“Engineering students are happy with the quality of their university courses but concerned about their prospects of finding internships or graduate engineering jobs, according to a survey by targetjobsengineering.co.uk. Almost a thousand university students studying for engineering or related degrees participated.
The overwhelming majority of students (95%) agreed that their degree is preparing them for work in terms of ‘soft’ skills, responding either ‘yes, definitely’ or ‘yes, in a limited way’. The majority (89%) also felt that their degree was preparing them for work in terms of technical/engineering skills, again responding either ‘yes, definitely’ or ‘yes, in a limited way’. A related survey of recently graduated engineers already in work, also by targetjobsengineering.co.uk, found that 90% of respondents thought that their degrees had prepared them for working life ‘quite well’ or ‘very well’.
However, students were far less positive about their chances of finding employment. Of those surveyed, 55% stated that they were ‘not at all confident’ about finding an engineering job or internship this year. Concerns about securing internships were a particular issue, with almost all respondents (97%) considering them to be either ‘important’, ‘very important’ or ‘critically important’ in getting a graduate job.
Many were considering postgraduate study more seriously (40%) or ‘a bit more seriously’ (36%). Likewise, working abroad was on many students’ minds, with 40% stating that the current job market had made them think more seriously about working outside the UK and a further 41% indicating that they might consider it.”