Last updated September 6, 2017 at 9:39 am
Work experience can help you figure out where you want to take your career, this list can help you find out where to start!
The range of opportunities offered by STEM-based careers is truly mind-blowing! So how do you decide what area or industry might best suit you? Interning can be a useful way to gain inside industry knowledge. And work experience is another. This is a short-term placement with an employer that’s usually done during high school. There are, however, also programs that offer work experience for people while studying at uni and even shortly after.
The purpose of work experience is to give you insight into an industry you’re interested in. It’s an opportunity to watch and learn and should help you shape your ideas about the direction you might like your career to head or the industry you’d like to get into.
Of course, you can approach a particular employer directly to ask if they’d be willing to give you a work experience opportunity. But there are industries and employers with purpose-built workplace programs already in place. Here are a few that Ultimate Careers has identified, as well as details of sites where you’ll find other ways of tapping into STEM experience.
- Australia’s largest research organisation, CSIRO, runs a dedicated work experience program to give “high school science students the chance to gain first-hand experience of our core research in a scientific environment.” Placements usually run for five days and take place between August and December at a range of CSIRO facilities. Applications open early in each year. For further info: click here.
- The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute annually offers work experience placement opportunities for a limited number of year 10, 11 and 12 students from Australian high schools to “gain a practical understanding of the different types of work in a research area, which may help you when making your career decisions.” The institute also offers Australian university students the chance for work experience placements. These usually run for up to two weeks full-time or longer if they are done part-time. Students get the chance to work (unpaid) during this period as a research assistance on a particular project. For further details on either program: click here.
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has a STEM Education Program that aims generally to increase the number of students studying STEM but to specifically inspire more women studying STEM subjects. Its flagship Go4IT Women in STEM program, which targets girls in high school, is run in partnership with TCS clients such as Westpac and AGL. In 2017 the program will provide opportunities for 100 young women in Sydney and Melbourne to participate. For more info on how to apply and dates that the program will be running this year: click here.
- The University of NSW 50-50 program aims to inspire Australian girls and young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology, so they can “succeed in an innovation-driven future.” As part of that plan it works to facilitate “industry immersion, mentoring and networking opportunities to enable girls to get experience and a foot into scientific careers.” For further info: click here.
- For university undergraduates studying chemical engineering, industrial chemistry or a chemistry degree, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) offers an opportunity that goes well beyond the usual expectations for work experience. The organisation’s Year in Industry Program gives undergraduates the opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field, work under a supervisor and develop important workplace skills. See more: click here.
- Here’s a way to get first-hand STEM experience to come to you, without you having to leave the classroom. In2Science is a program that puts uni students studying in STEM areas into high schools as “peer mentors to inspire students to pursue STEM studies at school and beyond.” Institutions supporting the program include RMIT University, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University. For more information: click here.
- Professional services firm PwC (previously known as PricewaterhouseCoopers) runs a program called STEM Academy, which runs bi-annually in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. It’s designed to “give students studying in the fields of STEM a chance to experience the global shift towards STEM in business.” It’s run during two days and is open to students studying a STEM degree or who have completed one in the last five years. For further information: click here.
- For work experience opportunities offered by Australian Government departments, as well as guidelines about what’s expected of both you and your work experience workplace, click here.