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Top engineering graduates leaving sector for higher salaries elsewhere

The most talented engineering graduates are leaving the sector for jobs in other industries with more attractive pay rates, operations director at website graduate-jobs.com, Gerry Wyatt, has said

Speaking to HR magazine, Wyatt said one of the reasons there is a skills shortage in the engineering sector is because large professional services firms "such as PwC" are able to offer high wages, which are "extremely attractive" to graduates "fresh out of university".

"Someone with an engineering degree is employable to many different types of companies. Organisations like the analytical approach these graduates have and so employers actively seek them out," Wyatt said.

"This is coupled with the fact that engineering isn't seen as a 'sexy' degree by young people thinking about going to university.".

Research published from graduate-jobs.com found graduates with an engineering or arts degree are the most likely to confine their career search to sectors which are directly relevant to their degree.

This is in contrast to social science graduates who demonstrate the most diverse interests in terms of industry sectors they are keen to work in.

Wyatt said: "Marketing, advertising, PR and the media are exceptionally competitive, even though there are few clear barriers to entry in terms of degree studied.

"However, it's also possible graduates consider roles in these sectors to be ideal ways to develop their skills without closing the door on a future career move.

"By contrast, sales and education are less popular, despite the abundance of sales jobs and the Government's drive to recruit more teachers."

To give themselves the best chance of gaining employment when coming out of university, Wyatt said graduates "need an end plan". He said: "Unless you are studying for a specific subject there a plethora of degrees that don't provide you for the world of work, which is a little bit of a tragedy.

He added: "Graduates need to understand they are in a jobs market and must become a sellable commodity."