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Misconception turns Aussie students away from engineering


The number of school leavers applying for engineering courses at Queensland universities has declined by 8 per cent compared to last year, according to data from the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre.

Applications for information technology courses have also declined, with less than 800 Year 12 students applying to study IT at Queensland universities in 2017 (4 per cent less than last year).

In a comment to the Herald Sun, QTAC chief executive John Griffiths cited the end of the mining boom and the perception that there are less engineering jobs, as the reason for the decline.

“There is a lot of talk at the moment about engineering jobs laid off with the end of the mining boom,” he said.

Engineers Australia state manager Stacey Rawlings added that there was also a 13 per cent decrease in commencements this year, which she has attributed to the perception that jobs in the sector have dried up with the downturn in the resources industry.

“The reality is only 5 per cent of engineers work directly for mining companies,” she told the Herald Sun.

“It’s a big problem because when we get an upturn, when things shift, we will have fewer graduates and in six years we won’t have the onshore skills we need.”

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