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MSISS (TCD) vs Engineering (UCD or TCD)

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ c_f_p99


    I'm having trouble deciding on what course I'll do. These are the two (or three) main courses that I'm considering, but I'm open to other options (like Actuarial UCD, EconFi UCD or Pure Maths TCD).

    I've always been really good at Maths (and Applied Maths) and I enjoyed Physics too. However, I did not enjoy the experiments much (hence why I favour Engineerinb over Science) as they were just really boring and just memorising instructions and results. I also did Economics which is relevant for MSISS, but I did not enjoy the LC course unfortunately. I picked it on the basis that I enjoyed reading the Economist and it was nothing like that at all. I was interested in the material, but I hated the exam and found it to be one of the more time consuming and unrewarding subjects. I did not do Chemistry for the LC.

    As for my interests, I really enjoy problem solving and I think that it's my strongest attribute. However, I also remember scoring almost as highly in verbal reasoning so I must be somewhat analytical too. I know that MSISS has a strong emphasis on both of them while Engineering is mainly the former. That being said, I hated English ever since 2nd year and I still have somewhat of a phobia towards essays. While this is something that I must improve on anyway, I don't want to struggle through a degree without having the opportunity to socialise or do extracurricular activities nor do I want to end up with a poor degree classification. So I'm wary of it.

    I don't really know whether or not I'm more interested towards Science or Business to be honest. I wish now that I took up Chemistry, but alas I seem to be academically stronger at Sciency subjects as I found LC Physics to be much much easier than LC Economics. I seem to be more theoretical than practical but I'm not the best at visualising concepts (though I had no issues whatsoever with LC Physics).

    I'm also concerned that the points are much much lower for Engineering courses than they are for MSISS. While I know that it's due to larger numbers of students being accepted to Engineering courses, I wonder whether or not it would have an effect on applying for jobs or graduate programs. Also, I know that you can do a 5 year masters in Engineering. Would such a master be more valuable than a four-year degree in MSISS? I also know that there's a coding aspect to MSISS and while I've never done coding before, I think that I'd like it.

    Also, is there a major difference in the difficulty of both courses? This isn't a major determinant for me, but I'd like to maintain a decent social life in college (like going out once a month) as my secondary school one was non-existent. Is the schedule of one more demanding than the other?

    It's a long post, but I want to give as much context to this issue as possible.


Comments



  • I am an engineer (UCD).

    I had to acquaint myself there with what an MSISS qualification is, but from my brief reading it look to me like you could do engineering and still end up in an MSISS field with the Eng qualification, but not the other way around.

    Points have zero to do with applying for grad programs and the like.Engineering points are low because people who do engineering generally only want to be engineers.I did it a good 10 years ago, but plenty of people in my class got 500+ points - indeed 550+ points- but they wanted to be an engineer so that was the important bit.Might sound stupid, but in my experience, you don't just wander into engineering because you aren't all that sure what else you want to do.Points are driven by demand, and many people simply do not understand what engineers do. It is not a profession that blows it's own trumpet much, so demand doesn't tend to be high.

    Engineering is labs, lectures on pure maths, Applied maths, chemistry and physics (in first year anyway) and then into things like thermodynamics, materials science, soil mechanics and the like, depending on which dsicipline you chose.Can you walk out the door of engineering and into the PWCs and Accentures of this world??Yes you can.You can walk into a very large variety of jobs but it is a good bit of work.Engineers would be known.(or were known anyway) for their enjoyment of a good social life, so I wouldn't let that fear stand in your way.

    Obviously my background means I can't help much with the MSISS aspect, but that's a short version on the engineering side of things.




  • Well, I know that you have to specialise in the 2nd year, but that should be fine once I've been introduced to the various disciplines. I figured that Engineering is at its core problem solving so surely you just need to be good at that?

    Does Engineering have written assignments? I'd imagine so but are there a lot of them? And would a low B/high C in HL English suffice?

    Also, there is supposed to be a large variety of Engineering jobs. Is that true? I'm a little nervous about the practical side of things as I don't have good spatial reasoning and I'm really bad at working with my hands (so no way am I going into the trades for sure).

    Finally, is the social life good in UCD in terms of making friends, nights out,etc? I've heard that UCD has an awful social life compared to Trinity, but I don't know if that's true or not.




  • Hey there,

    I was in a similar situation to you 5 years ago. I was undecided between Engineering, MSISS and Economics and Finance and I got enough points to study any of them.

    What area of Engineering are you interested in? Also, have you considered Computer Science? If you're worried about writing, be reassured that I've never had to write an essay in all my years studying Engineering. The only writing you'll be doing is technical writing. With regards spatial reasoning, it would depend on the type of engineering. Electronic, Electrical and Chemical definitely do not require spatial reasoning but I'd imagine Civil and Mechanical do.

    I ended up choosing Engineering and then specialised in Electronic and Computer Engineering. This allowed me to take lots of software modules and I ended up becoming a software engineer. My salary would be higher than those I know who did Finance, except for the ones that went to London. I wouldn't worry about the relatively low points in Engineering but if it makes any difference, the average points( not minimum) for Engineering at UCD are actually among the highest, not far behind Actuarial and above Science. You can check this on the CAO website

    It really depends on what you can see yourself doing in the future. Engineering is a very demanding course, with lots of contacts hours along with challenging exams. If you enjoyed applied maths and physics then you will probably enjoy engineering. Engineering graduates are able to compete with MSISS/Finance graduates for the same jobs, in consulting and business. Conversely, an MSISS grad will not get an engineering job.

    Again, don't let points influence your decision. Points fluctuate. Looking at careers portal, MSISS was only 385 points in 2011 down from 545 in 2000 but now it's back up. Employers don't care and probably don't even know what points your course was in the year you studied it.

    Still, lots of high achievers study Engineering. Actually it was second only to Medicine the year I started. I got this from the University Observer talking about Ad Astra Entrance scholars at UCD(6 H1's)

    "The area of Medicine drew the most novice Ad Astra scholars, totalling 11, while Engineering brought nine new candidates".

    If you think you might like Engineering, and think you could finish the degree (which is not a trivial task) then I'd recommend engineering. You'll graduate with a degree that allows you to work pretty much anywhere that an MSISS grad can work.


    Edit : Forgot to mention, I know Ec and Fi has a very good reputation for investment banking, which is a notoriously hard field to get into. So if you are dead set on becoming a banker then for sure do Economics and Finance! But don't just do it because it's high points, you should do what you're interested in.




  • Hey there,

    I was in a similar situation to you 5 years ago. I was undecided between Engineering, MSISS and Economics and Finance and I got enough points to study any of them.

    What area of Engineering are you interested in? Also, have you considered Computer Science? If you're worried about writing, be reassured that I've never had to write an essay in all my years studying Engineering. The only writing you'll be doing is technical writing. With regards spatial reasoning, it would depend on the type of engineering. Electronic, Electrical and Chemical definitely do not require spatial reasoning but I'd imagine Civil and Mechanical do.

    I ended up choosing Engineering and then specialised in Electronic and Computer Engineering. This allowed me to take lots of software modules and I ended up becoming a software engineer. My salary would be higher than those I know who did Finance, except for the ones that went to London. I wouldn't worry about the relatively low points in Engineering but if it makes any difference, the average points( not minimum) for Engineering at UCD are actually among the highest, not far behind Actuarial and above Science. You can check this on the CAO website

    It really depends on what you can see yourself doing in the future. Engineering is a very demanding course, with lots of contacts hours along with challenging exams. If you enjoyed applied maths and physics then you will probably enjoy engineering. Engineering graduates are able to compete with MSISS/Finance graduates for the same jobs, in consulting and business. Conversely, an MSISS grad will not get an engineering job.

    Again, don't let points influence your decision. Points fluctuate. Looking at careers portal, MSISS was only 385 points in 2011 down from 545 in 2000 but now it's back up. Employers don't care and probably don't even know what points your course was in the year you studied it.

    Still, lots of high achievers study Engineering. Actually it was second only to Medicine the year I started. I got this from the University Observer talking about Ad Astra Entrance scholars at UCD(6 H1's)

    "The area of Medicine drew the most novice Ad Astra scholars, totalling 11, while Engineering brought nine new candidates".

    If you think you might like Engineering, and think you could finish the degree (which is not a trivial task) then I'd recommend engineering. You'll graduate with a degree that allows you to work pretty much anywhere that an MSISS grad can work.


    Edit : Forgot to mention, I know Ec and Fi has a very good reputation for investment banking, which is a notoriously hard field to get into. So if you are dead set on becoming a banker then for sure do Economics and Finance! But don't just do it because it's high points, you should do what you're interested in.

    I adored Maths and Applied Maths in school so anything to do with that would suit me. I feel like I might actually be more suited to Engineering than to MSISS simply because I found Physics to be much easier than Economics at school (although I like both and would be interested in persuing both) and that there are slightly more job offerings and slightly less writing than in MSISS. Really, I'm just worried about my deficiency in spatial reasoning, however, I've been told that it isn't that much of an issue. I don't really know what kind of Engineering I'd want to do (definitely not Civil or Structural for sure), but I'm interested in science and Engineering is essentially applying scientific principles to everyday life? I have the impression that it focuses more on computations than Science does too. However, I'm worried about the big class sizes, the difficulty of the course (I doubt MSISS is any different though) and possibly the fact that it could restrict my career prospects (but I've been told that it isn't that hard to apply to firms in a different field provided that you retrain yourself a bit).

    I'm not interested in investment banking really. It could be a possibility, but it certainly wouldn't be top on my list. I'm more interested in using my maths to aid/develop big projects and that is why I'm attracted to the field. Is that essentially what Engibeering is? I'd probably end up in Chemical or Electrical Engineering as they seem to be the easier ones for me (although I really don't know at all). Also, I'd imagine that Engineering would be better as a broad degree base than the other "premier" degrees (like EconFi, Actuarial Studies, those kind of courses)

    I probably wouldn't bother with EconFi as I feel like I'm not as passionate about Economics and Finance (I actually really disliked Economics at school) as I am about Maths or Physics.


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