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Stuart PalmerDr at Melbourne University

What the census says about Australian engineering graduate occupational outcomes

Sp170324

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RMIT SHEER Presentation
Stuart Palmer(@s_palm )
Deakin University
What the census says about
Australian engineering graduate
occupational outcomes
Depending on who/what you read, there is…
a shortage of STEM graduates; or
an oversupply of STEM graduates
There is confusion around definitions of STEM
STEM anxiety
[US] Choy and Bradburn (2008) – 10 years post-
graduation approx. half still working in field
[AUS] Trevelyan and Tilli (2010) – approx. half of
all graduates working out of field
[UK] Lyons (2011) – 28% of graduates work in
finance and business, same rate as all graduates
Engineering graduates
ABS data from last (2011) census, queried for:
E&RT bachelor graduates x Occupation
Occupation x Highest Educational qualification
Occupation x Location (significant urban area)
E&RT bachelor graduates x Location (SUA)
Method
Occupations included
Chemical and Materials Engineers Civil Engineering Professionals
Electrical Engineers Electronics Engineers
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers Mining Engineers
Other Engineering Professionals Engineering Managers
Engineering Professionals (not further defined) ICT Support and Test Engineers
Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
Data are from 2011 (dated)
Census only records ‘highest qualification’
Doesn’t disaggregate pass and honours degrees
Have to decide which occupations to include in
‘professional engineering’
Census data are subject to small random
variations to avoid potential re-identification
Limitations

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Sp170324

  • 1. RMIT SHEER Presentation Stuart Palmer(@s_palm ) Deakin University What the census says about Australian engineering graduate occupational outcomes
  • 2. Depending on who/what you read, there is… a shortage of STEM graduates; or an oversupply of STEM graduates There is confusion around definitions of STEM STEM anxiety
  • 3. [US] Choy and Bradburn (2008) – 10 years post- graduation approx. half still working in field [AUS] Trevelyan and Tilli (2010) – approx. half of all graduates working out of field [UK] Lyons (2011) – 28% of graduates work in finance and business, same rate as all graduates Engineering graduates
  • 4. ABS data from last (2011) census, queried for: E&RT bachelor graduates x Occupation Occupation x Highest Educational qualification Occupation x Location (significant urban area) E&RT bachelor graduates x Location (SUA) Method
  • 5. Occupations included Chemical and Materials Engineers Civil Engineering Professionals Electrical Engineers Electronics Engineers Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers Mining Engineers Other Engineering Professionals Engineering Managers Engineering Professionals (not further defined) ICT Support and Test Engineers Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
  • 6. Data are from 2011 (dated) Census only records ‘highest qualification’ Doesn’t disaggregate pass and honours degrees Have to decide which occupations to include in ‘professional engineering’ Census data are subject to small random variations to avoid potential re-identification Limitations
  • 7. (broadly) Where BEs work 32.0% 18.5% 12.6% 10.4% 9.6% 4.7% 3.1% 2.3% 1.8% 1.6% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9% 0.3% Engineering - 32.0% Not working - 18.5% Management - 12.6% General - 10.4% IT - 9.6% Technical - 4.7% Marketing - 3.1% Construction - 2.3% Professional other - 1.8% Finance - 1.6% Science - 1.1% Unknown - 1.0% Education - 0.9% Health - 0.3%
  • 8. 46.1% 46.0% 38.8% 33.0% 31.5% 28.1% 28.2% 27.7% 22.0% 12.7% 6.3% 2.7% 1.2% 1.4% 31.5% 41.5% 51.7% 58.7% 60.5% 63.1% 62.4% 56.6% 43.5% 26.6% 14.0% 6.8% 3.9% 1.4% 22.4% 12.4% 9.5% 8.2% 8.1% 8.8% 9.4% 15.7% 34.6% 60.7% 79.7% 90.5% 94.9% 97.1% 11907 29565 28256 27163 22088 20228 16888 14346 11072 7161 4940 3048 2117 1182 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 85-89 Percentageofengineeringgraduates... Age range …working as professional engineer …otherwise employed …not working Age range total Variation by age
  • 9. Professional Engineering 64,197 32.0% Not working 37,060 18.5% General Management 25,230 12.6% General 20,934 - 10.4% I.T. 19,252 9.6% Technical 9,468 - 4.7% All other occupations 24,215 12.1% Total 200,356 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 Graduated with Bachelor of Engineering, working in… Numbersofpersons(1000s)
  • 10. Engineering and Related Technologies - Bachelor 64,185 45.7% E&RT Postgraduate 16,339 - 11.6% E&RT Adv. Diploma 12,034 - 8.6% E&RT Certificate 10,636 - 7.6% No post-sec. 9,119 - 6.5% P.G. Manage. 3,418 - 2.4% All other qualifications 24,696 17.6% Total 140,427 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 In a Professional Engineering role, highest qualification… Numbersofpersons(1000s)
  • 11. Professional Engineering 64,197 32.0% Engineering and Related Technologies - Bachelor 64,185 45.7% Not working 37,060 18.5% E&RT Postgraduate 16,339 - 11.6% General Management 25,230 12.6% E&RT Adv. Diploma 12,034 - 8.6% General 20,934 - 10.4% E&RT Certificate 10,636 - 7.6% I.T. 19,252 9.6% No post-sec. 9,119 - 6.5% Technical 9,468 - 4.7% P.G. Manage. 3,418 - 2.4% All other occupations 24,215 12.1% All other qualifications 24,696 17.6% Total 200,356 Total 140,427 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 Graduated with Bachelor of Engineering, working in… In a Professional Engineering role, highest qualification… Numbersofpersons(1000s)
  • 12. Where the jobs are People per 1000 0.5000 – 2.0417 2.0417 – 3.5833 3.5833 – 5.1250 5.1250 – 6.6667 6.6667 – 9.7500 9.7500 – 12.8333 12.8333 – 19.0000
  • 13. Where the graduates are People per 1000 0.5000 – 2.0417 2.0417 – 3.5833 3.5833 – 5.1250 5.1250 – 6.6667 6.6667 – 9.7500 9.7500 – 12.8333 12.8333 – 19.0000
  • 14. 25.2% 17.4% 14.7% 10.6% 7.4% 5.8% 5.2% 3.1% 3.0% 2.3% 2.2% 1.5% 1.0% 0.6% Not working - 25.2% General - 17.4% Science (Prof.) - 14.7% Management - 10.6% IT - 7.4% Education - 5.8% Marketing - 5.2% Science (Tech.) - 3.1% Finance - 3.0% Health - 2.3% Eng./Tech. - 2.2% Professional other - 1.5% Unknown - 1.0% Construction - 0.6% 14.2% 15.1% 14.7% 2.1% 4.1% 3.1% 61.0% 53.0% 57.0% 22.7% 27.7% 25.2% 81816 79781 161597 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Male Female All bachelor of science Percentageofsciencegraduates... Indicated gender of respondent …working as science professional …working as science technician …otherwise employed …not working Total 14.7% 14.4% 29.2% 18.8% 9.5% 28.2% 7.1% 3.1% 3.8% 6.2% 6.4% 2.3% 1.6% 1.6% 57.0% 54.7% 37.4% 58.7% 60.2% 56.3% 77.6% 25.2% 27.1% 27.2% 16.2% 27.9% 14.0% 13.7% 161597 25056 12426 692 2487 16342 863 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Biological Science Bachelor of Biomedical Science Bachelor of Forensic Science Bachelor of Zoology and Animal Science Bachelor of Environmental Science Bachelor of Fisheries and Aquaculture Percentageofsciencegraduates... Undergraduate science program specialism …working as science professional …working as science technician …otherwise employed …not working Total 17.8% 10.4% 32.0% 39.9% 57.0% 69.8% 49.5% 41.6% 25.2% 19.8% 18.5% 18.4% 161597 14252 200356 164613 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Agricultural Science Bachelor of Engineering Bachelor of Accounting Percentageofgraduates... Undergraduate program …working in the discipline …otherwise employed …not working Total 13.2% 20.7% 20.0% 15.3% 14.7% 13.8% 14.1% 11.8% 8.7% 4.8% 4.0% 1.4% 0.8% 4.8% 4.9% 3.7% 2.9% 2.7% 2.7% 2.2% 2.3% 1.5% 0.7% 0.1% 48.5% 51.1% 59.1% 65.6% 68.1% 70.3% 69.6% 63.4% 47.7% 26.8% 13.6% 7.3% 4.8% 33.5% 23.4% 17.2% 16.2% 14.5% 13.2% 14.0% 22.5% 42.1% 67.7% 82.3% 91.3% 94.4% 17219 24496 20561 20951 17627 15237 13492 11233 8746 5184 2971 1598 1291 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 Percentageofsciencegraduates... Age range …working as science professional …working as science technician …otherwise employed …not working Age range total
  • 16. Approximately half of your new graduates will work in a professional engineering role That proportion will continue to decline over time In the longer-term, on average, approximately one third will work in a professional engineering role Summary findings
  • 17. There are significantly more qualified engineers than there are professional engineering roles Even for those roles, there is significant competition from people without engineering bachelor qualifications Summary findings
  • 18. Engineering jobs, bachelor qualified people and graduates cluster strongly in state/territory capital cities You are competing in what is largely a state- based, capital city professional engineering job market Summary findings
  • 19. What jobs/roles are you educating for? Where are your graduates (alumni) working? Where are your students intending to work? Do you explore with students ‘where’ engineering graduates work? What career outcomes are portrayed in your course publicity? Curriculum questions
  • 20. Do your WIL or final-year project units permit / encourage topics outside of ‘engineering’? Who’s on your advisory board? Do you cover in demand generic STEM skills such as programming, visualisation and statistics? What is an authentic engineering curriculum??? Curriculum questions
  • 21. Thank you for your time •t.co/CIpOOuy3lO
  • 22. Palmer, S., Tolson, M., Young, K. and Campbell, M. (2015), The Relationship between engineering bachelor qualifications and occupational status in Australia, Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, v20, n2, pp. 103-112. Palmer, S. and Campbell, M. (2016), Characterising the Australian engineering workforce and engineering graduate occupational outcomes using national census data, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education, Guimarães. Palmer, S., Campbell, C., Johnson, L. and West, J. (in print), Occupational Outcomes for Bachelor of Science Graduates in Australia and Implications for Undergraduate Science Curricula, Research in Science Education. Palmer, S. (accepted), The influence of geography on professional engineering employability and its implications for undergraduate curriculum design, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Conference 2017, Sydney. References