What does a career in hi-tech look like?
Adelaide has a well-earned reputation as a national hub for hi-tech innovation and the State Government is committed to driving the city’s global reputation to new heights, investing $24 million in the sector.
Put simply, hi-tech involves using leading-edge technologies – in the fields of computing and electronics – to push the boundaries of possibility. The hi-tech industry has the power to improve access to products and services and increase efficiency – boosting health, safety and economic outcomes.
Locally, the hi-tech industry has driven change in medical and security imaging, enabled farmers to more efficiently monitor crop watering systems through new satellite technology and developed world-first 3D hologram technology with potential commercial applications spanning gaming, education, engineering, medical imaging, and so much more! A career in hi-tech is boundless, with research indicating that 2 out of 5 Australian jobs are vulnerable to digital disruption.
The hi-tech industry is reliant on a workforce with STEM and ICT skills, as well as knowledge of advanced computer science and software engineering. Many future jobs are expected to require knowledge of emerging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Examples of jobs in Hi-Tech
Data Scientists draw on skills in computer science, statistics and mathematics. They analyse, process, and model data to identify patterns and trends and then interpret the results to create actionable plans for businesses and other organisations. In business, they provide intelligence about customers, their behaviour and marketing campaigns to help sell products. Data Scientists working in the space industry however, might work on something very different - from predicting weather on Earth to monitoring ice caps on Mars.
- understanding business goals and needs and analysing data relevant to planning, design or testing of new products or services
- using statistical models and computational algorithms
- preparing reports and presenting data to leadership teams
- developing new ways of interpreting and interacting with data.
Systems engineers use science and mathematics to develop and test solutions to complex problems. They work with networked computer systems and design, install and maintain the hardware and software required in that network. Systems engineers are employed in the space industry to develop and test new satellite technology and systems and in the defence industry to collaborate on combat systems engineering frameworks.
- understanding business requirements and researching network infrastructure
- planning new hardware and software installations and solutions
- testing, maintaining and optimising networks
- running diagnostics and providing technical support to users.
Blockchain Engineer, Architect or Administrator
Blockchain Engineers, Architects and Administrators work together on digital platforms that record, verify and store transactions shared across a network of computers, according to an agreed set of rules. They specialise in creating and implementing digital solutions for organisations by using this unique technology, which allows information to be distributed and shared publicly via the Internet, without being copied.
Blockchain engineers work for data services firms, in the finance industry and in technology consulting firms who provide services to businesses which have multiple reasons for closely monitoring their transactions. Locally, the use of blockchain technology is being trialled in South Australia’s wine industry, the largest trial of its kind in the world. The intent of the trial is to use blockchain technology to track and record bottles of wine to their place of origin – verifying their integrity, protecting the reputation of South Australian wines and disrupting the multi-billion-dollar market for counterfeit wines.
- understanding business goals and processes and how they interact with software and networks
- designing unique platforms that share data across networks, while ensuring critical detail is protected
- ensuring hardware is correctly configured, connected and maintained, so data can be shared efficiently
- testing, maintaining and optimising platforms.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Engineer
Machine Learning Engineers focus on researching, building and designing self-running artificial intelligence (AI) systems to automate predictive models. They design and create the AI algorithms capable of learning and making predictions that define machine learning.
Many Machine Learning Engineers work in the manufacturing industry – and help find ways to automated processes that improve accuracy and efficiency. Others work for defence contractors, collaborating on research to automate computer vision tasks associated with new defence technologies. Locally, machine learning has also been used to develop technology that automates the process of reading pathology culture plates, to more quickly identify those showing bacterial growth.
- translating business problems into optimised solutions
- building prediction models using statistical analysis, machine learning and data mining methodologies
- AI model development and predictive modelling using AI software for data-driven decision making.
Solution Architects are highly experienced software developers who collaborate with other experts, including software engineers, to develop and design new technology systems that meet business goals and align with technological needs. Many Solution Architects are employed in the space industry, where the tools and applications, set the standard for so many other industries! Solution Architects also work in the defence industry, designing and implementing software systems which are crucial in defending Australia’s cybersecurity interests.
- meeting clients or colleagues to understand business goals and software needs
- advising on software solutions and plans that are adaptable to changing needs, including company growth
- project managing the development of software solutions, including briefing a team of specialists who focus on different tasks
- building software solutions, testing and modifying them in line with business needs
- developing proofs of concept
- writing code to support software development.
ICT Developers are in demand across the full spectrum of ICT service requirements, including web, software, blockchain, applications and networks. Experienced specialists who can bring together the functions of all of these systems from front-end to back-end – using code to connect them – are known as ‘Full-stack’ developers.
ICT is an essential part of doing business, for every organisation around the world and so developers are in demand across every industry. In South Australia, there is work for developers in to work on industry-leading web applications, software development to support global businesses with supply chain management, and operational and safety software to the aviation industry… but the list goes on!
- working with clients and stakeholders to understand needs
- designing creative websites or other online applications using software programming skills
- writing, modifying the testing programming code
- contributing to user experience testing and trouble-shooting problems.
Average wage bandwidth is based on the following information for various Developer roles:
- Software Developer $50,000 - $69,000
- Application Developer $80,000 - $119,000 (based on positions advertised across Australia),
- Full-stack Developer $80,000 - $119,999
ICT Project Manager
Project Managers who specialise in various aspects of computer science engineering coordinate and oversee the delivery of major information technology or manufacturing projects. ICT Project Managers have broad technical knowledge and are responsible for budget and timelines, cost, quality, contracts, engineering, integration, health and safety, installation, commissioning and stakeholder management. There are major projects, expected to require significant high-tech sector project management in South Australia, particularly in the defence industry but Project Managers also work for clients across the agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries.
- providing project and contract management services
- controlling project budgets and reporting on project progress
- leading and overseeing administration and delivery of professional services and contracts
- developing and implementing procedures and guidelines that promote best practice.
Average wage information is based on the average salary in Australia, according to Payscale and Hays Salary Guide 2021.
Designers are problem-solvers who work with engineering teams to identify problems and brainstorm systems solutions to address them. Designers may specialise in network, software, databases, blockchain, user experience or user interface solutions.
- conducting user experience or user interface testing and implementing changes to improve outcomes
- designing new software or system solutions to address complex business needs
- writing, modifying the testing programming code.
Average wage information is based on a User Experience or User Interface Designer in Australia.
Robotics engineers build and maintain robots, robotic devices and systems. Robots are often developed to improve the efficiency or safety of tasks, in a manufacturing setting, but there’s also increasing opportunities for robotics engineers across a range of industries.
Robotics engineers use mechanical, electronic and programming skills to develop autonomous robots or robots operated by humans. There’s exciting opportunities for Robotics Engineers in the space sector, where the possibilities are still being discovered. Future robotics engineers may find themselves working on satellites that can navigate on their own or or other robots that can explore planets or build structures on the Moon.
- designing, building and testing robotic devices, including prototypes
- installing and testing mechanical parts, circuits and software
- reviewing processes and identifying opportunities to automate tasks
- troubleshooting robotics programming systems.
Average wage information is based on positions advertised with Seek, across Australia.
Virtual / Augmented Reality Developer
Virtual/Augmented Reality Engineers use technology to enhance real-life environments and or generate virtual reality spaces that users can interact with. They usually have a background in computer science, graphic design and engineering.
Virtual and augmented reality is an emerging technology rising in popularity, especially in the gaming sector because when used together, they create an immersive experience that surround users and make them feel part of a different world.
South Australia is home to a globally respected network of high-performing businesses in this field and has great potential to grow this industry in the future. Why? Because it is adaptable to many other industries from entertainment, to medical and healthcare, advertising/marketing, education and the architectural industry.
- writing innovative and efficient code
- developing and refining virtual and augmented reality programs
- documenting processes for training
- trouble-shooting problems to achieve desired results.
Average wage information is based expected Salary for a Game Developer in South Australian, according to Seek.
Careers in hi-tech
Gavin is a Co-Founder of VOXON Photonics, and also the business' Chief Technology Officer. Gavin moved to Australia from Scotland in 2006 and jointly established the highly successful business, drawing on his honours and Masters qualifications in information technology.
Jobs available right now
Employers in the Hi-Tech industry
There's exciting employment opportunities across a number of hi-tech companies in South Australia. Check out a few of them here and visit the Employer directory to see more employers in other industries too.
The information on this page is accurate at the time of original publish (September 2021). Job projections within the sectors are based on economic data and reporting over multiple years and is subject to fluctuation and change. Jobs featured on this site are a current list of advertised opportunities within the sectors featured and jobs available on external employers’ web links. Users are encouraged to independently check and research career opportunities as more job opportunities become available within the sector.