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Engineering degrees for the jobs of the future

Data and computation components added to all engineering degrees
The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering has made changes to its engineering curriculum to focus on building digital and computational skills across its undergraduate degrees.

Designed to enable students to enter the workforce “job ready” and with an agile skillset, data science and computing will be built into its Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree streams across all seven schools from 2021.

Changes to the curriculum are in response to a rapidly changing workforce, and world, with engineering roles increasingly demanding dynamic and digital skills across almost every industry.

Developing highly sought-after graduates with an ‘edge’

“At the University of Sydney, we are proud to be ranked number one in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability[1]," said Faculty of Engineering Dean and computer science academic, Professor Willy Zwaenepoel.

"The changes to our curriculum will ensure our students continue to graduate job-ready and at the forefront of engineering innovation."

Rapid advancements in computational tools and the utilisation of rich data in engineering practice mean that skills in data science and computation are increasingly demanded across various industries from civil engineering to aerospace engineering.

"Just as the ability to read and write is a foundational skill for almost every discipline, digital knowledge has become an elemental skill within almost any engineer’s repertoire," said Professor Zwaenepoel.

"Put simply, our transformed degrees will prepare students for the jobs of the future."

Just as the ability to read and write is a foundational skill for almost every discipline, digital knowledge has become an elemental skill within almost any engineer’s repertoire.
Dean and Computer Science Academic, Professor Willy Zwaenepoel
Two undergraduate engineering students

New undergraduate specialisations

Responding to the changing nature of the profession, a number of new specialisations are also being offered to students starting in January 2021.

Students can choose from a wide range of future-focused specialisations, from the Internet of Things (IoT) and Intelligent Information Engineering to Computer Engineering and Nanoscale Biotechnology.

“All our specialisations have been developed to prepare students to tackle the world’s challenges during a period of immense technological change that will bring about major societal and economic shifts," said Professor Zwaenepoel.

Across some specialisations, students can gain proficiency using advanced computational tools, conduct a major project in computational engineering, acquire the IoT skills needed for an increasing connected world, or gain skills to process clinical data and transform lives in healthcare.

“The changes present some really exciting opportunities for our students to tailor their experience as they choose."

The transformed Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) will still offer students the engineering professional practice and research skills that lead to recognition as an Australian graduate engineer.

It will also continue to be recognised internationally through the Washington Accord of the International Engineering Alliance.

[1] QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020

26 August 2020

Student profile

Jill Colebourn, Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Mechatronic)/Commerce
Jillian Colebourn, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic)/Commerce
At high school, my favourite subjects were maths and design and technology, but what first drew me to engineering was the idea of creating something from nothing. I still love the opportunity to be creative and actually make or build something
Read more

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