'Ask Someone': get your study and career questions answered by people who already work in technology, engineering and science jobs

Array of photos of technologists, engineers and scientists

Do you have a question about what to study or what it would be like to work in a technology, engineering or science-related career? This question and answer forum allows New Zealand school students to get the inside information from our panel of engineers, food technologists, surveyors, IT professionals and scientists.

You can ask about what qualifications you'll need, the daily work, the highs and lows of a particular job, lifestyle, future prospects or anything else that's on your mind.

We'll ask people already in relevant jobs to answer your question – from their own experience of working in these areas and their knowledge of the qualification pathways for their company or industry – and share their answers online.

Have a look at what's already been posted - you may find that your question has already been answered. We've grouped the answers by area: Technology (including food technology), Engineering, Science, Digital (IT), Farming, Fishing & Forestry, plus all the other areas such as surveying and biomedical.


Ask your question about study or careers in technology, engineering and science >>

Viewing 1 to 20 of 129 questions

Areas: All | Technology | Engineering | Science | Digital (IT) | Farming, Fishing & Forestry | Other

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Question 129:

I am studying Level 3 Physics, Biology and Calculus plus other non-science courses.

I’m really interested in engineering but my favourite subject is Biology – any suggestions on how I could use biology in engineering?

– Year 13 Student from Canterbury (26 April 2017)

Question 128:

I am interested in studying Ecology but wonder how I could make my degree stronger given there seems to be limited jobs in the field.

I am taking Level 3 English, Media, Biology, Physics and Calculus and in Year 12 took Digital Technologies.

– Year 13 Student from Timaru (26 April 2017)

Question 127:

I am interested in studying Biotechnology, Food Science and/or Nutrition or Psychology. I think I would enjoy a job researching these sciences but I am concerned about the availability of jobs and the duration of study required for a research position.

Or would something with more job opportunities like Food Technology be more practical?

– Year 11 Student from Auckland (26 April 2017)

Question 126:

I'm interested in physics and plan to do a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, although I really don't know which branch of physics to focus on.

If I want a career as a geophysicist, is that the right degree to do or do I need to focus on a Geophysics degree? What does the job look like?

Is there another career path that uses physics?

(See below for five more answers to this question.)

– Year 13 Student from Te Puke (02 March 2017)

Question 125:

I'm interested in physics and plan to do a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, although I really don't know which branch of physics to focus on.

If I want a career as a geophysicist, is that the right degree to do or do I need to focus on a Geophysics degree? What does the job look like?

Is there another career path that uses physics?

I’m doing Level 3 Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry and English.

– Year 13 Student from Te Puke (27 February 2017)

Question 124:

I am interested in a career in Geophysics, Geology or Environmental Engineering.

How much time is spent in an office or on computers for each job, and what are the pros and cons?

What courses should I take to get into a Geophysics career (Geology, Oceanography, Maths, Physics, etc.)?

I am more interested in aspects of the environment such as earthquakes, volcanoes, geological events and the ocean environment – does this fit with a career in geophysics? And is a geophysicist’s work mainly just research?

– Year 13 Student from Hauraki Plains College (16 January 2017)

Question 123:

I’d like to know what it’s like working in biomedical or civil engineering.

Do civil engineers do lots of field work? I’d like to hear the experiences of female civil engineers – what are the advantages or disadvantages of working in civil engineering?

– Student from Auckland (05 December 2016)

Question 122:

I’m interested in becoming an electronic engineer. I’d like to know: is this a safe job? What software do you use? What are the highlights? What are some of the perks? What tips do you have? What can I do to get a job? What personal qualities and skills do you need? What are some of the bad things about the job? Do you get to travel? Is it very social?

– Student from Tauranga Intermediate (29 November 2016)

Question 121:

I've been really struggling about what it is that I want to do as a career. I was having a look at the Careers NZ site and came across test analyst and think that's the option for me.

I have no idea what I need to study in order to get into the industry and I don't want to waste time taking the wrong course or an unnecessary paper. What study would you recommend to get into this career?

– Year University entrant Student from Auckland (27 October 2016)

Question 120:

I would like to know the different pathways to get into Medical laboratory Science (Microbiology).

I know there is a course specifically for the role but I have been told you can get in through doing a Bachelor of Science (Biology). I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Biological Science – how can I get into this profession through my degree?

– Student from Auckland (26 October 2016)

Question 119:

I am in my first year at university but want to change my degree into a field in engineering.

I am very interested in electrical engineering but do not think I will be able to get into a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (BE(Hons)) course due to my results at school last year. I have been offered a place at AUT for a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEngTech) majoring in Electrical Engineering.

1. Could I still become an electrical engineer with this degree?

2. What difference will it make if I have this rather than a BE (Hons)?

3. Could I progress into other areas in electrical engineering with a BEngTech?

– Student from Auckland (29 September 2016)

Question 118:

1. I want to become a physicist. Are the subjects I’ve chosen for next year – Level 3 English, Statistics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics – a good choice? And what courses should I take at university?

2. What jobs can a physicist get in New Zealand?

3. And are there any scholarships for someone studying physics?

– Year 12 Student from Te Puke High School (28 September 2016)

Question 117:

I am interested in becoming a research and development engineer. I’m good at solving technical problems and mathematical equations, so I thought this might be a good job for me.

1. What does it actually involve? What sort of equipment/systems (both computer and physical) do you use to predict certain outcomes, etc?

2. What does your company look for in hiring people, such as qualifications, qualities and personality traits?

3. Also, what sort of hours do your employees work? Are they on call, or do they have specific times? 

– Year 10 Student from Rangitoto College (23 September 2016)

Question 116:

Would I be able to combine both Sociology and Ecology courses in a future career pathway?

– Year 12 Student from Auckland (22 September 2016)

Question 115:

I am in Year 13 and have realised that I would like to study Food Science.

I’m worried because I only decided on that course now – it says recommended subjects are Chemistry and Biology, but I’m taking Chemistry and Physics. Do you think it is still okay?

– Year 13 Student (09 September 2016)

Question 114:

I’m interested in studying either Food Science or Food Technology. When I looked at the profiles on this website, there didn’t seem much difference – they work in the same field and most of the food science graduates go on to food technology jobs.

I live in East Auckland, so could study Food Science at AUT or the University of Auckland, or travel further and do Food Technology at Massey – Albany. The papers they offer seem to be different, so I’m struggling to think which would be best for me. If I take Food Science, will that lead into work as a food technologist?

– Year 12 Student from East Auckland (06 September 2016)

Question 113:

I am a Year 12 student, and I would just like to ask what Massey University is like when studying Food Technology.

– Year 12 Student from East Auckland (05 September 2016)

Question 112:

I like technology. I like design. I don't want to just study one of them, I'd like to combine them. 

My parents want me to go to a university (not polytech) in Auckland. So it's either University of Auckland, Massey University (Albany) or AUT. 

I'm good at Maths if I take time to study it and I'm not bad at coding either. In fact, I had fun coding my website, but just because I love designing it. 

So I've been looking at some of the degrees with design and technology. I like the idea of being a front-end web developer. Do you know what degrees in those universities are relevant for that area? Which course do you recommend?

– Year Year 12 Student from Westlake Girls' High School, Auckland (18 August 2016)

Question 111:

If I were to do a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) through a cadetship or more practical course and then move on to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (BE (Hons)), would I still be required to complete the practical hours before being awarded the degree? 

– Year 13 Student from Whakatane (17 August 2016)

Question 110:

What are the differences between Computer Science and Software Engineering?

– Year 13 Student from Auckland (21 June 2016)

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