Erica Mariane, product implementation technologist at Mars Food Australia.
Erica Mariane, product implementation technologist at Mars Food Australia.

Look beyond the lab coats

WHEN most people think "science”, they think lab coats and vaccines, but look a little further and fun, intriguing jobs appear in places never before considered.

SEEK breaks the science and technology sector into 10 job categories: biology and biomedical sciences; biotechnology and genetics; chemistry and physics; environmental, earth and geosciences; food technology and safety; laboratory and technical services; materials sciences; mathematics, statistics and information sciences; modelling and simulation; and quality assurance and control.

Between 2016 and last year, it reveals the number of advertised roles in mathematics, statistics and information sciences increased 64.8 per cent year-on-year - the fastest growth within the sector.

These roles had an average advertised salary of $112,387.

Other growth jobs within science and technology were in environmental, earth and geosciences (up 57.3 per cent, with an average salary of $94,138) and in biotechnology and genetics (23.7 per cent, $89,662).

Overall, the science and technology's employment sector increased 22 per cent when comparing the three months to January with the same period last year.

It was the fourth strongest growth industry after mining resources and energy (54 per cent), trades and services (31 per cent) and engineering (25 per cent).

"We're seeing a strong national demand for STEM skills - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - which reflects a global talent shortage,” SEEK Australia and New Zealand managing director Kendra Banks says.

"This talent shortage has been identified by Australian CEOs as one of their top business risk areas but it also creates huge competitive job opportunities.”

Mars Food Australia product implementation technologist Erica Mariane studied chemical engineering at university with plans to work in the resources sector.

She moved into food science, however, after landing a position in a graduate program. Two years later, she is employed full time conducting market research and turning that information into large-scale recipes for production.

"I was focused on the oil and gas industry, I didn't think this job existed,” she says.

"I never thought of it while in uni but during the interview I learnt more about the role and thought 'this is really cool, I'll give it a go'.”