done a Fourier transform in 10 years of working in the industry. Just sayin...


I wish I hadn't read this. 

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  # 454794 3-Apr-2011 13:24
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mattRSK:


FYI I haven't done a Fourier transform in 10 years of working in the industry. Just sayin...


I wish I hadn't read this. 


Don't worry about it. Whatever you end up doing you'll use about 1% of what you learnt at uni. The reality of uni is you come out incompetent to actually do anything but having been taught a thought process that enables you to learn most things. I think it takes about 2 years to actually make a grad worth having, unless you're in a big company who has lots of menial work to do.

You're a sparky so it's probably dawned on you already that most of your fellow students really know sweet FA about real life engineering. In my experience it doesn't get a whole lot better the further you go (including the lecturers). 



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Master Geek


  # 454826 3-Apr-2011 16:03
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I think this year I'll stick with level 2 english (I dont think Im going to bother with the end of year exam though), maths, graphics and art design and change music to physics.
Then next year I'll probably look at doing level 3 calculus (I was originally just planning on doing stats, but calculus seems to be alot more important), graphics, art design, physics and taking something like enterprise studies instead of english.

Also does anyone have any idea how hard it is to get into these sort of courses at uni at the moment? i.e. Am I going to be having to pass alot of standards with excellence or should I be able to get by with mainly merits?

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 454847 3-Apr-2011 17:30
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You should always be aiming for excellence. I would check the entrance requirements for the places you are looking at going. With the way university funding is going I would imagine entrance will be more competitive in the future.



192 posts

Master Geek


  # 454908 3-Apr-2011 21:14
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nickb800: I wouldnt sweat it about the stats, calculus is more important, you can pick up stats when you get to uni. I did calculus at L3 and then ended up doing the first year stats paper at canterbury and got an A fairly easily.

If you are comfortable with essay writing, then drop english, but if you're not doing so well in english then its probably best to stick with it this year. Even though writing about literature seems isolated from technical report writing, its the practice in writing in structuring essays that is really important, and will pay off in pretty much any avenue you choose at Uni.

As others have said, picking up some basic programing whether through college or in your spare time would be beneficial. I learnt html in my spare time and thats been a good foundation for picking up other programming languages with relative ease.


I spent a couple of hours this afternoon working on a set of html tutorials that I found and so far its really interesting :)

mattRSK: You should always be aiming for excellence. I would check the entrance requirements for the places you are looking at going. With the way university funding is going I would imagine entrance will be more competitive in the future.



Thanks for the tips, I'll have to have a look on some of the uni websites 

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  # 454994 4-Apr-2011 09:03
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html isn't programming... it's making something pretty.

Do your requirements, and then other hard sciences. I had to do chemistry for my BTech, so having done that at school was really helpful. Being able to communicate effectively verbally and in written language is essential, otherwise you'll be a back room dude and that'll limit you.

Uni teaches you the theory, you have to learn the practical yourself. When I was there they barely even taught languages, they just gave us an assignment, a one hour intro to a language, then said go do this assignment in this language. Teach yourself php, Java, .Net, Javascript, having practical experience will be as helpful as having the degree.

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