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4250.0.55.005 - Perspectives on Education and Training: Australians with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), 2010–11 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2014  First Issue
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PROFILE OF AUSTRALIANS WITH HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS IN STEM

Of the 17.7 million people in Australia aged 15 years and over in 2010-11, around 8.8 million (50%) had a qualification at the level of Certificate III or above (i.e. a higher level qualification). A further 1.1 million (6%) had a non-school qualification at other levels, while the remaining 7.8 million (44%) had not completed a non-school qualification.

Of the total population aged 15 years and over, around 2.7 million (15%) had a Certificate III or above in a STEM field. While the vast majority (86%) of these individuals had only one higher level STEM qualification, 12% had two, and a further 3% had three or more.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of those with higher level STEM qualifications had a qualification in Engineering and related technologies. Around one in six (17%) had a qualification in Natural and physical sciences, 15% in Information technology, and 10% in Agriculture, environmental and related studies [1].


TOTAL POPULATION AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER, BY NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, 2010–11

('000)


Total population aged 15 years and over
17,738.0
Had a Certificate III or above
8,820.6
Had a Certificate III or above in STEM
2,718.3
Did not have a Certificate III or above in STEM(a)
6,102.3
Had a non-school qualification - Other(b)
1,075.5
Did not have a non-school qualification
7,841.9


(a) Includes qualifications in mixed fields and where field could not be determined.
(b) Includes people whose highest qualification was a Certificate I, Certificate II, or where the level of their highest qualification was inadequately described.
Source: ABS Survey of Learning and Work, 2010-11.



STEM QUALIFIED POPULATION, BY FIELD(a) AND LEVEL OF NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, 2010–11
Vocational level
('000)
University level
('000)
Total(b)
('000)

Natural and physical sciences
64.7
397.4
455.2
Information technology
191.4
205.9
388.2
Engineering and related technologies
1,403.5
333.7
1,718.5
Agriculture, environmental and related studies
169.8
101.7
265.6

(a) People with higher level qualifications in more than one STEM field are included in each field for which they are qualified.
(b) As some people had both university and vocational level qualifications in a single STEM field, the sum of those two categories exceeds the total number of people with qualifications in the field.
Source: ABS Survey of Learning and Work, 2010-11.

LEVEL OF QUALIFICATIONS

Of the STEM qualified population, 7% had a Postgraduate degree as their highest level of STEM qualification, 29% a Bachelor degree to Graduate diploma, 16% a Diploma or Advanced diploma, and 48% a Certificate III or IV. The graph below details the number of people qualified in each of the broad STEM fields and their highest level of qualification in that field.


HIGHEST QUALIFICATION(a)(b), BY FIELD AND LEVEL, 2010-11

Graph: shows that around 1.7 million people had a qualification in ERT, with the majority of these having a Certificate III to Advanced diploma.

(a) Refers to the highest level of qualification within that specific field.
(b) As there are some people with qualifications in more than one STEM field, some people will be included in more than one column.

Source: ABS Survey of Learning and Work, 2010-11.




The vast bulk (81%) of those qualified in Engineering and related technologies had a vocational level qualification (Certificate III to Advanced Diploma) as their highest qualification in that field, as did the majority (62%) of those with qualifications in Agriculture, environmental and related studies.

The profile of those with higher level qualifications in Natural and physical sciences were weighted much more towards the university level with 72% having a Bachelor degree as their highest qualification in that field and a further 15% a Postgraduate degree.

Those qualified in Information technology were more evenly split between vocational and university level, with 47% having a Certificate III to Adv Diploma as their highest qualification in that field, 37% a Bachelor degree, and the remaining 16% a Postgraduate degree.

ENDNOTES

[1] Figures do not sum to 100% as some of this group have qualifications across more than one broad level STEM field.


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