Engineering graduates are best in class according to a new survey of Australian employers.
The survey of almost 3500 employers saw health graduates come in second, scoring 89.2 per cent, followed by architecture and building (87.5 per cent), education (87.1 per cent) and management and commerce (84.5 per cent).
Conducted annually since 2016, the ESS measures how well graduates meet employer needs by asking supervisors to provide feedback on the generic skills, technical skills and work readiness of the graduate employed in their workplace.
Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM HonFIEAust CPEng said it was unsurprising that engineering graduates were the frontrunners yet again.
“An engineering degree is a platform for lifelong learning,” she said. “Engineers possess complex problem-solving skills that are useful in a range of business contexts, not just technology, making them desirable and valuable employees.”
Along with overall satisfaction, employers were also asked to rate graduates on their employability, as well as their foundation, adaptive, collaborative and technical skills.
Employers rated engineering and related technologies graduates above average for foundation (95.5 per cent), adaptive (91.7 per cent) and technical skills (93.8). However, they scored the same graduates slightly lower in collaborative skills (88.8 per cent) and employability (84.9 per cent).
Dr Evans said engineering degrees are becoming more hands-on, with opportunities for students to learn and develop their skills outside of the classroom.
“Increasingly, members of the Australian Council of Deans have adopted project-based learning and increased attention to students’ collaboration and communication skills,” she said.
“Engineering faculties and schools also have industry advisory committees that assist in ensuring that the programs are delivering to industry’s current and prospective expectations.”
The ESS follows the Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted last year, which found 80.3 per cent of engineering graduates found full-time employment. This is compared to the overall full-time employment rate for recent graduates of 68.9 per cent.
Engineering graduates also had one of the highest starting salaries ($70,000), behind dentistry ($100,000), medicine ($76,000), social work ($72,600) and teacher education ($72,000).