STEM Career Pathways report

STEM Career Pathways report cover image with Science and Technology Australia logo

In 2022, the National Science and Technology Council, commissioned Science & Technology Australia (STA) to report on barriers to STEM careers.

The research was commissioned through the Office of the Chief Scientist.

STA surveyed more than 3500 people with STEM qualifications. The report was released on 12 February 2024 by the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic. 

Key findings from the report:

  • Job insecurity is a barrier to retention in STEM careers, particularly in Australia‚Äôs STEM research sector.
  • Even among PhD graduates who have been in the workforce for 15 years or more, 25% were on fixed-term contracts.
  • Short-term research funding and job insecurity damages workplace culture and job satisfaction.
  • Women are less likely to have permanent full-time work, and more likely to be on fixed-term contracts.
  • 78% of men who responded to the survey were on permanent full-time contracts; the figure for women was just 58%. 

The findings of the STEM Career Pathways report reflect the findings of a separate report commissioned by the Office of the Chief Scientist on research assessment practices. Research Assessment in Australia: Evidence for Modernisation, released on 15 November 2023.

The STEM Career Pathways report has informed the Diversity in STEM report prepared by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

Download the report: 

Read the media statement: 

Read the media statement from Science & Technology Australia: