Mining Engineering – Does where you study matter?
This is a really debatable question. But according to much research done, it does not really matter. Take for instance, people often ask “what is the difference between someone who studied Mining Engineering at UJ (University of Johannesburg) and the one who studied at Wits (University of the Witwatersrand)?”
These particular Universities have been in rivalry since the inception of UJ in 2005. It is not particularly the Universities that are in contest, but the actual students. Both are excellent institutions to study Engineering at, so it does not matter which one you choose.
Keeping to the discipline of Mining Engineering, it is a challenging discipline and the entrance requirements are very strict. Other than Wits and UJ, UP (University of Pretoria) and UNISA also offer studies in Mining Engineering.
Mining Engineering comprises of the theory and the practice of extracting and processing natural minerals such as gold and diamonds. As a Mining Engineer you will also be commercialising new mining ventures, or modelling and designing potential mine sites.
Mining Engineering can also be very dangerous, at times you will be working in tunnels, shafts and underground mining areas. That is why, in theory they also teach you about overseeing the health and safety procedures of a mining site. Your job description will also include keeping detailed monthly budgets and records.
It is a very demanding job. That is why even to apply for the qualification at any university you are not guaranteed a spot, and will undergo a tough selection process.
To be a great Mining Engineer you will also need more than a qualification, but also personal determination and a great attitude. No matter where you studied, a great attitude will set you apart from others who have the same qualification as you.
That is why when you graduate and start looking for a job with your Mining Engineering qualification, work on bettering your personal and professional skills and not rely solely on which University you come from.
How much can I earn working as a Mining Engineer?
In South Africa, a qualified Mining Engineer can earn between R550 000 and R750 000 per annum. This also depends on experience, location and speciality.