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Study STEM in Australia

STEM career opportunities are growing faster than traditional options. Train now for a secure future


What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It’s a fast-growing area of employment, with fantastic options for a career across a wide area of interests.

The future is bright for technical innovators, flexible and critical thinkers, and those with a passion for the intersection of tech and sciences.

What can you do with a degree in STEM?

The range of careers is extremely diverse. If you are passionate about medicine, psychology, engineering, IT, animal health, agriculture or food production- this is the career for you.

Agriculture and food are vital areas of life. Studying how living systems interact with the environment, their management, and how to make our current systems better are vital for better crop management and accounting for climate changes.

Animal health and vet sciences can help in a range of ways. From optimising the way we raise animals and increasing animal health for farmers, to conservation and managing populations of at-risk animals. It’s vitally important for our environment.

Engineering and IT are among some of the most in-demand skills world-wide. You can help develop innovative solutions that create positive change, whether it’s through AI and computer science, or more hands-on engineering.

Mathematics and statistics are part of every part of our world. Business, science, commerce, technology and human nature are all part of the complex way mathematics are applied.

Medicine disciplines vary, from front-line emergency management, through to study and research. All areas of study are vital, whether it’s better day-to-day care of patients or developing cures and taking preventative measures for diseases.

Science encompasses every facet of life, from biology, geosciences, psychology and entomology. There are a wealth of roles and opportunities that allow you to change the world- on a micro or macro scale.

Technology is a very broad term and it impacts with every facet of our lives. Increasingly, the technologies we use will shape the world of tomorrow.

What are the employment prospects for STEM careers?

With the fastest growth of any career group, STEM careers, particularly in the science areas, are hot property. However, there is variation across areas of interest and in general, the better the education, the better the employment outlook. The best STEM majors in Australia, in terms of employment, permanent residency and income levels, include:

  • Petroleum engineer, with a median salary of AU$103,000 rising to AU$181,000
  • Agricultural scientist, with a median salary of AU$72,000, rising to AU$82,000
  • ICT Security Architect, with an average salary of $130,000, rising to AU$180,000

It’s easy to see the field of in-demand STEM jobs is diverse and the outcomes can be good. In Australia alone there are seven job openings for every IT graduate, with an upcoming need for over 100,000 professionals needed in the next five years.

Advanced physics and mathematical sciences account for 22% of economic activity, via innovation and research. Governments world-wide are pouring money into these fields, knowing that over time the benefits will be broad.

Add to that, 70% of employers recognise that STEM professionals are valuable in the workforce. A STEM qualification can open doors and provide options beyond expectations.

STEM education options in Australia

If you are planning to study a STEM field course in Australia, the options are broad. There are four Australian Universities in the top 50 in the world for Civil and Structural Engineering; five for Computer Science and Information Systems; four for Chemical Engineering; four for Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering and four for Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

You can start with a generic undergraduate degree such as a BSc, and then on to specialise as you move into postgraduate qualifications.

The University of Sydney offers a range of top-quality courses that help you get on the STEM track you are interested in. Starting with undergraduate options, there are science, engineering, mathematics, medical, agriculture, and IT Bachelor degrees, as well as a range of post-grad Masters and Doctorates. Of interest is the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) that has a flexible first year so you can dip your toes into a range of options before choosing your intended course of study. There’s also a Bachelor of Advanced Studies that allows high achievers to get two degrees.

Their focus at the University of Sydney is on using their purpose-built labs and learning hubs to provide a hands-on learning experience. They want their students to graduate with a global view that enables further study and working options.

The University of Melbourne performs well globally with their STEM courses. Recognising the employability of people with STEM degrees, Melbourne University offers an array of courses, from molecular biology to artificial intelligence, all designed to allow the curious mind to grow, explore, and challenge themselves. There’s also a focus on creating a diverse range of graduates to right the imbalance of gender and race in these fields.

The Australian National University wants to make STEM accessible to everyone who has a passion for the field. It’s not lab coats and mathematics- unless you want it to be. While medicine plays a big role on this campus, the push for science-related degrees and modern applications of STEM make ANU a good choice.

Contact IDP for more information

Choosing what you want to study in a STEM field can be confusing. It’s a mix of following your passion, as well as being able to make a difference in the world and being fairly compensated for it.

Contact us at IDP to talk about how we can help you choose what, and where you study. We can also assist with Visa related enquiries, to help make the journey smoother. 

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