If you live and breathe technology, then a career in straight-up IT might be for you – and demand for talent is high
We talk a lot about ‘STEM + X’ here at Careers with STEM – that’s our formula for combining science, technology, engineering or maths with your passion (+X) to find your career niche… aka dream job. But what if your passion is the T in STEM, pure and simple?
This might be you if you’re the go-to tech guru in your family or friendship circle, fixing and building and helping everyone with their IT issues (when you should probably, um, be studying or doing homework). Or maybe you’ve been coding for about as long as you’ve been walking and talking?
Or you’ve already built an app or three or designed your own game. Then a straight-up career in computer science or software engineering could be on the cards, and luckily there’s plenty of demand for people with your skills and passion.
A search on job site SEEK shows literally thousands of positions for developers and programmers to apply for, with 2020 job data projecting job growth of 30% over the next five years for the field, with an average salary of $110,000 per year. Score!
Still not convinced? Maybe you just haven’t tried your hand at coding yet? If you think it sounds pretty cool – then don’t dismiss this career path (did we mention the high demand and six-figure salary?).
You might be like Levina Wong, a software engineer at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), who knew she loved problem-solving but didn’t discover coding until after high school. Then, during an internship as part of her engineering degree, she got to try it and was hooked. Levina overcame her impostor syndrome and now she loves testing and building tech at the bank. “How exciting is it that so many people will actually physically see and use what I’ve worked on?” she says.
Tech + IT study
- Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), University of Auckland
- Bachelor of Engineering (Software Engineering), University of Western Australia
- Bachelor of Information Technology, Monash University
Tech + IT jobs
- Development operations engineer: A$65K–$138K / NZ$60K–$126K
- Software engineer: A$56K–$116K / NZ$51K–$102K
- UX designer: A$51K–$114K / NZ$46K–$118K*
*Source: salaries according to PayScale
Study path guide
High school electives checklist
✔ Engineering Studies
✔ Design and Technology
✔ Computing Studies
There are loads of VET (Vocational Education and Training) qualifications in tech – Diplomas, Certificates and Advanced Diplomas – at TAFE and polytech. Courses range from software development and programming to general IT support, cyber security, web development, interactive media and games, and more.
This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Technology 2021.
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Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.