Mining engineering graduates top the list of employable graduates, according to a study from Graduate Careers Australia.
The study lists employment statistics of Australian graduates from 1982 to 2015, and shows that overall, mining engineering has an employability index of 92.3 per cent across the period, making mining engineering the most employable of all engineering fields. The next most employable engineers are civil engineers (88.8 per cent) and electrical engineers (86.2 per cent).
There are only two fields overall which fare better than mining engineering – pharmacy and medicine – which have employability indexes of 97.3 per cent and 98.9 per cent respectively. The least employable (by a landslide) are visual/performing arts graduates, with an employability index of 56.8 per cent.
Speaking about the mining engineering industry, Professor Peter Knights, head of mining engineering at the University of Queensland, said the study confirmed that mining engineering is a strong choice.
“We need to ensure the sector can meet the growing demand for new graduates ready to take on the challenges of modern mining in a developing economy,” he said.
“Australia is the world’s largest exporter of iron ore and coal, and Queensland is the largest coal-exporting state. Around two-thirds of all Queensland coal is used to produce steel, and with the growth of megacities in Asia, the coal industry and resultant steel production will continue to be of vital importance.”
Technological innovation in the sector is also a boom area, according to Knights.
“The global ‘smart mining market’ – involving automated equipment, hardware and software – is forecast to grow by about 15 per cent annually until 2024, and will also bring broader benefits.
“Smart technologies enable efficient connectivity among workers but also help to reduce wastage. They contribute to a safer and more environmentally friendly industry, which we are always striving for.”
Knights added that this year for the first time, UQ’s mining engineering students would be guaranteed placements with Queensland Resources Council member companies.
“This will ensure highly employable graduates, who will be exposed to the latest developments in industry, from project management to environmental practices.”