No STEM-ing of growth for Aussie jobs

4 January, 2021
Woman looking through microscope while smiling focusing on work

No STEM-ing of growth for Aussie jobs

Thinking about a career in STEM? Choosing education and employment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is likely to offer strong, long-term security and resilience.

New analysis by the National Skills Commission (NSC) shows STEM occupations are well insulated to labour market shocks – we call these resilient occupations

Out of all 358 occupations, 92 are STEM-related, and of these, 46.5% were considered to be resilient. This is compared to 31.8% in non-STEM occupations.

During the height of COVID-19, employment in STEM occupations fell by just 1.9%. This is less than a third of the 7.0% decrease experienced in employment in non-STEM occupations.

We asked National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton whether, looking forward, this trend may continue:

“The growth of STEM related skills is likely to provide a solid foundation for a successful career, with STEM occupations now sitting at 99.8% of their pre-COVID-19 level.”

“The resilience of STEM occupations and the importance of these skills to the economy means there are likely to be better employment prospects in the short- to medium-term as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19”.

The NSC analysis also shows that STEM occupations have a higher skill level relative to non-STEM occupations.

Employment growth by occupation group

At August 2020, 75.0% (over 2 million people) employed in STEM occupations worked in a job with a skill level equal to a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with just 22.9% of people employed in non-STEM occupations.

There are lots of ways to pursue a STEM career, including through vocational education and training or higher education.

If you’re planning your next career move, have you considered STEM?

Explore Your Future Career now.


Explore Careers

Narrow down your occupation and study options using one of the pages below.

Complete a quick questionnaire and explore occupations that suit you.

Take your next step now: find the types of jobs currently available or a short course to build on your skills.