Defence strategy: How to advance your career

Defence jobs with maths

Arming yourself with numeracy and knowledge could be key to career success.

The Australian Navy’s maritime capability relies on acquisitions in fleet, firepower and auxiliaries — so, what are the most efficient combinations it can buy, given Australia’s naval missions and fields of operation?

There are hundreds of defence jobs that require maths skills. Modelling options for the Australian Defence Force, and answering a battalion of ‘what-if’ questions, is rewarding work for maths-minded types. 

Mingmei Teo, a maritime capability analyst with Defence Science and Technology (DST) in Sydney, says a love of problem-solving led to her career that mixes maths and the military.

defence jobs

“I wanted a career where I could make an impact or contribute to society,” says Mingmei. So, she completed her doctorate in applied mathematics at The University of Adelaide, with a focus on infectious disease, where her current role assisting the Royal Australian Navy with acquisitions. Mingmei says she didn’t begin to see the huge potential of real-world applications her mathematical studies had until around the second year of her bachelor degree.

When using maths in defence jobs you need to communicate mathematical theories, calculations and outcomes. “You have to translate the problem that a client might have into algorithms, equations or a mathematical model,” says Mingmei, “and then be able to explain your results in a way they can understand.”

– Natalie Filatof

“I wanted a career where I could make an impact or contribute to society.”

Study options

Bachelor of Science (Professional) majoring in Applied Mathematics, Swinburne
Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, The University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Advanced Science/Engineering (Honours), dual degree, UNSW
Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours), Monash

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