3,146 students attained their bachelor's degrees in engineering over the course of the 2011-2012 school year in Quebec. This is a 4.8% increase compared with 2012-2011 (2,993 graduates). This rise is good news on the heels of the 7% increase seen last year. After a consistent annual drop in the numbers between 2007 and 2010, the total number of graduates in 2012 surpassed those of 2006-2007, which were 3,025.
The number of graduates in civil engineering and construction-related specializations rose by 21% compared with last year. Demand in this sector remains high, and this increase in graduates is good news for recruiters. Graduates in mechanical engineering are more numerous this year with an increase of 6%, though this increase is smaller than last year’s, which was 8%. The number of graduates in computer and software engineering decreased by 7% and 1.2% respectively. The number of graduates in other disciplines saw a modest increase of 2.8%. Table 1 shows the number of graduates according to their specialization.
While there was a slight increase in graduates this year, it is mostly concentrated in the field of civil engineering. Over the last few years, the market has expressed a need for more civil engineering graduates that seems to have been heard.
However, certain specializations saw a significant drop, in particular 7.2% in computer and software engineering, and to a lesser extent, 1.7% in electrical engineering. As a result, recruitment may change, becoming more difficult. Together with our partner in the Job Fair, who specializes in IT, we have seen that demand for employment in this sector is growing. Regarding graduates in other specialties, the increase was fairly modest (2.8%).
Projects such as the Plan Nord and the development of the aeronautics industry will require many specialized resources. In some specializations, however, the number of graduates is relatively weak: 39 graduates in mining engineering, 27 in geological engineering and 12 in aerospace. We are unsure whether they will be able to meet the demand.
There were 29 graduates in biomedical engineering and 33 in biotechnological engineering.
The number of engineering graduates has increased by nearly 12% over the past two years and the number of civil engineers has jumped by 30% over the same period of time. The market is changing rapidly and cycles are becoming shorter than in the past. Recruiters will need to be more creative in order to attract candidates and to keep them.
Need an engineering graduate? The Réseau des ingénieurs du Québec now offers free access to the job board for engineering students and graduates. Many universities are also offering job-placement and co-op programs. For more information visit their website:
The data on the number of graduates was provided by the universities, and we would like to thank them for their cooperation.