5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Hello! Welcome to the start of the week. Here’s what’s happening in tech.

Lucien Delfour of Australia a during the kayak (K1) men’s heats on day 2 of the Rio Olympics. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

1. There are plenty of science graduates, but not enough work. For all the hoo-hah about training everyone up in STEM, the growing problem for graduates is finding a job, according to a new report from the Grattan Institute.

“Mapping Australian higher education 2016”, the Grattan Institute’s regular overview of key trends in higher education, focuses on STEM graduate employment, and concludes that many recent science and information technology graduates are failing to find full-time work. Only half of science graduates seeking full-time work found it four months after completing their degrees, 17% below the average for all graduates.

And of those in work, only half say their qualification is required or important for their job – about 20% below the average.

Grattan Institute higher education program director, Andrew Norton, says “Prospective students thinking about studying science need to know that a bachelor science degree is high risk for finding a job. Often students need to do another degree to improve their employment prospects.”

The prognosis for IT was equally damning. While there are many more potential jobs in IT than science, a third of recent IT graduates cannot find full-time work, and IT students are less satisfied with their skills development, and are more likely to leave their courses without finishing, the report found.

Meanwhile, engineering graduates have better employment prospects than science or IT graduates.

Download the report here.

2. But don’t let that stop you wanting to make CGI penguins. The Sydney-based digital animation studio, Animal Logic, has signed up with UTS to offer an industry-led postgraduate program in digital animation and visualisation.

The UTS Animal Logic Academy will offer 50 students exclusive access to the first postgraduate degree of its kind, a Master of Animation and Visualisation (MAV).

Animal Logic was behind the films Happy Feet and The LEGO® Movie and visual FX for blockbuster films such as The Matrix, 300 and The Great Gatsby. It has studios in Sydney, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

CEO Zareh Nalbandian says the academy “will provide a cutting-edge, immersive environment for students”. Not to mention a ready pool of talent for the company to pick from, eager to pay off the $45,735 course bill.

“Animal Logic will contribute considerable human, creative and technical knowledge to the program, which is intended to push students’ work beyond existing techniques into innovative solutions, refining their approach to professional practice in today’s challenging world,” he said.

Applications will close on October 28 for placements in January 2017. The details are here .

And here’s the video:

3. Here comes the contactless boom. Australians are now spending a massive $2 billion weekly using “tap and go” payments, according to one consultancy firm. Fairfax reports that an estimated 45% of credit card purchases – meaning it’s under $100 – are done via contactless systems such as Visa payWave. And NAB has seen the average card transaction fall from $145 in 2011 to $86 now, alongside a decline in ATM transactions.

Apparently Australians are the biggest users of tap and go payments, which explains why some many companies, from Apple to the banks, are jockeying for a slice of the action. Read more on the growing trend here.

4. Atlassian is still on a growth spurt. The Australian, US-listed tech business posted a 43% jump in full year revenue to $US457.1 million, with 2016 fourth quarter revenue a record $127.6 million, a 39% increase on 2015.

Scott Farquhar, co-CEO and co-founder said: “Over the past year, we grew revenue to more than $450 million, added over 12,300 net-new customers, generated over $95 million of free cash flow and completed a successful IPO.”

But the company’s operating loss was $5.9 million, compared to a positive $1.7 million in 2015.

Chris Pash has all the financial details here.

5. How to watch the Olympics online for free. While host broadcaster 7 would like to get you to pay for a premium subscription – and is now blaming the popularity of its app for it crashing over the weekend, Chris Jager at Gizmodo has all the hacks you need to watch as much as you want for free here.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter at @simonthomsen

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