Grads engineer their way to success
More than 90 per cent of James Cook University’s engineering graduates are being snapped up by employers across a range of fields.
JCU Head of Engineering Associate Professor Rabin Tuladhar said he is thrilled by the exceptionally strong results, with 100 per cent of civil and chemical engineering graduates finding jobs.
“Graduate employment has always been a strength of JCU Engineering,” he said.
“We always have one of the highest employment rates in the country, so it is fantastic for the 2022 cohort of graduates to have that continue.
“We pride ourselves on having job-ready engineering graduates.”
Associate Professor Tuladhar said JCU’s internship program, coupled with strong local industry support, means students receive excellent practical experience prior to graduating.
“That’s what makes JCU graduates appealing to local industries,” he said.
“We have a very good student experience with engineering and we do have many professional industry engineers coming into our program to teach design subjects, which helps to provide for a more authentic learning experience.”
Recently graduated chemical engineer Chelsea Burgess received an impressive nine job offers prior to completing her studies and said her learning experience at JCU had been instrumental in setting herself up for a future career in the industry.
“I really enjoyed my time at JCU because our classes are small so you get a lot of time with the lecturers and the learning is more personalised,” she said.
“The lecturers are passionate about seeing their students do well.
“We also got a good mix of theory and practical learning which enabled us to go on a lot of site trips, as JCU is situated close to a lot of industry employers.”
Ms Burgess, a recipient of the prestigious CN Barton Medal for Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) students who present the best level 4 thesis seminar, urged new engineering students to take full advantage of the opportunities that JCU offered.
“Because there’s such a strong sense of community at JCU, I was able to be in different leadership roles such as Treasurer of the Engineering Undergraduate Society and Vice President of the JCU Robotics Club,” Ms Burgess said.
“That really helped my interpersonal skills, which is the number one thing that graduate employers look for.
“I also did two vacation internship programs during my time at JCU, so having that industry experience before I went out into a real job was really helpful.”
Ms Burgess has opted to stay in the region after taking up a position with Townsville City Council as a graduate chemical engineer and is currently working on ensuring environmental compliance at the Cleveland Bay Wastewater Treatment plant.
Associate Professor Tuladhar said JCU’s Technology Innovation Complex would help enhance the learning experience of engineering students even further.
“It will have new teaching and workshop labs, as well as new spaces for students,” he said.
“That will completely change the landscape for engineering education at JCU.”
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