According to the 2016 SME Guide to Minerals and Materials Science Schools, 427 mining engineering degrees (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.) were awarded to students graduating from U.S. mining schools in 2015, a 20-percent increase from the previous year’s number of 356 graduates. The number of graduates from U.S. mining and mineral engineering programs has increased steadily since 2004, which saw an all-time low of 54.
Mining is one of a handful of sectors that is projected to add jobs at a fairly constant rate over the next 20 years. Although there has been a decline in the number of mining and mineral engineering programs at U.S. colleges and universities, there continues to be a noticeable increase in the number of graduates in those programs. The industry demand for qualified graduates to enter the workforce intensifies as vacancies are created by professionals reaching retirement age.
The SME Guide to Minerals and Materials Science Schools has proven to be a vital tool for mining companies and industry recruiters in evaluating the pipeline of qualified candidates to fill those vacancies. The Guide is used by stakeholders to track mining-related enrollment and graduation rates of U.S. schools of higher education with a mining engineering curriculum, and to project employment trends. This unique SME publication also contains essential information about materials science, metallurgical & mineral processing, and geological engineering academic programs. Data includes specific programs, faculty, enrollment and degrees conferred for undergraduates and graduates. Updated annually, the 2016 edition is now available in the SME Bookstore.