Participation in STEM fields
In 2020, of students aged 15–64 who were studying for a non-school qualification, 20% were studying in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields (the same proportion as 2011) (see glossary for definition). Between 2011 and 2020, the proportion of males studying for a non-school STEM qualification was stable, while the proportion of females increased by 1 percentage point.
School retention rates and change by sex, 2011 and 2020
Of those studying for a non-school qualification in a STEM field in 2020, 72% were male and 28% female. The proportion of males decreased by 4 percentage points between 2011 and 2020, while the proportion of females increased by 4 percentage points (ABS 2011, 2020).
For more information on non-school education, see:
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2008. Education and work, Australia, May 2008. ABS cat. no. 6227.0. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2011. Education and work, Australia, May 2011. ABS cat. no. 6227.0. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2020. Education and work, Australia, May 2020. ABS cat. no. 6227.0. Canberra: ABS
DESE (Department of Education, Skills and Employment) 2019. 2019 Student summary tables. Canberra: Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
Hurley P 2020. Coronavirus and international students. Melbourne: Mitchell Institute, Victoria University.
NCVER (National Centre for Vocational Education Research) 2018. Australia vocational education and training statistics: total VET students and courses 2017. Adelaide: NCVER.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 2016. How are health and life satisfaction related to education? Education Indicators in Focus, no. 47. Paris: OECD Publishing.
OECD 2017. OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics. Paris: OECD Publishing.
OECD 2018. Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing.
OECD 2021. Population with tertiary education (indicator). doi: 10.1787/0b8f90e9-en Paris: OECD Publishing. Viewed 10 May 2021.
Powdthavee N, Lekfuangfu WN, Wooden M 2015. What's the good of education on our overall quality of life? A simultaneous equation model of education and life satisfaction for Australia. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Volume 54, Pages 10-21.
TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) 2019. Statistics report on TEQSA registered higher education providers—October 2019. Melbourne: TEQSA.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) 2019. ISCED Mappings, Australia, 2011. Paris: UNESCO. Viewed 8 March 2019.