A Lot Of Engineering Graduates End Up Working In IT

A recent study has revealed that engineering graduates have a better chance of finding paid employment compared to their brethren in other fields of study. However, less then half of those graduates will end up in the engineering business and a large portion of them will end up in the IT industry.

Engineering woman image from Shutterstock

Deakin University analysed data on over 200,000 people who have a bachelor-level professional engineering qualification and found that an engineering degree is a valuable qualification to have across a wide range of industries. Around 46 per cent of engineering graduates under 25 were in professional engineering roles with that figure dipping to 32 per cent when you count the rest of the age groups.

But for those who don't end up in engineering jobs, they are likely to score work in other industries, particularly in the technology sector. The Deakin research found more than 14 per cent of all engineering bachelor graduates were working in IT and other technology-related industries.

Twelve per cent of people in the research were in general management positions outside of engineering while 10 per cent were doing non-professional jobs.

Engineering graduates' employability is supported by data from Graduate Carers Australia that showed 80 per cent of the engineering graduates studied reported that they had found work after leaving university, compared to 70 per cent for graduates in other disciplines.

Deakin University lead researcher associate professor Stuart Palmer has some advice for future and current engineering students:

  • Engineering students should be better informed about, and equipped for, the world of post-graduation work if they were exposed to the likely options for their career trajectory.
  • Secondary school students and others considering engineering undergraduate study should be informed about the full range of career possibilities for engineering graduates and the probability that they are just as likely to work out of engineering as in it.
  • Undergraduate engineering curricula should take the portability of an engineering qualification into consideration.

Are you in a line of work that is unrelated to your degree? Let us know in the comments.


    I strongly considered IT, or Software Engineering straight out of school, but felt that the industry was pretty saturated at the time, so I did Mechatronics Engineering to keep a bunch of options open. Picked up a position as an embedded software engineer in my last year of uni anyway. For most engineering graduates, their degree identifies them as someone who:
    Has kept up with the workload required for the degree
    Has good problem solving skills
    Is probably up to date with a large variety of technologies
    Has a strong grounding in mathematics, and
    Has the ability to find and disseminate technical information

    It's no wonder plenty of us end up in roles that aren't strictly engineering.

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