Experience key to finding an engineering job

Wednesday, 23 April, 2003

High school graduates may be crossing their fingers over 2003 UAC Engineering placements, but recent survey results indicate industry experience is the number one factor in securing a job.

TMP Worldwide's latest survey shows more than 70% of Australian engineering employers believe industry experience is the most influential factor when hiring for a role.

Qualifications polled as the least important factor when recruiting at just 12%.

TMP Worldwide President eResourcing Australasia, Anne Hatton, says that experience over qualifications is a growing trend in Australia.

"The Australian workforce is evolving and as such employers' criteria is changing. What we will be seeing in the future is candidates needing to demonstrate an understanding of the market, rather than just qualifications."

As the needs of employers have changed, so too has the structure of engineering course in Australia.

According to Institution of Engineers' National Career Adviser, Jennifer O'Donovan, it is now mandatory that engineering students have exposure to the engineering world.

"As an industry we have seen a growing need for 'hands-on' experience. Courses throughout Australia now include a three month practical component to enable students to see how things are done on the job," she said. "There is no doubt that qualifications are important, but students increasingly need solid industry exposure to back it up," according to O'Donovan.

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