Ive read with interest some of the comments with respect to the initial posting regarding a potential candidate for taking up mining engineering.
To give you a bit of history in the mining engineering course at UNITECH, it was started in early 1990s to support the boom in the industry when the large scale mines in PNG started up like Porgera, Ok Tedi and Lihir including some medium scale mines such as Misima and Tolukuma. The first batch of graduates were in 1993 but unfortunately not all the graduates got a job only a few got mining engineering jobs while others went to do other things or were employed in the mines doing other jobs such as surveying, production foreman type roles. Others joined the works department and did civil type jobs while others got employed in oil farms and private contracting. This event continued for other 4 or 5 subsequent graduates of which I was part of a graduate in 1995 when only about 6 got mining engineering graduate jobs while the rest of 9 ventured into other jobs/pastime! The late 90s and early 2000 werent great for mining engineers and the intake was also scaled back in response to lower industry demand.
The courses offered at the universities in PNG (either UNITECH/UPNG or others) are designed to develop ones intellectual abilities to grasp a concept/theorem and apply to suit any application. Therefore, the various courses are only a stepping stone to the open world - you can be a mining engineer but you can do civil or electrical or mechanical engineering jobs if you commit you time and effort to learn the principles and apply accordingly. The basic engineering fundamentals are the same for all courses except various applications that differ. If youve got the intellectual capability to adapt and change given time and effort you can become anybody you wish. For instance, I know of a mining engineer (Aussie) whom I worked with in Porgera underground who had an economics degree and was just completing his law degree through external studies in Australia. I wondered what he wanted to do anyway but thats beside the point! I know of another mining engineer from PNG who has studied Petroleum Engineering in US and is a profession in that field while yet another who joined an insurance company and is one of the top insurance executive with Kila Insurance. Another classmate of mine joined Eda Ranu after graduating and became their leading Water Network Engineer and his currently with Petromin. One more mining engineer joined Shell and is currently a Marketing Manager. Add to the defectors, FYI the current MP for Komo-Magarima is a mining engineer too!
For a good number of years girls were not allowed to take up mining engineering courses due to a section in the PNG Mining Act which didnt agree with women working especially in underground mines, however, this has changed and I hear girls are now taking up mining engineering courses. Obviously there is no restriction as such in other countries such as Australia so you cant actually say mining engineering is a mans field.
Due to the recent resource boom powered by China has increased investment in the resource sector and consequently a lot of mines have evolved around the world. This consequently demanded more engineers (not only mining but all) and lead to most of PNG engineers going overseas especially in Australia. The global crash in the last 2 yrs has slowed the recruitment of engineers (or employment in general for that matter) but currently its picking up as you can see from www.seek.com.au.
The mining engineering department was well staffed until about 5yrs ago when most of the lecturers joined the industry or others rejected from university systems. I had a chat with one of the lecturers who werent happy with the management of the mining engineering department by an old Indian Professor who didnt take up any classes. I had an opportunity to work with some of the recent graduates (2 yrs ago) and it was very clear the output wasnt what was expected from the industry from a graduate no offence its my personal observation! I hope the university realises this and improvements sought.
In order to decide what course to take, Id suggest the interest lies in the person yourself. The profession you choose is going to be part of you for life so it should not be allowed to be influenced by others (e.g. parents). However, you might not know much about your interest unless you seek more info through reading and use of such forums like this.
I hope this helps somebody! If you need more info you can email me on [email protected]