Science, Technology & Analytics
Almost every part of our daily lives is touched by science and technology. From the food in our fridges, the resources that power and heat our homes, our modes of transport and many more!
The science industry can be divided into core sectors, with various career avenues that sit under each sector. These sectors include:
- Physical Sciences
- Chemical Sciences
- Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Biological Sciences
- Medical Sciences
Similarly, the technology industry can also be divided into core sectors. These include:
- Computer and Information Technology
- Cyber and Information Security
- Construction and Manufacturing Technology.
- Medical Technology
- Energy, Resources and Power Technology
- Transportation Technology
- Agriculture and Biotechnology
At the cross-section of these core parts of the industry lies the field of analytics, data research and statistics.
Essentially, analytical careers and pathways focus on reviewing, dissecting, understanding and developing existing processes, knowledge or ideas and seeing how to make them better. They also work to develop projections based on past events and activities to provide insights on how the industry should respond and move forward in the future.
Overall, the industry is governed by a few core activities, including:
- Laboratory Research
- Research and Development
- Process Improvement
- Process Exploration
- Academia and Education
- Data analysis
Scientists and technology professionals work across different roles. This can include practical research and development, or it could be consultancy and expertise based. Some may also choose to work within academia and education, to pass on knowledge and theory.
Generally, career pathways in the industry are highly specialised, often requiring a bachelor degree as a minimum and usually some postgraduate study.
If you’ve got an inquisitive mind, are always seeking to understand why things are the way they are and how we can use technology and scientific approaches to improve society – a career in science and technology could be right for you!
What You Could Do
Roles across the industry are highly varied and include a mix of low-skilled, entry-level positions, highly-skilled roles, and professional roles requiring specialised knowledge.
Here’s a look at some of the top jobs you could pursue:
- Information Computer Technology (ICT) Support Technician: ICT technicians are responsible for various IT, computer and systems maintenance and solutions across an organisation. They diagnose computer problems, find and implement solutions, and work to ensure equipment, systems and processes all run smoothly so the business can deliver on its daily functions. They may also build and maintain computer and systems infrastructure, manage websites and resolve niche or common technical problems.
- Research Scientist (Specialist): Research scientists will be specialists in one area of science – that might be within biology, chemistry, physics, biomedical or other areas. They devise, formulate, and execute investigative projects that tackle gaps in scientific knowledge. Research scientists then share their findings by publishing authoritative documents, usually in academic journals, and try to get their findings proven further or implemented to solve real-world problems.
- Research and Development Consultant: Research and development consultants perform and conduct studies on topics in their specialised fields across science and technology. They gather and analyse research and source materials, design research programs, and create reports on their findings. They can also supervise other research projects and provide support on quality, ethics and evaluation of outcomes. Some research and development consultants work for laboratories or private companies, and some may also work within universities or government departments and think tanks.
- Mathematician: Mathematicians research, analyse, develop and apply mathematical principles to solve problems across science, engineering, technology, social sciences, business, industry and commerce. Mathematicians play a vital role in solving equations and developing accurate approaches to handle tough numerical challenges that have practical real-world impact. As well as working in the industry, they play a significant role in academia and education at all levels.
- Statistician: Statisticians use statistical theory and techniques to collect, interpret and analyse numerical data to assist with decision-making across the science and technology industry. They may also assist with policy development in a broad number of areas including science, government, medicine, business and education. Statisticians use real-world data, figures and projections to guide and advise on the best steps forward on some of the biggest challenges within our communities.
These job roles are only just scratching the surface!
The best way to learn more and help form decisions about the roles available and what you might be suited for is to conduct as much research as you can and build a profile from there.
Graduate Outcomes & Gender Split
Almost every career in the industry is founded on a bedrock of in-depth theory, research and specialist knowledge. For this reason, many of the roles require a bachelor degree in a specific subject as a result.
The Graduates Outcome Survey tracks graduate employment across different industry sectors.
Here’s a look at some graduate outcomes for science and technology degrees technologies:
- Computing and Information Systems Graduates in Full-Time Employment: 72.1%
- Computing and Information SystemsGraduates in Employment Overall: 81.2%
- Science and Mathematics Graduates in Full-Time Employment: 59.1%
- Science and MathematicsGraduates in Employment Overall: 81.7%
Keep in mind that this doesn’t account for graduates working part-time and/or who may have continued to higher studies; these are promising percentages!
*Figures from 2020 survey results.
The gender split across the industry depends on the segment of the sector you work within.
The industry is fairly evenly split across males and females :
Recent statistics indicate the split for manufacturing and production-based roles are:
Keep in mind there will be some areas where this might not always be the case, and in some areas, there may be more females than males and vice versa.
Current surveys in the sector indicate the median salaries for full-time roles in this industry as:
- Information Computer Technology (ICT) Support Technician: $55,00-$78,000
- Research Scientist (Specialist): $91,000-$106,000
- Research and Development Consultant: $93,000-$98,000
- Mathematician: $90,000-$159,000
- Statistician: $72,000-$100,000
- Microbiologist: $58,000-$69,500
Salaries are also determined by several factors, including:
- The segment of the industry you work within.
- Your job title and seniority.
- The amount of experience you have.
- Location, some rural areas may pay less than roles in main cities.
The Department of Industry, Science, Industry, Energy and Resources has identified some strong industry growth initiatives across the science, technology and analytics industry.
The government are funding industry growth centres – not-for-profit organisations led by industry experts. These centres have a focus on:
- Increasing collaboration and commercialisation across the industry.
- Improving international opportunities and market access.
- Enhancing management and workforce skills.
- Identifying opportunities for regulatory reform.
Within science and technology, the government has also identified some core areas within the industry that focus on these growth centres.
These areas will see a boost in potential funding and job creation. They include:
- Advanced manufacturing technologies.
- Cyber and information security.
- Medical and pharmaceutical technologies.
- Mining technology.
- Oil, gas, and energy processes and technology.
Qualifications and Entry Pathways
For some professional roles, a bachelor degree can set you up well with the foundation of theory and knowledge to help you build a successful career in the industry.
Degree pathways you could pursue include:
- Bachelor of Mathematics
- Bachelor of Applied Science (With subject specialisations including biology, chemistry or physics)
- Bachelor of Biotechnology
- Bachelor of Computer Science
- Bachelor of Computing and Information Systems
Following a bachelor’s, many in this field study a research degree or PhDs that allow them to focus on the core specialist area they want to pursue a career further within.
For some pathways, vocational education and training (VET) courses can offer specialised and valuable springboards into the sector. – especially for ICT career pathways.
Relevant qualifications you could pursue include:
- Diploma of Information Technology Networking
- Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
- Certificate IV in Cyber Security
- Diploma in Information Technology
- Diploma of Business Information Systems
Other pathway options, particularly within the computer technology sector, might include:
- Scoring an apprenticeship or traineeship: You can start a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship from Yr 9 and work to gain industry-specific qualifications alongside your certificate of education and work experience.
Requirements will depend on the type of role you want and the company – so make sure you do some research.
Whatever your circumstances, grades or preferred way forward – there’s a qualification pathway that will work for you.
Best Places to Study
Where you choose to study will be dependent on a range of factors, but some universities are rated higher than others for specific subjects.
Some of the best-rated universities for science studies include:
- Bond University
- The University of Notre Dame
- Curtin University
- Monash University
Some of the best-rated universities for technology studies include:
- University of Technology Sydney
- University of Adelaide
- Australian National University
- University of Melbourne
- University of Queensland Australia
- RMIT University
Where to Learn More
You can find out more about different pathways through professional bodies and organisations advocating for careers in the sector.
Some good places to start include:
And many more!
Each state will also have several professional organisations that can help you learn more about the industry, network, and develop your career.