'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 136 questions

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

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Question 136:

I plan to do a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Geology at Otago.  I am interested in biology and have some interest also in computers.  Any suggestions of how to combine these or if they’re compatible?  

Do most people with a BSc in Geology need to do postgrad study after this? What are your thoughts on a Master’s degree in Geological Engineering?

(See below for five more answers to this question)

– Year 12 Student from Canterbury (20 July 2017)

Question 135:

I plan to do a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Geology at Otago.  I am interested in biology and have some interest also in computers.  Any suggestions of how to combine these or if they’re compatible?  

Do most people with a BSc in Geology need to do postgrad study after this? What are your thoughts on a Master’s degree in Geological Engineering?

– Year 12 Student from canterbury (20 July 2017)

Question 134:

I am interested in the environment with particular regard to sustainability, and have just started volunteering for pest control in the local bush.

I want to be an Environmental Engineer. I get the impression that there are a lot of fields this degree could take me into and would like to know what kind of work I might end up doing.

I wonder if doing a Bachelor of Science majoring in environmental science as a conjoint with the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (BE (Hons) is a good idea or should I just do the BE (Hons)?

– Year 13 Student from Katikati College (12 July 2017)

Question 133:

I’m going to study Electrical and Electronics engineering at university next year.

1. What sort of laptop would be suitable for an electrical engineering student?

2. What software do you use?

3. Do you have any other tips about studying engineering? 

– Year Year 13 Student from Tauranga (23 June 2017)

Question 132:

I have finished school but am now looking at a new career pathway – engineering. I don’t have Level 3 Calculus (although I did Level 2) and fall short of the rank score required to enrol towards a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at the University of Auckland. I took Level 3 Physics.

– Student from Auckland (30 May 2017)

Question 131:

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEngTech) and a Bachelor of Engineering? Are they interchangable?  Can you do honours with both?

– Year 11 Student from Auckland (25 May 2017)

Question 130:

I am thinking about studying Mechatronic Engineering. What are the job prospects like? Does it involve a lot of work with robotics?

– Year 13 Student (18 May 2017)

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)

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