Defence is a permanent and highly interdisciplinary fixture of Australia's graduate environment. While infrastructural sectors are declining in the face of growing international competition, long-term shifts in regional security only draw demand for more policy professionals and diverse defence personnel.
The defence industry draws from a range of academic and experiential backgrounds when recruiting graduates. Roles are broad, covering the Defence Force as well as the Department of Defence and state-level government. In addition to combat personnel, the Defence Force recruits intelligence, IT, engineering, health, hospitality, and administrative professionals, while the Department of Defence typically offers annual graduate positions in various generalist and technical streams. Government roles in defence tend to be more competitive than Defence Force roles, with academic background and level of education taken into greater account. Graduate roles in state-level defence industries are also becoming more competitive due to historical declines in contract work and infrastructural development positions.
Defence is a particularly generous industry when it comes to scholarships and benefits to assist with professional and personal development. Scholarships for further study are available to most graduates with a position in this industry. Government positions that require the graduate to relocate will usually offer some kind of reimbursement to assist with moving costs, especially at the federal level, which requires relocation to Canberra.
Most graduates in roles under the Department of Defence earn a salary of over $60,000, while Defence Force entry salaries vary depending on the position.
Graduate programs are the main point of entry for university graduates seeking a government position in defence. Most programs are available to graduates up to two years after the completion of their degree.
Graduates seeking a position in the defence force will need to meet the requirements of their specific field, which demand fluency in different disciplines depending on their area of interest. In addition, some basic fitness, schooling, citizenship, and age requirements will also need to be met.
Careers fairs at universities are often a great way to access people in the defence industry who work at a government level. The Department of Defence engages quite proactively with graduates at the university level, and accept applications for graduate programs starting from around February every year. You can register at GradAustralia [https://gradaustralia.com.au/] to keep abreast of opportunities at federal and state government levels without losing track of any deadlines.