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STEM Careers

We are the leading STEM university in South Australia, ranked #1 across engineering, science, mathematics and computer science. Our STEM degrees lead to jobs in the fastest growing industries in the world.

Explore careers and courses

Pave your way into a career in the STEM industry. Search for career options and the University of Adelaide degrees that will get you there.

Scientists are humanity鈥檚 frontline. Wherever answers are needed they lead the charge 鈥 overcoming complex global challenges, solving real-world problems and developing solutions for the future.

Science is predicted to bring more human progress in the next 50 years than the previous 400 combined. Fighting climate change, saving lives, sustaining the environment, ending hunger, colonising Mars. However you want to make a difference, science is key.

A

  • Aerospace scientist Deepen understanding of aerospace and identify development opportunities with industry.
  • Agricultural scientist/consultant Investigate breeding, nutrition and disease resistance among plants and animals. Support farmers, agricultural and rural industries in production, processing and distribution of farm produce.
  • Agronomist Study agricultural crops and soils and develop new crop hybrids and varieties.
  • Air traffic controller Use your excellent spatial awareness and visualisation, together with reliable numeric and computational skills, to maintain the safe and orderly flow of air traffic.
  • Animal behaviourist Look at the cause, functions, development and evolution of animal behaviour in a variety of settings to improve outcomes and treatment.
  • Animal scientist Investigate nutritional values of feed and environmental conditions to improve productivity or quality, and conduct experiments in controlled breeding or embryo manipulation.
  • Animal/veterinary technician Conduct clinical and laboratory procedures such as medical testing, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and diseases. Administer medication and provide specialist nursing care.
  • Astronomer Investigate the solar system and observe objects in space from earth鈥檚 surface via satellites using specialised telescopes and design and attach equipment to telescopes and spacecraft.
  • Astrophysicist Study the physical properties and phenomena of celestial bodies.

B

  • Biochemist Undertake chemical analysis using sophisticated instruments and techniques, to understand chemical processes that occur within individual cells, or digestion and growth, involving whole organisms.
  • Biodiversity assessor Protect, manage and enhance the local environment, looking at national parks and wildlife.
  • Biomedical scientist The frontier of biological research the development of vaccines. Genetics, stem cell research, systems biology, molecular biology of cancer, cancer screening, diagnosing HIV and virology all require biomedical scientists.
  • Biophysicist Research the physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, protein behaviour and related phenomena.
  • Botanist Work with the biology of plants to apply scientific knowledge in conservation and management of natural resources, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, medicine and biotechnology.

C

  • Catchment management Evaluate land use options, water allocation strategies and trade-offs, and identify river systems at risk of environmental contamination.
  • Chemist / Analytical chemist Study and apply the physical and chemical properties of substances to determine their composition, develop new substances, processes and products, and increase scientific knowledge. Undertake research and analysis to test theories, techniques and processes.
  • Climate and ecosystem modeller Design, develop, implement, test, maintain or exploit climate and ecosystem models.
  • Clinical studies coordinator/manager Monitor and analyse clinical activities to identify issues, variances, and conflicts.
  • Conservation scientist Protect and preserve natural resources via planned management to prevent depletion, destruction and/or extinction.

D

  • Defence industry scientist Perform laboratory experiments, engage in modelling and simulation exercises, and research global trends and developments in areas of expertise to provide informed recommendations.

E

  • Ecologist Conserve ecosystems and biodiversity by studying the relationship between organisms and their environment. Specialise in a specific animal or plant species, or in a specific environment.
  • Entomologist Study insects to investigate behaviour, causes of outbreaks, and research control methods through integrated pest management, biological control and chemical means.
  • Environmental biologist Solve environmental problems and preserve the natural world for future generations.
  • Environmental chemist Monitor pollutants, their products and natural chemicals. Determine ways to reduce the bad effects of chemicals released in the environment. Devise environmentally friendly industrial processes.
  • Environmental geologist Study the soil movement, erosion and degradation, the effect of pollution and human activity on rivers, and the environmental effects of mining, nuclear energy and waste management.
  • Environmental scientist Identify, reduce and eliminate hazards that affect people, wildlife and their environments.
  • Evolutionary biologist Use the latest techniques in palaeontology and molecular systematics to discover the wide diversity of plants and animals living in the present and preserved in the fossil record from the prehistoric past.

F

  • Fisheries researcher Provide advice for the development of marine conservation and harvesting, including aquaculture. Assess and advise on introduced species, such as causes, effects, prevention and control.
  • Food engineer/technologist/scientist Develop and improve food products and set standards for producing, packaging and marketing food.
  • Forensic anthropologist Work in the physical anatomy of the human species. Analyse and identify human remains for legal purposes.
  • Forensic scientist Apply scientific techniques to the examination of physical evidence that may assist in legal investigations in relation to criminal, environmental and safety law.

G

  • Geneticist Examine genes, and the heredity and variations of organisms. Evaluate, diagnose and manage hereditary conditions or congenital malformations. Undertake genetic risk calculation and mutation analysis. Geneticists are required for work with humans, plants and animals.
  • Geochemist Examine the chemical composition of the earth, chemical processes and the reactions that govern composition of rocks and soils.
  • Geologist Work in the nature, composition and structure of the earth to increase scientific knowledge, locate materials and minerals, and advise on the extraction of minerals, environmental protection and land rehabilitation after mining.

H

  • Horticulturalist Apply scientific knowledge to the cultivation of fruit, vegetables, berries, flowers, trees, shrubs and crops.
  • Hydrogeologist Evaluate and manage the quantity, quality, reliability and sustainability of water resources for mining, petroleum, engineering and environmental industries.
  • Hydrologist Examine the physical properties of water, including its circulation, distribution and physical properties above and below the surface of earth.

I

  • Immunologist Research the immune system using complex and sophisticated molecular techniques to improve outcomes in diagnosis, management and treatment of immune conditions.

M

  • Marine biologist Analyse marine populations, estimate numbers of marine organisms and develop long-term programs for monitoring environmental pollution.
  • Medical physicist Undertake planning and delivery of radiotherapy in cancer clinics.
  • Medical scientist Biomedical research to improve human health outcomes. More technical roles exist in the analysis of samples from patients and diagnosis.
  • Microbiologist Investigate the world鈥檚 microorganisms, and how they affect animals and people.
  • Mineral exploration Oversight of all aspects of mineral processing, including how sampling and laboratory work.

N

  • Natural resource management Specialise in techniques for flora and fauna conservation, monitoring components of the environment (e.g. soil, water, air) and develop practical solutions in environmental management and rehabilitation.
  • Neuroscientist Specialise in injuries and diseases affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscle tissue.

O

P

  • Parks manager Park rangers lead tours and promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural features of parks, supervise public visits and advise visitors of park rules and regulations.
  • Patent attorney Use specialised knowledge to draft and prosecute patents and represent clients in obtaining and contesting patents.
  • Petrophysicist Evaluate and measure rock properties and reservoir resources, such as ore deposits and oil or natural gas reservoirs.
  • Pharmaceutical engineer/researcher Improve the sustainability, efficiency, drug effectiveness and length of time between drug discoveries to delivery.
  • Pharmacologist Develop and evaluate the origin, nature, chemistry, effects and uses of drugs in humans and animals.
  • Physicist Interpret the behaviour of our physical world and investigate ways to apply new knowledge gained from science and technology.
  • Physiologist Understand the physical workings of the human body and the ways the varying parts interact to investigate the effects of injury and opportunities for improvement in treatment and outcomes.

Q

  • Quarantine border protection Control the entry of agricultural and horticultural produce, plants, animals, microorganisms and viruses that are at risk of crossing national and international borders, to minimise biosecurity risks and hazards.

R

  • Research scientist Design, conduct and analyse experiments with an intended end use or to broaden scientific understanding.

S

  • Science communicator Combine a love of science with a love of communication to help the world understand the role and contribution of science.
  • Science teacher Educate the next generation of STEM and science leaders and prepare them for a future that is not yet known.
  • Seismologist Become an earth scientist specialising in geophysics to study the genesis and propagation of seismic waves in geological materials.
  • Soil scientist Study soil formation and classification, and map the physical, chemical, biological and fertility properties to improve soil use and management.
  • Space scientist Investigate the solar system and the practical use of space.

V

  • Veterinarian Become an accredited practitioner for animal surgery and animal medicine, with leadership in the health, diseases and care of all animals.
  • Vineyard manager Oversee the practices and operations for viticulture.
  • Viticulturalist Lead the growing of select grape varieties for the production of wine, with a focus on quality control, laboratory tests, harvest optimisation, crushing and pressing.

W

  • Winemaker Lead the production of wine, working closely with viticulturalists who manage the growing process.

Z

  • Zoologist By understanding the structures, characteristics, functions, ecology and environment of animals we can increase knowledge and develop practical applications in wildlife management and conservation.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science are transforming industries around the world.

With machine learning we have developed algorithms capable of object recognition and scene segmentation in images. In collaboration with industry we are now applying this knowledge to assist autonomous military vehicles in sensing, understanding and interacting with their environments. These deep learning autonomous systems are proving particularly successful in the naval and marine environments.

Until recently, this type of technological progress was but a dream.

A

  • Animator
    Bring 2D and 3D characters and objects to life for film, TV and games.

B

  • Biotechnologist
    Create and improve products and processes within agriculture, medicine and conservation using biological organisms.

C

  • Communications engineer
    Communications engineers design and manage complex hardware and software, such as mobile, Internet and broadcast networks. They are in high demand in industries like defence, mobile networks, satellite communications and infrastructure systems.

  • Computational scientist
    Solve complex, multifaceted problems across industries: environmental, financial, mining, manufacturing, health and defence.

  • Computer systems engineer
    Design and develop computers to control devices, equipment and processes, including robots, automated infrastructure, and autonomous devices.

  • Computer programmer
    Build software solutions, design and implement websites, or work on highly complex programming solutions for industry and government.

  • Cyber intelligence expert
    Investigate, develop and deliver secure and robust systems and devices to protect information and privacy.

D

  • Data scientist
    Extract meaning from and interpret data, which requires tools and methods from statistics and machine learning, as well as being human.

  • Digital marketer
    Advertising technology continues evolving each year. Digital marketers are now able to personalise content and serve relevant advertising to customers and audiences via big data platforms.

I

  • IT manager
    Undertake business problem analysis to inform application design, development and implementation.

N

  • Nanotechnologist
    Apply scientific and engineering principles and practices to develop new materials on the nanoscale.

  • Network engineer
    Work with universal computer systems to ensure efficient design and maintenance of computer networks.

O

P

  • Plant biotechnologist
    Carry out innovative plant research and development aimed at producing superior crop varieties.

R

  • Robotics engineer
    Design, construct, operate and apply complex mechatronic and robotic systems, or automated machines, that can take the place of humans in performing tasks.

S

  • Satellite engineer
    Design new satellite technology or lead in the areas of control, communications and radio communications.

  • Software engineer
    Design and maintain high quality software and large computer programs.

  • Systems analyst
    Design computer information systems, modify and optimise systems and advise on ways to expand existing systems.

T

W

  • Web designer
    Design efficient and user-friendly web applications.

Engineers are scientists, inventors, designers, builders and great thinkers. They build the world around us and improve quality of life and amplify human capability. They amplify robotic and machine capability. They make people鈥檚 lives safer and easier.

Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs.

A

  • Aerospace engineer
    Develop and apply new technologies and materials for high tech industries like aeronautical, space and defence.

  • Aircraft engineer
    Maintain the safety of aircraft, passengers and crew. Design and build the aircraft of the future.

  • Architectural engineer
    Design the engineering systems associated with buildings, including planning, design, construction and operation with emphasis on sustainability, architectural and structural design and geotechnical engineering.

  • Automotive engineer
    Design safer and more efficient motor vehicles, as well as make 鈥榚m go fast!

  • Avionics engineer
    Design, create, operate and maintain complex electronic systems found in modern aircraft. The systems responsible for flight control, radio and satellite navigation, safe landing, collision avoidance, engine management and communications.

B

  • Biomedical engineer
    Create devices and systems for medical diagnosis, treatment and research.

  • Biotechnology engineer
    Design processes to more efficiently and effectively produce new medicines for the community.

C

  • Chemical engineer
    Design, develop and operate systems for the extraction, transformation and recovery of materials. Translate laboratory-scale research results to large-scale commercial production across food, petrochemicals, primary metals, plastics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, glass, and more.

  • City/town planning engineer
    Plan and maintain the infrastructure of towns, and ensure the infrastructure of new developments is of sufficient size and standard for the people or industries that use the facilities.

  • Civil engineer
    Design transportation systems, create innovative and safe designs for buildings and bridges, and infrastructures such as dams and water supply systems.

  • Coastal engineer
    Design harbours, jetties, wharves and sea walls to protect the coastal environment and optimise use for shipping, infrastructure and recreational use.

  • Computer hardware engineer
    Improve hardware by designing new computer circuits and integrate computer systems into microelectronic devices.

D

  • Drilling engineer
    Work with geologists and reservoir engineers to plan and oversee the drilling of exploration, appraisal and development of oil and gas wells on location and in an office environment using mathematical models and simulations.

E

G

  • Geophysicist
    Study the physics of earth to inform decision making in industries like petroleum, mining and environmental engineering.

  • Geotechnical engineer
    Lead the design and construction of foundations, dams, earth retaining structures, embankments, tunnels, pavements and landfills.

H

  • Harbour engineer
    Similar to a geotechnical engineer with an emphasis on marinas and harbours.

I

  • Instrumentation engineer
    Instrumentation engineers work wherever control systems are required. From the flight deck of an aircraft to ensuring the safety of a nuclear reactor.

M

  • Manufacturing engineer
    Improving productivity through robotics, control systems and production process improvements.

  • Mechanical engineer
    Create and use new technologies to design and develop things that move like motor vehicles, aircraft systems, engines, pumps, A/C systems, industrial plants, space stations, etc.

  • Mechatronic engineer
    Design, construct and maintain intelligent machines, micro-machines, smart structures, intelligent systems, control systems and consumer products.

  • Mining engineer
    Work in the extraction and processing of ores that contain valuable minerals or metals.

N

  • Noise control engineer
    Actively manage and reduce the noise and vibrations emitted by machinery to meet stringent standards.

P

  • Petroleum engineer
    Create, plan and supervise all aspects of petroleum recovery, helping to find oil and gas and determine most appropriate and sustainable methods for extraction.

  • Power distribution engineer
    Design and manage large-scale electricity distribution systems and networks and the processes that control these systems.

  • Process engineer
    Undertake chemical, physical and biological engineering to transform raw materials into valuable products.

  • Production engineer
    Be responsible for the equipment and processes used in manufacturing and chemical plants.

R

  • Radio engineer
    Using radio frequency technology, design and optimise wireless networks.

  • Reservoir engineer
    Plan and assess new oil and gas field developments and optimise the management of existing fields.

S

  • Sports engineer
    Apply specialised mechanical engineering skills to the design and manufacture of sports equipment and apparel, rehabilitation and exercise equipment, and sports facilities.

  • Structural engineer
    Design the framework of buildings, towers, bridges, tunnels and other structures to ensure strength and safety.

  • Sustainable and renewable energy engineer
    Develop long term solutions to meet the world鈥檚 rapidly growing energy needs using alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass.

W

  • Water resources engineer
    Take a holistic approach to the management of water supplies, wastewater and re-use, looking after the quality of water supply and infrastructure.

  • Winery engineer
    From scaling up a winemaking operation from laboratory to commercial size to making the process of winemaking more efficient.

Mathematics offers opportunity to drive progress. Whether it鈥檚 solving business problems, programming robots, or helping people make investment decisions that will fund their retirement, maths can lead to very rewarding and lucrative careers.

The demand for mathematics experts has grown exponentially in a number of industries. The need is in three key areas:

  • applied mathematics, which applies theories to solve real-world problems
  • pure mathematics, which delves into abstract theories built by logical deduction that underpin modern science and technology, and
  • statistics, which focuses on the creation, collection, modelling and analysis of data to draw conclusions, inform decision making, solve problems and direct business development.

A

  • Actuary
    Determine the probability of events by compiling and analysing statistical data, creating strategies that minimise risk, drafting reports that outline implications of research and explaining results to various stakeholders.

D

  • Data analyst
    Undertake data and statistical analysis to inform strategic decision making.

E

  • Econometrician
    Develop and apply quantitative or statistical methods to the study of economic principles to analyse and test economic relationships.

  • Economist
    Conduct research and analysis to understand markets and industries at macro and micro level.

  • Environmental economist
    Undertake theoretical and empirical studies on the effect of national or local environmental policies around the world, to solve challenges like air pollution, water quality, toxic substances, solid waste and global warming.

H

  • Health economist
    Focus on how resources are allocated and used differently in health systems and the effectiveness of resource allocation at meeting increasing health needs.

I

  • International trade analyst
    Analyse and advise on economics, political and other factors that influence international trade.

  • Intelligence officer
    Collect, compile and analyse data and information on the identities, intentions, capabilities and activities of individuals, interest groups, industry, etc.

M

  • Mathematician
    Millions of corporations around the world depend on mathematicians. They analyse and interpret patterns, predict and model outcomes, solve problems and drive human progress.

  • Meteorologist
    Pure mathematics and quantitative sciences are important elements of weather forecasting.

S

  • Statistician
    Develop mathematical theory or apply statistical theory and methods to collect, organise, interpret and summarise numerical data to provide usable information for decision making purposes.

T