Careers for graduates

Help us in our vision to support economic growth and job creation for all Australians. Grow your skills and make a difference by joining our department.  

We need graduates with diverse skills, expertise, perspectives and experience to help us solve some of our country’s most pressing challenges.

You can join us by applying through:

  • our Graduate Development Program
  • the Australian Government Graduate Program STEM stream.

Graduate Development Program

Our Graduate Development Program gives you an opportunity to grow the skills you’ve gained during university through work that directly impacts the Australian community.

We are many policy areas, industries and careers rolled into one department. Our breadth of work offers endless pathways to grow your career, skills and experience.

Whether you’re passionate about science, technology, innovation, resources, or any other policy area in our diverse portfolio, the scope of topics you can work on can’t be matched anywhere else.

Diversity and inclusion

Learn about our diverse and inclusive workplace and diversity networks.

People strategy

Learn how we invest in our people, values and culture.

Program benefits

Our program offers:

  • a structured 12-month training and development program 
  • opportunity to contribute to creating a better future for all Australians 
  • competitive pay and conditions with 37.5-hour work week 
  • access to flexible work arrangements and working from home
  • multiple work placements to experience diverse roles and responsibilities across the department
  • start your placement as an APS 3 with a starting salary of $70,489 plus 15.4% superannuation
  • advance to APS 5 (current salary of $80,250 plus 15.4% superannuation) once you successfully complete the program
  • dedicated graduate support team with mentoring opportunities with senior executive staff 
  • exclusive networking events
  • relocation assistance for eligible graduates. 

Program format

Our program provides on-the-job learning, formal training and networking opportunities.

During our program you will experience:

  • the opportunity to collaborate with other graduates on a major project tackling real-life policy issues
  • soft and technical skills training and on-the-job learning throughout the program.

In addition, we’ll provide you with:

  • relocation assistance if you’re moving to Canberra
  • an extensive induction program so you can hit the ground running
  • a dedicated Employment Programs support team who is here for you throughout the recruitment process and program
  • a targeted learning and development regime, with exclusive networking events and opportunities to meet senior executives.


To apply, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen at the time of application
  • have completed a minimum 3 year undergraduate degree within the last 5 years
  • be able to obtain and maintain a baseline security clearance
  • be prepared to relocate to Canberra where the majority of roles are located.

If your degree is from an overseas university, the National Office of Overseas Skill Recognition must recognise the qualification.

Application process

The assessment and selection process may include:

  • an online personality and cognitive assessment
  • a written task
  • a behavioural interview
  • referee checks
  • a short phone or video interview (this may be applicable if you’re applying through specialist streams).

Australian Government Graduate Program Streams

The Australian Government offers pathways for university graduates interested in a career in the Australian Public Service (APS) through its Graduate Program Streams.   

There are 10 streams in this program, each led by different government agencies or departments: 

  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) (led by us)
  • Accounting and Financial Management (led by Department of Finance)
  • Data (led by Australian Bureau of Statistics)
  • Digital (led by Digital Transformation Agency)
  • Economist (led by Treasury)
  • Generalist (led by Department of Finance)
  • Human Resources (led by Australian Taxation Office)
  • Indigenous Graduate Pathways (led by Department of Defence)
  • Intelligence (led by Department of Defence)
  • Legal (led by Attorney-General).

The lead agency or department is responsible for recruiting graduates through their stream. You only need to go through the application and selection process once to have the opportunity to work across other Australian Government departments (outside your original stream).  

Learn more on the APS Jobs graduate portal.

Australian Government Career Pathway – STEM stream

Our department leads the career pathways stream for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

If you’re a graduate joining this stream you will have the opportunity to work across multiple STEM fields including:

  • developing initiatives to advance women and girls in STEM
  • international and national space negotiations and agreements
  • earth observations
  • robotics
  • neuromorphic engineering
  • chemical and biological analysis
  • electro technology
  • genomics
  • cyber security
  • technology and programming
  • software engineering
  • geophysics
  • spatial analysis.

Learn more about the STEM stream on the APS Jobs graduate portal.