DownloadIn 2012, enrolments across the minerals industry core disciplines of Earth Science, Mining Engineering and Metallurgy indicate some clear emerging trends. Mining Engineering enrolments are dramatically higher in the first and second years of study which will result in increased graduates in 2014-15. Earth Science enrolments, although down in the first and second years of study, are higher in the third year of study which is the pool from where honours students are drawn. Metallurgy enrolments are down across all years of study, a reversal of trend from a few years ago. It would also appear that the effects of the financial correction in 2008-9 no longer impacts on students considering professional careers in the minerals industry.

MTEC modelling for 2015 forecast levels indicates a plateauing of final year enrolments in Earth Science, a significant decline in Metallurgy and a dramatic increase in Mining Engineering.

Summary of Enrolments (MTEC universities only)

  • Earth Science enrolments have decreased across all years of study except for the 3rd year where a dramatic increase in noted. Overall there is a greater retention of students progressing into later years of study. Diversity statistics for all years of study show a combined average of 67% being male, 33% female and 0% Indigenous Australian.
  • Metallurgy enrolments have decreased across all years of study, a trend that is likely to continue in ensuing years. An increased number of students have either graduated with a BSc at the end of three years or are completing a double degree (after 5 years). These do not appear in the summary compilation above, but are still skilled to work as metallurgists. Diversity statistics for all years of study show a combined average of 76% being male, 24% female and 0% Indigenous Australian.
  • Mining Engineering enrolments have returned to levels pre-financial correction and have increased significantly across all years of study (except for a roughly stagnant 4th year in 2012). This year’s output is well above the long-term average which includes 5th year double degree students. The long-term trend for final year students appears to be growing linearly, a reversal of the previous trend. Diversity statistics for all years of study show a combined average of 88% being male, 12% female and 0% Indigenous Australian.

Summary of Graduate Destinations (MTEC universities only)

  • 53% of graduates from the MTEC Earth Science universities joined the minerals industry. This is up on last year’s cohort of 45% and a continuation of the significant reversal of the recent downward trend. 22% of Earth Science graduates went on to further study or research (a common trend) and 44% joined either big or small mining companies.
  • 74% of all Metallurgy graduates from 2011 joined the minerals industry, with 59% of the overall cohort joining big or small mining companies, 15% joining consultants or contractors and 2% joining the extractive industry. The data collected from 2011 reflects a return to long-term trends for graduate destinations in Metallurgy.
  • At the time the data was collected, 67% of Mining Engineering graduates surveyed had entered the minerals industry with 55% joining big or small mining companies and 11% taking roles with contractors or consultants.

Anecdotal evidence (supported by Graduate Careers Australia data) shows that almost ALL Mining Engineering graduates were employed six months after graduating. Graduates taking roles with small mining companies were 7%, a slight increase from 3% in 2010. This indicates a return to historical average levels of 4% from 2008, and 2% from 2007. The data received from the 2010 graduates for this report includes graduate destination information for the second graduating class from The University of Adelaide.

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