A list of top STEM graduate programs to apply for now

CBA graduate program
After finishing their engineering degrees Michael Selvadurai and Jennifer Shook landed graduate roles at CBA. And yep – there's a pool table in the office. Image: Lauren Trompp.

Looking for graduate-friendly companies to hit up in your final year of uni? We’ve popped together a list of STEM-friendly programs. Minimal experience, required.

What are graduate programs?

Graduate gigs – often contracted between one to four years – are entry level jobs designed to introduce fresh uni graduates to a company or industry that aligns with their study experience and career goals.

The structured programs often often rotate across departments, which allows for a broad development of skills and exposure to a variety of different roles. Although they aren’t the only option for university graduates, they generally provide a more extensive career development program than other entry-level jobs.

The best graduate programs will provide:

  • Extensive induction and training programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • Career progression planning
  • Excellent supervision and feedback
  • Compensation and benefits
  • A good work/life balance and inclusive company culture

Which graduate employer is for you?

There are loads of ways to seek out a suitable graduate employer. Most uni’s will share job opportunities with students in their final year, and lists like the The Australian Financial Review’s Top Graduate Employers list are a great resource.

We’ve popped together a mini breakdown of companies we think have particularly cool programs this year.

RELATED: Meet CBA’s Enterprise Services Graduate

The Commonwealth Bank

Have skills in tech and engineering but keen to branch out of the expected trajectory? Banks don’t just need people awesome at stats and numbers! There are heaps of exciting and out-of-the-box roles at CBA. Their structured grad program allows you to pick a business area (STEM options include analytics, digital and technology) and partner with experienced team members to deliver real-life projects.

Jennifer uses her chemical engineering skills in her graduate gig at CBA. Image: Lauren Trompp

Key dates: Applications for CBA’s 2021 grad program close March 16.
Related degrees: Actuarial studies, engineering, maths, statistics and science.
Alumni: Jennifer Shook. The talented CBA grad studied chemical engineering at Curtin University and ended up with a grad gig at a bank.


The telecommunication giants have an awesome grad program to suit almost every STEM discipline, with opportunities to choose a specialised pathway offered throughout. Whether you focus on network engineering, software engineering, data analytics or product design, you’ll support teams doing future-focused work in areas like Internet of Things (IoT), Software Defined Networks, 5G, cyber security, drone technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Key dates: Get your applications in for next year by March 23.
Related degrees: Engineering and IT.
Alumni: Tech specialist (Networks) Shahriar Khan. He ended up scoring a permanent gig after his grad stint.

RELATED: A list of post graduate scholarships


For anyone into computer science, scoring experience at Google is the dream, right?! They’ve got loads of exciting global internship, training and residency opportunities designed to skill up students and recent grads on all aspects of tech. Their 12-week engineering gigs (2020 STEP internships) sound particularly awesome alongside their contracted junior IT residency roles.

Hannah Craighead
Hannah enrolled in Victoria University of Wellington’s Bachelor of Engineering with Honours and then landed an awesome internship with Google.

Key dates: Grad opportunities for 2020 close April 8.
Related degrees: Engineering, computer science, IT.
Alumni: Hannah Craighead! The VUW grad-turned-software developer scored an internship with Google and now works there, for real.

REA Group

For the last two years REA group have placed in AFR’s top graduate employers, and this year their offerings look just as sweet. The digital giants run a bunch of popular multinational real estate websites – like realestate.com.au and flatmates.com.au – and every year seek out grads for 18-month stints in software development and engineering.

Key dates: Applications are open now.
Related degrees: Computer science, IT and engineering.
Alumni: Head here to check out the pathways of some of REA’s permanent employees.

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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