What are the biggest employment areas in STEM?

Nursing is no.1 on SEEK’s most needed workers. Image: Shutterstock

Got a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) and looking for employment? Or perhaps you are just getting into STEM study and wondering where it could take you? Here’s a list of the top 7 most in-demand employment areas in STEM in 2021.

Job ads and interest in ads took a hit with COVID-19, bounced back, and lowered again with the lockdowns across Australia late this year, according to SEEK data. The good news? Science and technology jobs jumped 3.3% from June to July 2021, while engineering jobs grew by 2.6%. It’s part of a trend that has seen STEM jobs grow in demand over the last decade, with STEM jobs growing 1.9 times faster than other jobs in the five years from 2014-2019, according to Federal government data.

So which jobs are the most in demand employment areas in STEM?

1. Nursing

Nursing is no.1 on SEEK’s most needed workers. And with nurses seen as the superheroes of the pandemic, look no further if you want to impress with your job choice. You’ll also be entering an in demand career area. There are around 450,000 nurses in Australia and registered nurse as an occupation is growing at 3.8%.

Path: Bachelor of Nursing; Bachelor of Science (Nursing), Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled Nurse)

Postgraduate qualifications:  Master of Nursing, Master of Nurse Practitioner (Mental Health), Master of Child and Family Health

READ MORE: 5 ways engineers are battling COVID-19

2. Developers, programmers

No.11 on SEEK’s most needed workers, software developers are the backbone of the industry. A typical month will see over 80,000 jobs for developers and programmers listed. 2020 job data projects job growth of 30% over the next five years, and with the most common salary $110,000 annually, there’s plenty of incentive to work in this in demand employment area of STEM.

Path: Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Computer Science

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of IT, Master of IT (Business), Grad Certificate in IT

3. ​​Information Security Analyst

It’s no secret cyber security specialisations are in strong demand, with AustCyber predicting the Australian economy will need around 18,000 new employees by 2026. SEEK projects this job growth to continue, growing by 19.8% in the next five years. Assessing, validating and protecting an organisation’s IT infrastructure and data is a task with universal appeal, and could see you working in sectors as diverse as agriculture, transport, government and retail and everything in between.

Path: Bachelor of IT/Computer Science specialising in Cyber Security

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of Cyber Security, Grad Cert in Cyber security

Download our free Information Security Analyst Job Kit

4. Data Analyst

The IT trend continues, with SEEK predicting that data analyst is a job area that will grow by 27.7% in the next five years. Data science has been touted as the hottest career area of the 21st century and demand for data experts shows no sign of slowing. Combining stats and technology knowhow, data analysts can work in finance, health, insurance, retail, marketing, media and more. 

Path: Bachelor of Data Science, Bachelor of Science (Analytics), Bachelor of IT (Data Science)

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of Data Science, Grad Cert in Data Science

5. Civil engineer

While growth for engineering overall is high, civil engineering leads the charge. 2020 data from Engineers Australia shows most engineering vacancies in Australia were for civil engineering professionals, followed by mining engineers and industrial, mechanical and production engineers. Job vacancies for civil engineers were consistently double the vacancies for other engineering areas, making those with a civil engineering qualification the most sought after.

Path: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Civil Engineering)

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about civil engineering

6. Quality Assurance (QA) officer

QA officers work across STEM sectors from manufacturing to medical labs, and at 14.9% is science and technology’s fastest growing job area for 2019, according to SEEK. QA’s have an average salary of $83,000, and work to ensure products are up to company standards. It’s increasingly a critical role in technology companies, but opportunities are diverse across many sectors.

Path: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), Bachelor of IT

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of Science (Water quality & treatment), Grad Cert in Good Management Practise, Grad Cert in Tertiary education (Quality Assurance)

7. Speech Therapist 

Growing at an amazing 58% in 2019 was speech therapy, according to SEEK’s fastest growing health & medical jobs. Speech pathologists are trained professionals that deal with communication and swallowing issues in children and adults. 

Path: Bachelor of Speech Pathology, Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology)

Postgraduate qualifications: Master of Speech Pathology, Master of Speech Language Pathology

Heather Catchpole

Author: Heather Catchpole

Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs


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