Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates are far more likely to be employed than the average Australian, but many only join the workforce after studying a different field.
According to ABS data today, 24 per cent of Australia’s 2.7 million STEM graduates said they worked in a job that was irrelevant to their STEM qualifications.
For comparison, only 17 per cent of non-STEM graduates said their jobs were irrelevant to their degrees.
Australian organisations and policymakers have warned of a shortage of STEM graduates for some time, as the country moves away from the traditional sectors like mining and manufacturing towards newer industries like IT.
According to the ABS, jobs for scientists, ICT professionals and engineers grew about 1.5 times the rate of other jobs between 2006 and 2011.
Still, a large number of STEM graduates diversified into other fields, with 11 per cent going on to study a non-STEM subject after graduating, and a total of 19 per cent holding both STEM and non-STEM qualifications.
STEM qualifications were most common among IT professionals; automotive, engineering and trades workers; electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers; design, engineering, science and transport professionals; and engineering, ICT and science technicians.
STEM-qualified workers also accounted for 14 per cent of business, human resource and marketing professionals and 14 per cent of educators.
There’s more on the ABS.
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