When I finished my science degree – a Bachelor of Science from Australia National University I had absolutely no idea what to do for a career. I continued my training and did a Master’s Degree in Science Coms, fell on my feet, and landed a rich career working in science media – I now own my own million dollar business publishmediing in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and maths.
There is a fallacy that postgrad science degrees lead you to research – 75% of the time, they lead to careers elsewhere, whether that’s industry, entrepreneurship or government – however those paths forward are far from clear. And in an environment where policy is aiming for jobs and growth, and STEM is a buzzword for both of the major political parties, what’s missing is a clear idea of just where STEM degrees can take you.
I personally know people whose science degree or technology, engineering or maths degree, has led to prominent positions in politics, consultancies, not-for-profits, start-ups and big business. Just look at Scott Farquar or Mike Canon-Brookes from start-up success story Atlassian for inspiration. But the leaders in these fields – the go-getters who are forging their own paths – are not celebrated, visible role models for the students of today.
A postgrad degree is much more than a pathway to academia, post-doc and professorship. Partnerships between industry, business and academia are creating agile, qualified workers with the skills we need to grow the knowledge economy. Postgrads have specialist skills and the ability to learn, self-manage and think deeply about topics, which stands them in good stead.
Which is why Refraction Media created postgradfutures.com. We want to create an inspiring future where STEM is seen as a powerful, creative, sought after career area – for women, international students, and other Australians. So when the next batch of graduates from a science degree, technology, engineering or maths degree toasts their matriculation, the road forward is already paved with the STEM success stories of the people who went before them.