STEM careers

Interested in a STEM career but don't know where to start? You're in the right place. Explore in-demand roles and learn about the career opportunities you can unlock with a UNSW Science degree.

Students learning in the Science facilities at the UNSW Kensington campus

From data science to healthcare, a science degree equips you with strong, transferable skills that can be applied to a wide range of industries. 

At UNSW Science, we not only provide our students with the foundation of logical, analytical and lateral thinking - we also place great focus on teamwork, communication and problem-solving. With eight subjects ranked in the top 50 globally* and over $450 million invested in our state-of-the-art facilities, our faculty is well equipped to help you launch your STEM career or take your current career to the next level.

The explosion of technology and data in the 21st century has propelled the demand for science and technology skills. In Australia, employment in STEM occupations has grown by 19.7% in the past five years** - this is almost twice as fast as other jobs. STEM jobs are highly skilled with 75% of people employed in a STEM role working in a skill level occupation equivalent to a bachelor's degree or higher.** This has made a science degree one of the most valuable degrees in Australia and abroad.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown that STEM skills are not only necessary for the jobs and careers vital to solving the COVID-19 crisis, but they’re also critical for the jobs of tomorrow. It's expected that the post-COVID-19 world will keep seeing a strong demand for STEM skills especially in the areas of data science and cybersecurity.

STEM careers quiz

Take our STEM careers quiz to discover career paths that match your skills, personality and interests.

Careers with a STEM degree

See our list of relevant science-related industries and study paths that can help launch your career. 

Industry overview

Accountants and advisors provide a wide range of financial services across the Australian economy where understanding, planning and reporting financial activity is a requirement for all businesses and most individuals.

This highly skilled work involves a diverse range of tasks including traditional accounting, bookkeeping, administration of payrolls, tax and auditing. Many Australians rely on accountants and financial advisors to manage individual or family taxes, investments and finances. All sectors of the Australian economy and businesses of all sizes need these services.

Key skills: analytics, communication, maths

Indicative mean salary: $86,000^

Industry growth: moderate

Careers in accountancy & advisory

There are approximately over 200,000 accountants in Australia.^ Accountants and financial advisors are in high demand. Those who have specialised skills such as data management, mathematics, statistics or systems analysis and design can expect a higher salary.  

Relevant roles

  • accountant 
  • auditor
  • corporate executive
  • financial analyst
  • financial advisor
  • sharebroker

Career paths at UNSW

UNSW Science offers a great career path into accounting and advisory if you’re interested in mathematics subjects, statistics, data, critical thinking and problem-solving.

We offer a range of career-focused degrees if you want to start or enhance your career in accountancy and advisory services. You'll apply your skills to career development as you work closely with the great contacts that UNSW Science has in the finance industry. 

Undergraduate degrees

Postgraduate degrees

Advance your career in accounting and advisory services with the following postgraduate programs:  

UNSW Science offers an online flexible learning format, which means if you're already an accountancy professional, you can fit your studies around your work commitments. 

A postgraduate degree will give you a wide range of skills in a competitive financial environment. 

We also offer research degrees in mathematics at UNSW:

Where our graduates work

Graduates of accountancy and advisory studies from UNSW can be found at:

  • Suncorp
  • Deloitte
  • CSIRO
  • Google
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Westpac
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Accenture
  • PwC
  • Macquarie Bank
  • BT Financial
  • KPMG
  • JP Morgan
  • The Reserve Bank
  • Wesfarmers
Explore study areas

Industry overview

Australia has one of the most highly developed aviation industries in the world. Australia is home to some of the best airlines in the world but also has significant hubs for airlines based in Asia, the Americas and Europe.

Key skills: communication, managerial, critical

Indicative mean salary: $133,000^

Industry growth: high

Careers in aviation

The Australian aviation industry offers diverse careers from pilots and ground operations, to marketing and security.

Aviation management covers a wide range of areas including airline marketing, aviation safety, aviation security, corporate planning, fleet planning, schedule planning, flight operations, air traffic management, aircraft engineering and airport management.

Aviation management graduates are hired by airlines and related organisations such as airports, government agencies, tourism authorities, freight forwarders and airport ground handling companies. If you look even more widely you can also join consulting firms, IT firms, and air safety authorities.

Relevant roles

  • air traffic controller 
  • aircraft and avionics equipment mechanic and technician
  • airline and commercial pilot
  • airfreight manager
  • airport planner
  • aviation operations controller
  • flight analyst
  • cargo marketing manager
  • cabin crew manager
  • fleet planner

Career paths at UNSW 

UNSW offers two highly regarded aviation degrees. The Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) will train you to become a pilot, while exposing you to other areas such as airline and airport management, marketing, policy development, training, research and teaching.

If you prefer to be on the ground working in flight operations management,  aviation economics, law and regulations or airline marketing and safety, the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) will suit you. 

Undergraduate degrees

Learn the science of flight and aviation management with our undergraduate degrees: 

Postgraduate degrees

Advance your career with our postgraduate degree options and take your study to the next level.

Explore study areas

Industry overview

The banking and financial services sector is an important area of the Australian economy. The sector covers banking, broking, insurance, financial advice, fund management, superannuation and mortgage broking among many other large business functions.

UNSW Science offers a range of degrees and courses that can prepare you for a career in banking and financial services, with skills in data science, mathematics, statistics, systems design and problem solving that will give you an edge in the highly competitive industry.

Key skills: leadership, management, problem-solving

Indicative mean salary: $119,000^

Industry growth: stable

Careers in banking & financial services

Most Australians are in some way dependent on the work of those in banking or financial services, through managing mortgages, superannuation, investment portfolios or other financial products.

Jobs in the sector are often with one of the ‘big four’ banks – the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac or ANZ - which employ roughly half of the industry, or smaller banks, credit unions and other financial organisations, such as mortgage lenders, insurance companies, financial advisors and brokerages.

Banking and financial services professionals may have a range of skills and specialisations such as computing, people management, project management, problem-solving, communication skills and detailed planning.

One common thread in all banking and financial services occupations is a deep understanding of mathematics. For example, people mathematics and data science specialisations analyse the numbers behind investments, seeking a competitive edge. Successful candidates discover new opportunities to apply their skills to financial innovation.

Relevant roles

  • accountant
  • investment advisor
  • fund manager
  • banker
  • insurance advisor
  • share trader
  • actuary
  • data scientist
  • company secretary
  • corporate treasurer
  • chief finance officer 

Career paths at UNSW

There are a range of ways to approach a career in banking and financial services. UNSW Science offers career paths with degrees in mathematics and data science. If you're interested in STEM subjects, leadership, project management and creative problem-solving, then a career in banking and financial services may be right for you.

Our courses are strongly aligned with industry through UNSW’s close ties with organisations in the finance sector. Our career events including Business Connect and Investment Banking and Consulting Week will give you the opportunity to connect with financial firms throughout your studies.

Undergraduate degrees

Postgraduate degrees

You can advance your career in the banking and financial services sector with financially focused postgraduate degrees.  

You can also complete the Master of Data Science, which is offered in an online format, allowing you to tailor your studies around work commitments if you're already a finance professional. 

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Biotechnology is the branch of science that uses biological actions to create and improve technology and chemical processes. You can apply biotechnology in many ways, from improving agricultural and manufacturing efficiency to developing new medical and pharmaceutical products.

With a UNSW Science degree, you’ll be involved with developments in biotechnology that lead to a wide range of new products designed to make day-to-day living easier and make us healthier. Biotechnology is intrinsic to areas from vaccine production and genetic modification, to renewable energy and improving the efficiency of food production.

The biotechnology sector includes forward-thinking and disruptive technologies such as genomics. This area of biotechnology is an invaluable hybrid of science which focuses on the structure and function of genomes. Genomic medicine has an important role in health care as it can provide an efficient health system through rapid diagnosis, early intervention, prevention and targeted therapy.

Key skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, interpersonal

Indicative mean salary: $93,000^

Industry growth: moderate

Careers in biotechnology

There are numerous career paths to follow if you’re interested in biotechnology. Graduates from UNSW are employed in medical research organisations, pharmaceutical multinationals, large life-sciences companies, legal firms, government research institutes and universities.

As well as having a good grasp of the scientific fundamentals, a career in biotechnology requires a thorough knowledge of analytical, database and design computing. Understanding project management methodologies is useful if you have aspirations to be a leader or manager in the industry. 

Relevant roles

  • epidemiologist
  • food scientist
  • microbiologist
  • biochemist
  • biomedical engineer

Career paths at UNSW

If you have a passion for science fundamentals - chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics - then biotechnology is the right career path for you.

Our students learn their skills in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS), which is based in one of the most advanced facilities of its type in Australia, and one of the country’s best research hubs for biotech innovation. UNSW Science has great success at matching candidates and jobs through our professional connections with the biotechnology industry.

Along with a thorough understanding of the science, a biotechnology degree at UNSW will give you the tools to understand intellectual property law, commercial principles and deep contextual knowledge of the Australian and international biotechnology industries. You'll have all the tools to negotiate the path to a successful career in this expanding industry. 

Undergraduate degrees

Biotechnology can be completed at an honours level at UNSW Science with our dedicated specialist degree - the Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours).

You can also specialise in biotechnology as a major in some of our science degrees. These degrees can be structured to develop a deep expertise in biotechnology, but they're flexible enough to broaden your interests into other areas as well.

Degrees with biotechnology majors can be combined commerce, economics and law degrees to bring business and finance specialisations to your degree.

Postgraduate degrees

The Science Graduate Diploma (Research) provides specialised knowledge and research training in disciplines within the Faculty of Science to upgrade your qualifications to honours, master’s or PhD programs.

The Graduate Certificate in Commercial Biotechnology has been developed with extensive industry consultation to focus on the business side of biotechnology, making it a unique offering in Australasia. Topics of study include intellectual property management, business models and strategy, financial management, international regulatory environments and strategic communication and negotiation. The degree is offered in a flexible online format. 

Biotechnology research degrees, which require commitment to a large original piece of research, are also available at master’s and PhD levels.

Where our graduates work

UNSW biotechnology graduates can be found at:

  • CSIRO
  • NASA/JPL
  • Natural History Museum (London)
  • BioFoundry
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Denova Sciences
Explore study areas

Industry overview

Chemical and materials processing is at the heart of fabrication and design for every commercial-scale product that is manufactured, as well as the processing work fundamental to sectors like mining and extraction.

At UNSW Science, you'll develop the skills and knowledge to kick-start your career in chemical and materials processing. People employed in these industries design and oversee a huge range of industrial functions that are used to develop and make new products and to improve on product design.

The chemical and materials processing professions research the processes that go into developing the physical properties of materials such as ceramics, polymers, metals and organic substances that make up finished products. As well as trying to find new and sustainable uses for existing materials, manufacturing industries rely on chemical and materials scientists to innovate for efficiency improvements in existing processes.

Sustainability in chemical and materials processing 

Sustainable processing engineers help to reduce our ever-growing pollution problems by developing and modifying new materials that may replace non-biodegradable materials currently in use. Sustainable materials processing, particularly of our mineral resources, is vital to the long term future of Australia and the international industry. 

Energy and electronics engineers study green energy - an increasingly fundamental concern in our society of limited resources. Materials science and engineering at UNSW is at the forefront of developing environmentally-friendly and safe solar hydrogen generation systems.

Key skills: chemistry, technical design, project management

Indicative mean salary: $150,000^

Industry growth: strong

Careers in chemical & materials processing

Manufacturing and processing industries currently display stable growth. However, finding new and better ways of improving materials processes are skills that are increasingly in demand.

A career in this area can be lucrative and is highly specialised. You'll need a deep understanding of science fundamentals: chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Depending on the nature of the industry, you may need to hone your science fundamentals with specialisations in areas such as biochemical engineering, computing, law, business and finance or policy studies through combined degree programs such as chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or commerce.

Many successful professionals in the field also go on to do postgraduate study in a specialised area, such as the Master of Materials Technology - a degree unique to UNSW. Many chemical and materials professionals join professional bodies, such as the Institution of Chemical Engineers or Engineers Australia, where you’ll receive training, support, accreditation and representation around the world. You’ll also have access to events, professional development opportunities and award programs. 

Relevant roles

  • product/process development scientist  
  • analytical chemist 
  • energy manager 
  • production manager 
  • quality manager 
  • patent specialists  
  • forensic scientists 
  • metallurgists  
  • formulation chemists  
  • product developers

Career paths at UNSW

UNSW is ranked 39th in the world for materials science.* You'll study in purpose-built facilities and benefit from the School of Materials Science and Engineering's strong industry partner links. These connections will provide you with great opportunities to develop valuable relationships with Australian materials engineering enterprises.

Careers in materials science and engineering can range from developing new integrated circuits, transport vehicles, battery devices and medical implants, through to sustainable materials processing and the development of new materials for green energy generation. UNSW is home to advanced developments in these areas through its highly regarded research centres including the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, Materials and Manufacturing Futures Institute and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies.

There are several ways you can study for a career in chemical and materials processing. UNSW Science offers undergraduate majors which can focus your interests and advanced postgraduate degrees that you can use to position yourself as a specialist in the field. 

Undergraduate degrees

Our specialised degree - the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Material Science) - will provide you with strong skills and knowledge to enter the chemical and materials industry. You can take materials science as a major in the following undergraduate science degrees:

You can also explore our double degrees if you'd like to combine these degrees with other areas of interest to broaden your opportunities. 

Postgraduate degrees

Supercharge your chemical and materials processing career with the following postgraduate degrees:

A PhD will allow you to specialise in a specific piece of research.

Where our graduates work

Materials sciences and engineering graduates work at:

  • Accenture
  • Andersen Consulting
  • Anglo Coal
  • AT Kearney Consulting
  • Austral Bricks
  • Beteng Foundry
  • BHP Billiton
  • BlueScope Research
  • Boral Bricks
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Caroma Industries Ltd
  • CI Ceramics
  • Cochlear
  • Comalco
  • Deloitte
  • Distocrat
  • Dong Kuk Steel
  • Earthtech Engineering
  • Rio Tinto.
Explore study areas

Industry overview

Consultancy is a large and growing section of the economy. People employed as consultants provide advice to businesses, government, not-for-profit organisations and other sectors of the economy. They give high-level direction on the ways an organisation is managed and run, on projects and products, and on strategic-level decision-making.

Consulting in Australia is dominated by the ‘big four’ firms - Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – which provide most of the consultancy services to Australian organisations. A group of smaller companies – BCG, McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Accenture, Grant Thornton - take up a large slice of the remainder.

Key skills: critical thinking, intepersonal, decision-making

Indicative mean salary: $77,000^

Industry growth: strong

Careers in consulting

Consultants are often hired by firms facing specific problems that require a solution over a short period of time. For example, a company may need scientific advice about a new product that can be manufactured or marketed, how to develop and implement environmental policies or how to implement a change in legal regulations that affect the company.

As well as having scientific expertise, consultants need to have a flexible approach to work, must be able to work in a team, make connections in new work environments quickly, be adaptable and manage their own work and time.

Career paths at UNSW

Science degrees at UNSW offer you flexibility, with a wide range of learning that's ideal if you’re planning a career in consulting. The skills you’ll learn will be transferable into the workplace.

Undergraduate degrees

UNSW Science undergraduate degrees feature a wide variety of majors, from fundamental sciences, like chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics to wider applications and methodologies, like data science, life sciences and environmental sciences. If you're unsure what you want to specialise in, you won’t need to declare your major until your second year, so you can explore your options in your first year before deciding on the path that's right for you. 

No matter what area you pursue, there is an opportunity to delve into consulting within your subject of expertise with a specialist degree. 

The Bachelor of Science and Business also offers a specific business focus which can be advantageous for a career in consulting. 

Undergraduate science degrees can be paired with other non-science areas to foster a wide range of highly marketable consulting skills in disciplines such as computing, social sciences, humanities, accounting, law and education. These are known as double degrees and can be particularly useful if you're thinking of a career in consulting.

Postgraduate degrees

We offer postgraduate study options to help you extend your professional expertise. Many consulting firms offer higher salaries for those with postgraduate qualifications and often contribute to or cover the cost of completing a postgraduate degree.  

UNSW Science offers graduate certificates and graduate diplomas in a flexible online format, so that you can fit study around your work commitments.  

Hone specific areas of expertise with our master's degrees: 

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Buying and selling online, doing your banking, recording videos, taking pictures, sending personal messages to your friends and family - the increased use of data has changed almost every aspect of our lives.  However, it’s also hugely increased the opportunities for cybercriminals to access our data in ways we haven’t authorised.

Cybersecurity is the specialist work carried out to protect data so that information technology systems work and protect networks from the risk of attack. 

Key skills: investigation, quantitative reasoning, logic

Indicative mean salary: $100,000^

Industry growth: moderate

Careers in cybersecurity

The cybersecurity workforce is a fast-growing sector. Across the world, organisations aim to protect their customers and users from constantly evolving online fraud and threats. The skills required to keep data safe are in high demand and there’s a shortage of cybersecurity specialists. According to Cisco, there are more than one million unfilled security jobs worldwide. There is a significant shortage of cybersecurity skills in Australia, so those with the right skills can expect high salaries.

Roles in cybersecurity are diverse and rewarding. Technical programming and development roles are central but the industry also spans policy, risk management, marketing and engagement, product management and many other career paths. Working in cybersecurity, you’ll implement security protocols, helping a business recover after a cyberattack, or develop policies and projects to reduce the impact of cybercrime.

Organisations of all sizes with an online presence make use of cybersecurity services. Experts in the field may be employed by security firms devoted to online security or may work within very large organisations such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft. You can be employed as a consultant by organisations such as Deloitte, Accenture and PwC. Organisations who aren’t primarily IT, but whose services are delivered online and need cybersecurity include banks, charities, educational institutions, retailers, and media and government institutions.

Relevant roles

  • infosec officer
  • cryptographer
  • security engineer
  • chief information security officer
  • network analyst
  • incident responder
  • vulnerability assessor
  • forensic expert
  • source code auditor

Career paths at UNSW

Cybersecurity is an ideal career path if you’re a problem-solver with a fundamental interest in technology and logical reasoning. A technical or IT background is not a prerequisite for a career in cybersecurity. At UNSW Science, we offer many degrees that can provide you cybersecurity skills in high demand such as quantitative reasoning, analytical, critical thinking and investigation abilities.

Undergraduate degrees

While the Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions is an obvious choice when it comes to a career in cybersecurity, UNSW Science offers a range of alternative degrees and specialisations.

Honours and advanced components can be used to dive deeper into your chosen subject area, such as the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) (Honours) with specialisations in advanced statistics or applied mathematics. 

The Bachelor of Science and Business will give graduates the skills to integrate both pragmatic real-world business with science methodologies. 

You could also choose a double degree to complement your science skills with law, computer science, engineering and business skills.

Postgraduate degrees

Postgraduate study is a great way to develop your vocational skills. Many of these are designed to be done online so that you can study around your work commitments. Take your career to the next level with the following master's degrees:

Explore study areas

Industry overview

With quintillion bytes of data generated each day, it’s safe to say that we’re in the era of big data. Social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are driving the trends in data and influencing the role of data scientists and statisticians. Roles in the field of data science and statistics are now in high demand, and at UNSW Science, we offer programs that can launch your career.

Key skills: analytics, communication, maths

Indicative mean salary: $107,000^

Industry growth: moderate

Careers in data science & statistics

As data experiences exponential growth, so do jobs in data science and statistics. But what exactly does a career in this field look like?

Data science and statistics is a multidisciplinary field of study that blends mathematical methods, statistics, computing, business decisions and communication. Data scientists translate user data into insights that help companies understand their audience and personalise their products or services. Uncovering new insights and predicting trends has become vital in the retail, environmental, not-for-profit, professional services and IT sectors.

Career opportunities in data science and statistics span across many industries from startups to established corporations including Coles, AirBnB, Spotify, Netflix and Greenpeace, to name a few. As a data scientist, you might be asked to calculate the price of new products for the market, determine warehouse or retail employee schedules, make predictions of environmental phenomena and model the spread of new diseases.

Relevant roles

  • data scientist
  • data analyst
  • risk analyst
  • database administrator
  • business systems analyst
  • forecast modeller
  • market and survey researcher
  • mathematician
  • statistician
  • big data engineer

Career paths at UNSW

Data science is an ideal career path for anyone who enjoys maths, statistics and computer science. At UNSW Science, our core undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of  Data Science and Decisions.

Our graduates demonstrate skills in programming languages, problem-solving, processing, interpreting and presenting data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. 

Undergraduate degrees

Get your first taste of what a career in data science and statistics entails with our undergraduate degree options. 

Postgraduate degrees

Progress your career with a postgraduate degree and specialise in one of the following areas:

Explore study areaas

Industry overview

With a demand for education services due to population growth and the higher skill needs of the economy, there is a major focus on science and STEM skills.

The Australian government continues to place importance on science within the education and training sector. STEM has been identified as a priority to ensure future productivity, and national and global citizenship.

Your UNSW Science degree will ensure you’re ready to teach and participate in the education and training sector as an advocate for the importance of STEM in the current economy and Australian landscape.

Key skills: critical thinking, communication, technical

Indicative mean salary: $99,528^

Industry growth: high

Careers in education & training

With a growing population, Australia’s education system needs to attract and retain teachers. There is also an increasing need for teachers with the skills to teach and train in STEM, making a science degree or STEM-specific qualifications extremely appealing to schools and recruiters.

Plenty of opportunities are also available within vocational or on-the-job training with a growing demand for science and STEM skills apparent in a range of areas with the creation of new technologies. This means you can help train and educate students and employees to prepare them for careers or to upskill in industries such as data science, cybersecurity and the energy and utilities sector among many others.

Relevant roles

  • primary or secondary teacher 
  • early childhood educator  
  • special education teacher 
  • principal 
  • educational leader 
  • TAFE instructor 
  • curriculum developer 
  • school psychologist 
  • learning and wellbeing officers

Career paths at UNSW

Education and training is an ideal career path for those who are passionate about science and teaching STEM skills. Our graduates strengthen their critical thinking, organisation, communication and technical skills through a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. We'll provide you with the scientific foundations to enter the education and training sector and teach and transfer these skills to a growing population.

Undergraduate degrees

At UNSW Science, you’ll have the opportunity to study general science subjects or focus on specialised areas of study to start your career.

View our undergraduate science degree options to see where a career in education and training can take you.

You can also complete the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) so you’re equipped with the perfect combination of qualifications to become an education and training professional. 

Postgraduate degrees

Progress your career with a postgraduate degree and gain specialist skills that are transferable in education and training. We offer graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and master's degrees to help you solidify your expertise and ensure you keep up with the latest developments in STEM. 

Explore study areas

Industry overview

The energy industry is responsible for the production and distribution of energy, water and gas across Australia. With the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources reporting an increase in Australia’s energy consumption by 0.6% in 2018-19, along with the average growth of 0.7% over the past ten years1, there is a growing demand for scientists in the industry.

The industry faces two important challenges for the future: investment in Australia’s energy infrastructure to support renewable energy and the need to create new policies to match public expectations regarding a response to environmental changes.

Key skills: STEM, leadership & management, communication

Indicative mean salary: $112,000^

Industry growth: moderate

Careers in energy & utilities

With an increasing demand for professionals in this sector, you’ll join the effort to create cheaper and more sustainable sources of energy, water and gas for the future. With a UNSW Science degree, you could be employed in a wide range of roles, working in sustainable energy or wind farms, for a retail provider or in the field on infrastructure projects.

New infrastructure supporting large-scale solar and wind power projects and installation activity will also provide career opportunities. The sector also requires specialist scientists that work on the research and development of environmentally-friendly energy solutions. 

Relevant roles

  • climate scientist 
  • energy manager 
  • environmental consultant 
  • geochemist 
  • geoscientist 
  • hydrogeologist 
  • minerals surveyor 
  • quarry manager 
  • water quality scientist 

Career paths at UNSW

Our science degrees will ensure you have the technical, leadership, management, communication and STEM skills to secure a successful career in the energy and utilities sector. At UNSW Science, you’ll gain the ability to work in a team, be flexible and tackle new challenges, which are all essential skills needed when pursuing a career in this industry. If you’re passionate about research and practical approaches and solutions, a career in energy and utilities might be for you.

Undergraduate degrees

You’ll need a bachelor's degree to work in the energy and utilities sector. UNSW Science offers several undergraduate degrees to give you the foundations and knowledge to secure a career in this industry.    

You could kick-start a career in energy and utilities with a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) or Bachelor of  Science specialising in climate dynamics, climate systems science, ceramic engineering, functional materials, geography or physical oceanography.

The Bachelor of Environmental Management is particularly relevant to work in this sector as it will teach you the theory and practical skills you need to influence decisions by providing guidance on how to create a balance between economic, social and environmental concerns. 

Postgraduate degrees

Explore our science postgraduate options to further specialise your skills for the energy and utilities sector. You'll have the chance to develop your existing skills in a flexible environment.

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Environmental issues such as climate change and sustainability are at the forefront of modern world challenges - UNSW Science is home to globally recognised researchers and educators in these areas. Our cross-disciplinary research influences important government and industry policies.

There's now an enormous opportunity to make a positive impact in the environmental field through sustainable resource management and the development of materials that can be used for generations to come. It’s safe to say that jobs in environmental fields are now more important than ever.

Key skills: critical thinking, analytics, communication

Indicative mean salary: $117,000^

Industry growth: high

Careers in environment

Environmental careers are often multidisciplinary and can integrate many fields such as physical, biological and information sciences. Professionals not only study the environment and human impact, but they also explore solutions like renewable energy, natural resource management and sustainable development.

Environmental careers span across many different industries including mining, civil engineering, natural resource management, government, geology, research and teaching.

There are three main areas in the field of environment: 

1. Earth science 

Earth scientists explore the nature, evolution and structure of our planet, studying everything from natural crystals to fossils and volcanoes. The study of Earth science looks to predict the future of our planet based on known environmental patterns like weather and tectonic plate movement.  At UNSW Science, you can become an expert in this field by majoring in Earth science. 

2. Environmental science 

Environmental science analyses and provides solutions to current environmental challenges including waste management, climate change and pollution. To protect the planet, environmental scientists study, develop and advise on future policies. These policies can be embedded within government legislation to ensure the survival of flora, fauna and other natural resources. At UNSW Science, you can study the Bachelor of Environmental Management.

3. Marine science 

Marine scientists have a deep understanding of the ocean and marine life. By observing the interactions of marine plants and animals with coastal areas and the atmosphere, marine scientists can help preserve ecosystems. At UNSW Science, you can specialise in this area by majoring in marine science.

Relevant roles

  • climate scientist 
  • meteorologist  
  • geologist  
  • geophysicist  
  • hydrologist  
  • ecologist  
  • environmental scientist 
  • natural resource manager  
  • marine scientist  
  • marine biologist  
  • environmental scientist

Career paths at UNSW

If you enjoy scientific reasoning and you want to make an impact on the world, then a job in the environmental sector is the right path for you. At UNSW Science, our core degree is the Bachelor of Environmental Management, designed for undergraduates who want a thorough understanding of environmental science. Our graduates demonstrate skills in observing, analysing, experimenting and discovering the world around us. 

Undergraduate degrees

View our undergraduate options to see where a career in environment can take you. 

Postgraduate degrees

Progress your career with a postgraduate degree and specialise in one of the following areas: 

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Healthcare is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry, with the workforce projected to increase to more than 1.9 million by 2024.2

When we look at the healthcare industry, we see a vast range of products and services from pharmaceuticals and healthtech companies to hospitals and GPs. Today, advancements in technology are shaping the way healthcare products and services are viewed and delivered. The emergence of online-only companies and IoT (Internet of Things) devices are influencing the role of the healthcare professional. Now, patients can skype their doctors, receive mental health services through apps or track their fitness with wearable devices.

Key skills: communication, research, teamwork

Indicative mean salary: $62,000^

Industry growth: high

Careers in healthcare

The healthcare system covers a large range of services and products designed to improve people’s lives. Industry professionals work with people to care, diagnose, monitor, manage and treat everything from chronic disease to mental wellbeing. While some professionals focus on research and collecting data, others may conduct experiments or work with technology to enhance models of patient care. 

Health professionals can find work in both the private and public health sectors all over Australia, including rural and regional areas. Qualifications in science will allow you to become a health practitioner and take on a diverse range of roles. 

Relevant roles

  • environmental health officer  
  • pharmacologist  
  • clinical geneticist 
  • immunologist  
  • paramedic 
  • psychologist  
  • therapist  
  • optometrist  
  • pharmacist 

Career paths at UNSW

Healthcare is an ideal career path for people with a passion for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and the community. To become a healthcare practitioner, you’ll need to choose a health-related discipline and commit to further studies in order to specialise.

Undergraduate degrees

The Bachelor of Life Sciences will give you transferable skills to pursue a career in the healthcare sector.

Depending on your majors, you can pursue many career paths within the healthcare industry.

Postgraduate degrees

Specialise in a field of healthcare by choosing any of the following postgraduate degrees.

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Information Technology (IT) is a dynamic and expanding industry that’s critical to the growth of the economy. The success of the world’s biggest companies – Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google – is underpinned by IT and the next generation of large companies – Spotify, Netflix and Uber – are all focusing on technological development. Whether it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) to personalise the user’s journey or the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide integrated experiences, IT is creating innovation on a grand scale. 

The considerable growth of eCommerce, mobile apps, cloud computing and health technologies means the workforce in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are expected to increase by 2.3%.3

Key skills: problem-solving, technical, project management

Indicative mean salary: $77,000^

Industry growth: very strong

Careers in information technology

Information technology involves the analysis, development, planning, creation and operating of computer hardware and software. Roles in the IT industry span across fields such as cybersecurity, information systems, computer science, data science, software engineering, analytics and information management, to name a few.

Relevant roles

  • software engineer 
  • game developer 
  • business systems analyst 
  • computer programmer 
  • computer scientist 
  • entrepreneur 
  • project manager 
  • data scientist

Career paths at UNSW

IT is an ideal career path for those interested in technology, design and innovation. From start-ups to established companies, the career options in IT are many and varied. At UNSW Science, you will learn skills in programming languages, problem-solving, processing, interpreting and presentation of data using qualitative and quantitative techniques.

Undergraduate degrees

While the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)/Computer Science is the obvious choice when it comes to a career in IT, UNSW Science offers a range of alternative degrees and specialisations.

Postgraduate degrees

Advance your career with a postgraduate degree and specialise in one of the following areas:

Explore study areas

Industry overview

If you love telling the story of science as much as you love science itself, then marketing and communication may be the right career choice for you. Increasingly part of the team behind science breakthroughs, communications professionals have the job of explaining science to the public, the government, within organisations and to other researchers.

Science communication can be a rewarding use of your skills and experiences if you’re a people person with an eye for the details in the data. A UNSW Science degree builds a foundation of technical expertise to support your career in marketing and communication.

Key skills: communication, planning, agile

Indicative mean salary: $90,000^

Industry growth: strong

Careers in marketing & communication

Well-crafted communication plays an important part in establishing a dialogue between vital research and society; the right message can be a strong influence on how a project is perceived by stakeholders. People who excel at science communication have a passion for telling people from all walks of life about the benefits of science. Marketing skills are central to devising communications strategies to sell research in the crowded marketplace of ideas.

You might be explaining recent weather events in a press release, briefing a government representative on a public health or environmental policy decision, developing a communications strategy inside a large science organisation, selling the benefits of new product to potential investors in a start-up or helping a scientist present their research at a conference with their peers.

Science communicators can also be found working in social media marketing, curating or designing museum exhibitions, or editing and writing science publications. All of these roles require a skilled communicator who can match the message with the audience.

Relevant roles

  • communications manager 
  • social media producer 
  • public relations manager 
  • market researcher 
  • marketing manager 
  • product manager 
  • copywriter 
  • science communicator 
  • museum curator 
  • science journalist

Career paths at UNSW

You don’t need to be an expert in every scientific field, but professional science communicators should have a background in a broad range of scientific disciplines. To succeed, communicators must have the ability to talk, answer questions and write about aims and scientific outcomes in language that can be understood by a general audience.

Science degrees offer you flexibility with a wide range of learning, which can be great if you’re planning a career in marketing and communications. You’ll study a range of subjects to understand scientific principles and methods, while becoming a confident speaker, writer and listener - skills which are easily transferrable to the job market.

Undergraduate degrees

UNSW Science offers undergraduate study in a wide range of majors to foster your science skills. From science fundamentals like chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics to wider methodologies such as data science, life sciences and material sciences, you’ll find something to specialise in. If you’re unsure where your interests lie, you won’t need to declare your major until your second year, which will give you time to explore your options before you choose the path that's right for you.

Widening your skillset with a double degree is an invaluable way of approaching the communications and marketing professions. Double degrees are designed to combine your interest in science with study in other faculties. Many programs of study in law, education, arts and social sciences focus on communication skills.

If you’re keen on further pursuing specific interests, you can also take an advanced science degree. If you add an honours component to your undergraduate degree, you’ll be able to do a piece of original research in your chosen area.

Postgraduate degrees

Many successful communication professionals reinforce their professional standing with postgraduate study. You can strengthen your science expertise with our specialised master's degrees:

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Psychology is the study of human behaviour and mental processes, giving people the tools to improve their decision-making, stress management, performance and self-confidence. The modern-day psychologist may work across a range of environments including health, business, sport, marketing, human resources, education and more. Psychologists deal with more than just mental health - they apply their knowledge to relationships, workplace stress and financial challenges. As psychologists branch out into diverse industries, the number of available jobs is increasing. 

Key skills: behavioural, communication, research

Indicative mean salary: $96,000^

Industry growth: very strong

Careers in psychology

As a psychologist, you might be responsible for facilitating organisational change, exploring new ways of thinking or influencing marketing campaigns. A degree in psychology can also set you on track to register with the Psychology Board of Australia, which is required for a career as a professional psychologist.

Relevant roles

  • clinical psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • forensic psychologist
  • counsellor 
  • teacher
  • social worker
  • youth worker
  • sales representative
  • advertising agent
  • market researcher

Career paths at UNSW

Psychology is an ideal career path for people who enjoy working with and caring for others. At UNSW Science, our graduates demonstrate skills in assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems at an individual and organisational level. 

Our School of Psychology is one of the best performing Schools in Australia and has attracted the highest star rating (5 – well above world standard) for its submission to all four of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments.

Undergraduate degrees

A minimum six-year sequence of education and training in psychology is required to become eligible for general registration as a psychologist in Australia. To become eligible for provisional registration and be on your way to becoming a registered psychologist in Australia, you'll need to complete a psychology undergraduate degree (or approved pathway) and a one-year honours degree.

If your career interests lie in a field that utilises psychology, such as human resources, marketing, management, philosophy, criminology or linguistics, or you're interested in learning the fundamentals of psychology paired with other science areas, these degrees will suit you:

Postgraduate degrees

To obtain general registration as a psychologist with the Australian Psychological Society (APS), you'll need to complete a two-year postgraduate degree in one of the following areas (or undertake approved supervised practice):

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Innovators have the potential to create jobs, products and technologies that improve and transform lives. Innovation is at the heart of what many scientists do – unearthing discoveries and finding ways to apply them in business and society.

Across the globe, innovation is estimated to be worth $1.6 trillion.2 In Australia, government and industry support for innovation is strong. The National Innovation and Science Agenda plans to take Australia into the top tier of innovation nations by 2030.2

Key skills: creativity, agile thinking, problem-solving

Indicative mean salary: $158,000^

Industry growth: very strong

Careers in innovation

Innovators work across all sectors that rely on continuous improvement for their success. STEM areas including aviation, data science, microbiology, astronomy and biotechnology are all based on innovation.

Many organisations require constant evolution of their products and services to stay competitive. The development of new technologies and solutions is facilitated by innovation professionals or Research and Development (R&D) departments. Within these departments are professionals who focus on developing new concepts as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

An R&D Manager can lead research projects, monitor research and development strategies and oversee leading-edge developments in the sector.

Not all innovators work for large organisations or within teams. Some innovators leverage their entrepreneurial skills to market new ideas through their own start-ups. 

Relevant roles

  • research and development manager
  • innovation consultant
  • director of innovation
  • chief innovation officer
  • service designer
  • research and development lead
  • program director
  • business development lead
  • product manager
  • entrepreneur

Career paths at UNSW

If you’re interested in the exciting possibilities of a career as an innovator, UNSW Science is a great starting point. Our degrees have plenty of subject areas to choose from so you can develop specialised knowledge in an area that’s relevant to your future career.

UNSW Science provides opportunities to develop your own entrepreneurial and leadership skills to help you turn your innovative ideas into fully-fledged companies. Programs such as the UNSW Founders Program will provide you with career-ready skills that you can apply in any entrepreneurial or innovation profession. UNSW also supports budding innovators through in-depth STEM education and additional development programs such as UNSW Advantage.

Students can also take part in Innovation for Value Creation and Growth - a 10-week blended learning unit providing crucial skills for a career in innovation. This program includes strategies for growth taught through hands-on learning. The entrepreneurial skills and knowledge you learn can be used in your own start-up.

Undergraduate degrees

UNSW Science undergraduate degrees offer a flexible approach to unlocking innovation alongside science. From science fundamentals like chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics, to interdisciplinary specialisations such as material sciences, life sciences and data science, you can tailor your science degree to your interests. 

A double degree will help you diversify your knowledge so you can acquire other skills you may need in a career as an innovator. You can study science alongside other subject areas in law, business and arts. 

The Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) is a popular degree for those pursuing a career in innovation. Designed for talented students who want to tailor their degree to suit their interests, the degree includes foundation courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics and maths. You can then choose one or two majors where you’ll pursue in-depth study in an area that’s relevant to you.

Postgraduate degrees

Innovation professionals often build on their interests and knowledge with postgraduate study. Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas are the first stages of postgraduate study and can offer a pathway to a master’s degree. Some postgraduate degrees are also available in a flexible online format that you can tailor around your work commitments. Many of these programs have been developed with extensive industry consultation.

We offer the following specialist postgraduate degrees:

If you’re interested in research degrees at the highest levels, you should consider a Masters by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

Explore study areas

Industry overview

Entrepreneurs have a knack for recognising and seizing opportunities by identifying innovations, solutions, products and services that improve user experience. People with a scientific mindset are natural problem solvers much like entrepreneurs. Many innovations such as virtual reality headsets, 3D printing and self-driving cars arose from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) areas.

Entrepreneurship applies innovative concepts to human problems, providing unique and valuable solutions to users. An entrepreneur’s implementation of innovation often disrupts the market and shapes consumer behaviour. Since its inception, Uber has changed the taxi industry beyond measure. People needing transport can now organise pick-up through their smartphone, tracking their rides’ progress in real-time.

An entrepreneur's expertise lies in recognising market demand and customer needs before other businesses. They achieve this via a problem-solving mindset and big picture thinking. STEM areas like aviation, data science, microbiology, astronomy and biotechnologies are ripe for entrepreneurial disruption given they rely on the constant evolution of technology. Disruption can occur by finding better ways to utilise data, listening to customer needs and developing new technologies and more.

Key skills: leadership, communication, agile thinking

Industry growth: strong

Careers in entrepreneurship

A career in entrepreneurship combines a mix of experience, skills and interests. What you study at university will influence the areas of entrepreneurship you choose as a career path. Professionals in this field work across all sectors but specialise in their area of expertise.

This career path often means a lot more freedom and self-determination than other careers. Many entrepreneurs are their own boss and the concept or idea they bring to fruition is their own company.

Entrepreneurs can also pursue careers in traditional organisations. Many projects within large organisations often rely on an entrepreneur who understands the importance of business and research planning for innovation.

To be a successful entrepreneur in areas relating to STEM, a relevant education is generally required. UNSW Science degrees are designed to prepare you for the competitive job market of today and tomorrow.

Relevant roles

  • business development manager
  • freelancer
  • innovator
  • consultant
  • product manager
  • business owner
  • chief executive officer
  • software developer
  • influencer
  • blogger
  • digital nomad
  • eCommerce specialist
  • account executive

Career paths at UNSW

If you’re interested in a future as an entrepreneur, UNSW Science can provide a great foundation. Study in science develops problem-solving skills, logical thinking, mathematics knowledge and other analytical expertise. The flexible design of our degrees incorporates knowledge from a range of STEM areas and provides you with a broad base of knowledge.

At UNSW you'll get support to develop your entrepreneurial and leadership skills through our programs such as the UNSW Founders Program, which imparts entrepreneurial confidence and is the largest student start-up program in Australia. The program offers learnings that you can apply to your future career in any entrepreneurial profession.

You can also engage with Enactus - an international not-for-profit organisation that collaborates with leaders in business and academia through entrepreneurial projects.

Our partnership with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship will provide you with access to a 10-week, online program teaching the design thinking process. Through real-life examples and creative problem-solving, you’ll learn in a fast-paced environment that will ensure you’re job-ready.

Undergraduate degrees

UNSW Science undergraduate degrees prepare you for real-world challenges. You can choose from majors that are relevant to today’s world such as climate dynamics, marine and coastal science, bioinformatics, Earth science and molecular and cell biology.

You can wait until your second year to select a major in your undergraduate study. This will allow you to explore your interests and curiosity and discover your path for future study later.

A double degree is a great choice for future entrepreneurs. It provides a broader level of expertise that includes the business skills that entrepreneurs require. You can study science alongside other subject areas in business, law and arts. 

An undergraduate honours program will give you the opportunity to conduct an original piece of research.

Postgraduate degrees

Entrepreneurs often build on their knowledge with postgraduate study. Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas are the first stages of postgraduate study and can offer a pathway to a master’s degree. Some postgraduate degrees are also available in a flexible online format so you can schedule study around your work commitments. Many of these programs have been developed with extensive industry consultation to focus on the business side of innovation.

We offer the following specialist postgraduate degrees:

If you’re interested in research degrees at the highest levels, you should consider a Masters by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

Explore study areas

Industry overview

We rely heavily on our five senses to navigate life: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. Each of these senses play a vital role in our day-to-day lives. Problems with eyesight can have a profound impact on an individual’s life. Through optometry, many vision problems and eye diseases can be corrected or managed, restoring sight to people from all walks of life.

Optometrists diagnose vision problems, eye diseases and other eye health issues. These highly skilled professionals correct poor vision and manage or slow degenerative eye diseases with corrective lenses, optical aids, therapy or medication. 

Key skills: accuracy, dexterity, communication

Indicative mean salary: $85,153^

Industry growth: strong

Careers in optometry

The demand for qualified optometrists remains steady in Australia and globally, due to ageing and growing populations. 

Across the world, over 2.2 billion people experience vision impairment or blindness.4 Access to proper eye care can correct many of these cases through different clinical measures. Unfortunately, for people living in communities with limited access to healthcare, treatment for vision problems is often inadequate. There are many opportunities for qualified optometrists to join programs and organisations that provide care to these populations on a short-term or long-term basis.

Relevant roles

  • vision researcher
  • paediatric optometrist
  • sports and workplace vision specialist
  • consultant in ophthalmic industries
  • optometrist

Career paths at UNSW

UNSW's School of Optometry and Vision Science is the only optometry school in New South Wales and one of the largest in Australasia. When you study with us, you’ll benefit from our strong partnerships within the ophthalmic industry and healthcare sector. Please note that while vision science is offered as a major in some undergraduate science degrees, the School of Optometry and Vision Science sits within the Faculty of Medicine & Health. 

You’ll study the science and theory that practising optometrists require while gaining hands-on experience in our optometry clinic. The UNSW Optometry Clinic is open to the public and provides a wide range of clinical services using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

We provide students with a varied education in vision science and optometry through the Centre for Eye Health, Brien Holden Vision Institute and Optometry Giving Sight

You can work in a range of roles related to eye care dispensing optical devices, including contact lenses, spectacles and ocular implants. Graduates also find jobs in ocular imaging, drug development and research.

Undergraduate degrees

You can study optometry at the undergraduate level through UNSW's standalone Bachelor of Vision Science or the combined undergraduate/postgraduate Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry degree. 

You can also study vision science as a major in the following undergraduate science degrees:

Postgraduate degrees 

The Master of Clinical Optometry will provide you with the relevant qualifications to become an optometrist in Australia, New Zealand and many countries overseas. 

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