If you are thinking about studying engineering, Australia has a lot to offer — as many other students from overseas have already discovered. In greater numbers than ever before, international students are choosing to study engineering in Australia. In fact, Australian National Engineering Taskforce (ANET) figures show that international student enrolments in engineering increased by 81.8 per cent between 2002 and 2010. In 2010, international students accounted for 43 per cent of all engineering graduates in Australia.
So why is engineering so popular? Read on to find out the benefits that engineering students enjoy in Australia.
Wide range of engineering courses
Whether it’s civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics, telecommunications, chemical, computer, mechatronic, materials, agricultural, marine, mining, petroleum, geological, industrial, aerospace, environmental or biomedical, Australia offers a huge range of engineering courses right across the country. This gives you the opportunity to specialise in the field of your choice. There are also more hands-on Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses on offer, which will qualify you for engineering associate or engineering technologist positions and can act as a pathway into university. If you’re already working as an engineer, Australian institutions also offer a range of postgraduate programs in engineering (such as the Master of Business Administration specialising in engineering), which will enable you to take the next step in your career. To search for engineering courses, see our Course Search.
Excellent employment prospects
Australia is currently experiencing a widespread shortage of engineers, especially in states that are experiencing the highest growth in mining and resources — Western Australia and Queensland. This high demand for graduates means that international students studying engineering have strong prospects of gaining employment in Australia. International graduates are vital to meeting Australia’s engineering skills shortage, with skilled migrant engineers accounting for more than half of the supply of newly qualified engineers in the Australian workforce, according to ANET figures. Engineering graduates working in Australia can also expect to earn high salaries. According to The Good Universities Guide 2013, recent engineering graduates, on average, earned $60,705 — one of the highest salaries of any field.
Opportunities to migrate to Australia
The field of engineering is experiencing rapid growth in Australia. Because skilled migration is linked to Australia’s economic needs, international students who are qualified in engineering are considered a high priority for permanent residency visas. Graduates may choose to take up one of the following migration opportunities:
- stay in Australia after graduating to gain skilled work experience through a post-study work visa (which is hoped to be introduced in early 2013) or a Skilled — Graduate (Temporary) Visa
- gain sponsorship with their employer through the Employer Nomination Scheme or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
- apply for permanent residency through Australia’s SkillSelect skilled migration program.
- For more information, see Once you have finished your studies and Migrating to Australia.
Work experience opportunities
Work experience is a vital part of engineering courses in Australia, ensuring that graduates have the practical experience and skills required by employers in the workforce. Work experience may be completed through a ‘co-op’ course that includes a work placement at an Australian company or through other compulsory and voluntary internships. Also look out for the Engineers Australia Professional Year Program, which is a 12-month work experience program for international students that allows them to gain valuable experience in an Australian engineering company and increases their prospects of gaining permanent residency through SkillSelect.
Professional accreditationEngineers Australia is the professional association for engineers in Australia and is responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs. All those who complete an accredited program are eligible for membership. Accreditation ensures that Australian institutions offering engineering courses meet high standards and produce graduates with the skills and knowledge required by employers in the industry. Another advantage of professional accreditation is that your degree will be recognised overseas in countries such as the USA, the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.