By Techstaff

May 22, 2018

Huge demand for Australian scientists

You might have noticed the increase of science-related news in the media over recent months. From the annual Science Meets Parliament event at Parliament House where scientists discussed how best to promote scientific policy to when ministers visited Questacon to mark United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science, there’s a lot of positive news coming out of the science community.

However, the issue that underpins much of this coverage is the lack of and demand for STEM-related skills. As the baby boomer generation begins to retire, it’s sectors that require STEM skills that are starting to struggle. So, if you’re considering a scientific career, what do you need to know?

A budget boost for all

Early this month, the Turnbull government made its budget announcement. One of the more interesting sections related to the investment in science and technology, with the government committing $2.4 billion towards research, science and technology capabilities.

The government has committed $2.4 billion towards research, science and technology capabilities.

Supporting the creation and development of new ideas and businesses, this funding will be pumped into the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan over the coming years.

“Everyone, from our entrepreneurs to our leading scientists, from our farmers to our baristas, will be able to share in the opportunities created by science, technology and innovation,” Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash explained.

The investment in science is two-fold. Firstly, the government aims to make Australia more competitive on the global market, but also it plans to improve job prospects in this area and make it a great career option for the next generation.

Where are the skill shortages?

Although the scientific community is facing skill shortages across the board, it’s important to mention particular areas where candidates might want to focus on.

In the Medical Laboratory Scientist segment, based on Department of Employment data, it noted that “demand has grown strongly for these professionals”. Although finding candidates isn’t difficult, only 15 per cent of candidates were considered “suitable” by employers – highlighting the importance finding vacancies that meet your skills and experience.

Scientists can command a good salary – and one that continues to grow.

Moreover, you could consider what salaries are like at present. According to a recently published infographic from Professional Scientists Australia, the three highest-paying fields of science are botany, physics and mathematics. Overall, average base salaries for scientists have increased 2.4 per cent over the last year.

To view jobs or speak to a scientific recruitment consultant, visit the Techstaff website.
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