Lack of confidence in the engineering sector leads undergraduates to look elsewhere for jobs.
20th June 2012
Nearly a thousand engineering undergraduates from the UK’s top universities were surveyed recently by the leading graduate careers site, targetjobsengineering.co.uk, and what came out loud and clear was their willingness to seriously consider careers outside the sector after graduation.
The survey results were revealed at the annual TARGETjobs Engineering Employers Forum, held at Imperial College London and attended by regular engineering recruiters including BP, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Thales, Atkins, Davy and BOC.
In the survey, nearly two-thirds said they would be open to considering a career outside engineering. This shows their concern at the shortage of graduate jobs available to them and, in echoes of last year’s survey, the continuing paucity of engineering placements offered to undergraduates. It also possibly reflects the high-profile campus presence of employers outside the sector who target engineering undergraduates for their many transferable skills. When asked which non-engineering careers they are looking at, the favourite answers were finance (especially investment banking), teaching, IT and management consulting.
In a further indication of how they perceive the current job market, 41 per cent said that they would definitely consider accepting more than one job offer, 48 per cent said they would possibly do so with only 11 per cent saying ‘no way’.
In a lighter vein, respondents were not that keen on sharing their social spaces with recruiters with only 23 per cent definitely wanting to engage with them via social media. Here is what some students said:
“I believe that work is work and private life is private. In today’s social media age, this obviously doesn’t hold true any more, but I can still try and keep the two apart.”
“It just feels a bit weird. I don’t want to ‘socialise’ with my employer, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.”
"When I use social media, I use it with my friends for fun and personal enjoyment. I don’t want to worry what employers might see when using them. I want them to see me as nothing but professional.”
Chris Phillips, Publishing Director at GTI Media, said:
“It’s sad that so many undergraduates, highly qualified and motivated towards an engineering career are actively considering alternative careers outside the sector. In the survey of recent graduates that TARGETjobs carried out at the same time, engineering graduates reported a high level of satisfaction with their jobs so the issue is not the jobs themselves but the perceived lack of permanent and work experience opportunities available to undergraduates. This is a serious issue as the UK cannot afford to lose too many engineering graduates to business and commerce.”
– Ends –
Notes to Editors
- The survey was live for a two/three week period in late March 2012.
- There were 905 respondents to the student survey from around 100 different universities, most studying mechanical, civil or electrical engineering.
- At the same time, a companion survey of recent graduates working in engineering was undertaken by targetjobs.co.uk and the reports from both the student and recent graduate survey are available to download from gtimedia.co.uk.
- GTI Media are the people behind leading graduate careers and jobs site targetjobs.co.uk, the Guardian UK 300 and GET directories as well as the TARGETjobs series of sector publications, including TARGETjobs Engineering. GTI Media also publishes Careers Guides for 25 leading universities in the UK and Ireland. It is part of the international Group GTI, the largest graduate careers publisher in Europe.
- For more information on GTI Media visit gtimedia.co.uk
For further information on the survey, please contact:
Rachel Cox, Marketing Manager at TARGETjobs
T: 01491 828925
For further comment about the story, please contact:
Chris Phillips, Publishing Director
T: 01491 826262