Quiz: What’s your STEM + defence career?

Maddy Cochrane
STEM + defence was the perfect path for Maddy Cochrane, who is putting her math skills to the ultimate test on the battlefield as a Defence Science and Technology Group cadet.

Wanna work in STEM but serve your country too?

You need to jump on a STEM + defence career path pronto! There are so many ways to work in science, tech, engineering and math through defence. You could be a psychologist, physiotherapist, carpenter, accountant, dentist, aerospace software engineer… And we’re just scratching the surface here. Take our quiz to find out what area you might like to hone in on.

So you wanna work in STEM + defence?

Let’s do this! Here are five stories to get across that’ll give you some insight into STEM + defence careers.

  1. How a maths degree could lead you to a career with ASIO: Ever dreamt of working on top-secret projects to protect national security? The ‘M’ in STEM could be your ticket in!
  2. Meet the engineers developing cutting-edge tech for the defence industry: The defence industry is one of Australia’s biggest employers of engineers – developing incredible away from the frontline. Find pathways into engineering + defence here!
  3. Fighting cyber warfare is a full time defence job: Australia’s defence force is winning the race to patch vulnerable code and detect software bugs before they bite.
  4. Protect your country with these jobs: Feel like a challenge? The defence industry needs mathematics graduates to work across a huge range of exciting careers all across Australia.
  5. Top 5 defence innovations we use everyday: The defence force has long been a big employer of engineers and an investor in new tech – and their innovations often find a second life in the civilian world.

Meet the STEM pros working in defence

We’ve spoken to analysts, scientists, engineers and more! The following STEM pros all work with the Defence Science and Technology Group, which is part of Australia’s Department of Defence and is Australia’s second largest government-funded science organisation.

Mingmei Teo - STEM + defenceMingmei Teo, epidemic modeller

Arming herself with numeracy knowledge is Mingmei’s key to career success in defence and security.

On working in STEM + defence, Mingmei says, “I wanted a career where I could make an impact or contribute to society.”

Check out her study and career path here.


Katie Tooley - STEM + defence career

Katie Tooley, human sciences analyst

Katie is researching how good bacteria in the gut can improve cognition for our defence force.

She says while most health science research is around treating illnesses, working in defence has offered a unique opportunity to focus on preventative health and improving the health of ‘well’ people.

Suss out her CV here.

Tom Fahy - STEM + defence careerTom Fahy, decision scientist

Although formally trained as an engineer, Thomas landed a gig in defence as a decision scientist. Although working with statistics to uncover insights and make decisions isn’t a traditional engineering role, Tom regularly applies his specialised fluency in data analytics, computer modelling, algorithms and problem-solving when tackling projects.

Read more about his STEM journey here.

Looking for more deets on STEM + defence careers? Check out our Space and Defence Specialist Job Kit, a free downloadable intro to careers in space and defence!

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is Careers with STEM’s digital content strategist. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.


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