Despite marketing and sales being the fourth most popular career choice for Australian university graduates, the industry is well behind other major sectors in efforts to attract graduate talent, according to recruitment website GradConnection.com.au.

Dan Purchas, co-director of GradConnection, indicated that the company’s data shows that among the 15 most popular careers listed by uni graduates, the marketing and sales sector appears among the least prepared with a lack of programs to attract and retain graduate talent.

“It seems the marketing and sales sectors are not as advanced as other industries in engaging and attracting our top graduate talent. As the global economic hardships ease and companies rebuild and reenergise their graduate recruitment programs, it is quite possible that the marketing and sales sector will miss out on attracting our top university talent because of a lack of companies offering formal programs to attract graduates,” said Purchas.

According to data from the site almost 9.9% (1,600) graduates and students have listed marketing and sales as their most favoured career.

Within the marketing sector itself, these grads have listed CRM, business development and account management as the three top roles they would like to pursue.

Of the 16,000 grads who registered their career choices with the site, the top three career choices are accounting (13.6%), engineering and mining (11.1%), government (10%) and then marketing and sales.

Below the top four, careers of choice for grads in include IT, banking/finance, human resources, mathematics/science, law, health, funds management/investment banking, economics, construction and property.

“In this digital era, grads are looking to engage and interface with potential employers about career prospects. On the employers’ side, companies are looking to interact with potential employees to help refine their personnel choices and build a degree of familiarity with them prior to making a job offer. It is reasonable to assume that if graduates cannot see clear career opportunities in their most favoured industries, then they could be lost to the sector as the grads are attracted to their second or third choice industries by clear career information and opportunities,” explained Purchas.