A recent study by Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) has shown that majority of engineering graduates actually end up working within the IT industry, rather than the Engineering Industry. Their findings were published in the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education.
The university analysed data on over 200,000 people who have a bachelor-level degree in engineering and found that the degree is extremely valuable to have across a wide range of industries. The study showed that approximately 46 percent of engineering graduates who were under the age of 25 were in an engineering related role, with the figure dropping to 32 percent when the other age groups were counted.
The Deakin research revealed that 14 percent of those with an engineering degree who don’t end up employed within the industry, are employed in the IT and other technology-related industries. Another 12 percent of the people who were included in the study were in general management positions outside engineering, while 10 percent were employed in non-professional jobs.
Engineering graduates’ employability is supported by data from Graduate Carers Australia which identified 80 percent of the graduates who were studied reported that they found employment straight out of university. This is significant, as 70 percent of graduates from other disciplines were unable to find employment immediately after graduation.
Stuart Palmer, lead researcher associate professor of Deakin University has offered the following advise regarding the future and current engineering students:
- It is recommended that engineering students should be better informed about the industry outside of graduation.
- High school (secondary school) students who are interested in studying engineer in the future should be informed that the degree can lead to many more employment opportunities than just engineering and they are more than likely to work outside of the industry.
- The undergraduate engineering curricula should consider the portability of the degree.