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Chemical engineering?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I really enjoy chemistry and maths and am considering chemical engineering in uni.
I am not sure whether to do chemical engineering degree straight up or chemical engineering/commerce double degree. What are advantages and disadvantages?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
danago
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I really enjoy chemistry and maths and am considering chemical engineering in uni.
I am not sure whether to do chemical engineering degree straight up or chemical engineering/commerce double degree. What are advantages and disadvantages?
I am currently half way through a degree in chemical engineering/commerce :smile: I am majoring in investment, corporate and quantitative finance.

I am actually really glad that i decided to take this path. Unfortunately doing the combined degree has meant that i will take a few less (4 or so i think) engineering classes than those doing just chemE by the time i graduate, but i personally feel that what i have learned studying finance has easily made up for this.

As an engineer, i think i would prefer working in more of a project management position rather than a "hands on" position, and i am often told that having the business degree behind me will help in this respect. Whether this is true or not doesn't matter too much to me because i have found studying finance very interesting (well, most of the time :tongue:) and insightful, so i won't ever say it was a waste of time. I feel that it has actually helped me quite a bit in "everyday life" when it comes to things such as money management, planning and investing.

If you have any specific questions about studying commerce with engineering from a student's perspective then i am happy to talk more about it. Somebody who is working as a professional engineer may be able to talk more about whether they think it is worthwhile career-wise, but certainly as a means of learning about business in general i am very satisfied.
 
  • #3
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I am currently half way through a degree in chemical engineering/commerce :smile: I am majoring in investment, corporate and quantitative finance.

I am actually really glad that i decided to take this path. Unfortunately doing the combined degree has meant that i will take a few less (4 or so i think) engineering classes than those doing just chemE by the time i graduate, but i personally feel that what i have learned studying finance has easily made up for this.

As an engineer, i think i would prefer working in more of a project management position rather than a "hands on" position, and i am often told that having the business degree behind me will help in this respect. Whether this is true or not doesn't matter too much to me because i have found studying finance very interesting (well, most of the time :tongue:) and insightful, so i won't ever say it was a waste of time. I feel that it has actually helped me quite a bit in "everyday life" when it comes to things such as money management, planning and investing.

If you have any specific questions about studying commerce with engineering from a student's perspective then i am happy to talk more about it. Somebody who is working as a professional engineer may be able to talk more about whether they think it is worthwhile career-wise, but certainly as a means of learning about business in general i am very satisfied.
I know your half way through your degree but do you think it help with job opportunities if I want to become an engineer. Also what is invovled in chemical engineering (in terms of level of maths, chemistry, physics, etc) and what is involved in commerce?
 
  • #4
danago
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I know your half way through your degree but do you think it help with job opportunities if I want to become an engineer. Also what is invovled in chemical engineering (in terms of level of maths, chemistry, physics, etc) and what is involved in commerce?
I can't see how it could possibly have a negative effect, so if it is something you are interested in, and you are willing to study for an extra couple of years then i think it is beneficial. I must say though that i have spoken to people who graduated as engineers without studying any business and most have said they wish they did study some form of commerce. Now that is only about 3 or 4 people so not a very large sample size, but if it is anything to go by then it seems that it is a good idea to study commerce as well. I have also spoken to some HR people from different companies at various events about how they look at somebody with the double degree in comparison to somebody graduating in only engineering, and the general message that i got was that it is beneficial to study commerce.

My experience so far has been that chemE is not as much chemistry as one may think. I did take some classes in inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry over the past few years, and i will take a class in analytical and physical chemistry next year, but it doesn't really compare to what a chemistry major would study. I find that most of my classes relate to things such as fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, process control, reactor design etc. In terms of the math involved, it can get quite intense. At my university we are required to take 4 or 5 pure and applied math courses in the first couple of years which touch on subjects like multivariate calculus, differential equations, probability and statics, numerical analysis and linear algebra. The actual chemical engineering courses can also sometimes be math-heavy.

As for the commerce side of things, well its a whole different world. The math is much easier (except maybe for quantitative finance and economic majors), however i have actually found that sometimes the workload is greater, probably due to the larger amount of reading (textbooks, journal articles etc.) that is required. There are some subjects which have bored me to death (such as introductory financial accounting), but for the most part i have found it quite interesting. I think most commerce curricula will involve taking classes in introductory statistics, but you may be able to get an exception because the level of math that you study for engineering surpasses it.

At my university my finance classes have lectures as well as smaller group classes. Over the past three years i have made a somewhat interesting observation--i find that within these small classes, the students who are also studying engineering or some other technical subject seem to have a better grasp of the ideas and concepts than those studying just commerce; i think the analytical skills that you pick up studying engineering go a long way in studying commerce
 
  • #5
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Im not sure whether to do a double degree in chemical engineering and commerce or do the single degree and then get an MBA after. Plus I heard some employers will pay for you to get an MBA sometimes.
 
  • #6
danago
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Im not sure whether to do a double degree in chemical engineering and commerce or do the single degree and then get an MBA after. Plus I heard some employers will pay for you to get an MBA sometimes.
I heard the exact same thing quite a bit when i was making the same decision back in 2008, but I'm not sure how common it actually is for a company to support you through an MBA. Most of the people who told me about it were not really reliable sources, so maybe somebody with more experience else can address this point.
 
  • #7
turbo
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I really enjoy chemistry and maths and am considering chemical engineering in uni.
I am not sure whether to do chemical engineering degree straight up or chemical engineering/commerce double degree. What are advantages and disadvantages?
Where do you want to live? (Chemical Engineering jobs are really location-dependent in the US).

If you are focused, you can probably even get scholarship money.
 
  • #8
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Where do you want to live? (Chemical Engineering jobs are really location-dependent in the US).

If you are focused, you can probably even get scholarship money.
well im from australia, so its probably different
 
  • #9
danago
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well im from australia, so its probably different
Which universities are you looking at? I am also from Australia
 
  • #10
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Which universities are you looking at? I am also from Australia
unsw or usyd hopefully...which one u go to?
 
  • #11
danago
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unsw or usyd hopefully...which one u go to?
Im from WA so i study at UWA
 

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