Why are students steering clear of engineering?

There’s a skills shortage for engineering roles in Australia.

With the constant reminder of the looming threat of automation, you’d be forgiven for thinking most of the jobs available in our shrinking job market will soon be taken by our future robot overlords.

But there’s one industry that’s actually experiencing the opposite: too many jobs, not enough graduates.

According to The Good Careers Guide 2019, engineering is facing a serious skills shortage in Australia, with the number of enrolments in engineering courses remaining about the same over the past two decades, despite around 5,000 new roles being created each year in civil engineering alone.

So, why aren’t more young people choosing engineering?

It could be due to the perception that the industry is a bit of a ‘boy’s club’, given the historically low figure of female participation.

In fact, the Guide shows just how bad those numbers really are.

The split for engineering job searches was quite lop-sided, with just 36.1 per cent of females browsing for engineering roles compared to 63.9 per cent of males. And it gets worse from there.

Females make up just 13.1 per cent of the workforce within the engineering industry, and with an estimated 17.5 per cent of engineering students being female, it doesn’t seem likely that figure will rise any time soon.

Hopefully, with the government’s increasing focus on getting more students, and specifically women, into STEM, these numbers will improve in the coming years.

For more information on career pathways and training opportunities, visit www.goodcareersguide.com.au.

This article originally appeared on Student Edge – You can easily get an engineering job, so why are students (especially women) steering clear?

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