Analysis of labour force data by the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows that jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related occupations are growing significantly faster than other occupations.
Between November 2013 and November 2018, employment in STEM occupations grew by 16.5 per cent, which is 1.6 times higher than the growth rate in non-STEM jobs.
Looking ahead, this trend is set to continue. By May 2023, the Department of Jobs and Small Business projects STEM occupations will grow by 10.8 per cent (271,300 people), whereas all non-STEM jobs are projected to grow by 6.1 per cent (614,900 people) over the same period.
While women make up nearly 50 per cent of the workforce in non-STEM occupations, they represent only 39.7 per cent of the workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related jobs.
Labour Market Analyst Ivan Neville said that the analysis highlights the need for continued efforts in attracting, employing and retaining women in STEM occupations.
“There are signs the gap is closing, however. The proportion of women in STEM occupations has increased by 2.4 percentage points in the five years to November 2018 while the proportion of women in non-STEM jobs has remained relatively steady,” said Neville.
The 108 occupations in the STEM classification are disproportionately higher-skilled relative to other occupations. At November 2018, 73.0 per cent of people employed in a STEM occupation work in a skill level occupation equivalent to a bachelor degree or higher, compared to just 21.6 per cent of the non-STEM occupation employees.
Furthermore, there are a large number of people employed in STEM occupations in the other higher skill groups, Skill Level 2 (239,700 persons, commensurate with an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma) and Skill Level 3 (448,600, commensurate with a Certificate IV or Certificate III), indicating the range of pathways into STEM related jobs.
Given the recent and projected growth of STEM occupations, Neville encouraged anyone planning their next career move, study or training to consider building skills in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics.
“This analysis of STEM occupations shows there will be many job opportunities available in the future in these fields. STEM related skills are likely to provide a solid foundation for a successful career,” said Neville.