The Advocate - Hepburn

Top 6 Tech Career Pathways For Tertiary Students In 2023

Here are 6 of the most popular established and emerging tech career pathways in 2023. Picture Shutterstock
Here are 6 of the most popular established and emerging tech career pathways in 2023. Picture Shutterstock

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If you're looking to keep your employment options as varied as possible, a career in technology may be suitable for you. As technology is playing a larger role in facilitating business operations across virtually all industries, tech professionals often have the luxury of being able to move from sector to sector, accruing a highly diverse range of experiences and skill sets along the way.

Tertiary students who are naturally curious and love to learn technical skills alongside engaging with intricate theories, are likely to find a career in tech to be challenging yet ultimately rewarding.

Tech is a highly expansive field, however, and as such, students can greatly benefit from selecting a particular tech pathway nice and early so they can invest in building specialised knowledge. So how do you know which tech career pathway will be best for you?

Today, we'll be outlining 6 of the most popular established and emerging tech career pathways available to tertiary students in 2023. Read on to help map out your academic and professional pursuits this year.

1. Cyber security

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a multitude of Australian tertiary institutions updating their cyber security courses to ensure that course information was reflective of our zeitgeist. Cyber security has undoubtedly become a hot-button issue here in Australia, as the rate of cybercrimes has increased over the last few years.

Big security news stories like the Optus cyber attack have also started nationwide conversations about the growing need for cyber security to protect our information online.

Cyber security specialists are rapidly becoming viewed as an essential investment for a plethora of Australian businesses, spanning from large corporations, to independent digital agencies, consulting firms, and even hospitals and schools.

So there's really no surprise that this particular tech stream is actually one of the fastest growing job markets, not just in Australia but across the globe as well. If you'd love job security for years (if not decades) to come, and a career of clever digital problem solving, enrolling in a cyber security course may be the right professional move for you.

2. UX/UI design

If you're a creative at heart but still have a keen interest in all things digital, then studying UX (user experience) or UI (user interface) design may provide all the right professional opportunities for you.

Both UX and UI design involve creating digital products like software to ensure that they are user-friendly by design, or can be operated intuitively by a human user.

Although these two pathways are often grouped together, they do possess some distinctions.

For instance, whilst UX designers are primarily concerned with managing the interactive, functional elements and flow or arrangement of pages or menus on a digital product (like the menu on the screen of your printer), UI design focuses more on the visual elements and presentation of that interface itself, and whether the usability of that interface can be enhanced by using design methodologies like colour theory and typography.

Simply put, UI is all about form, and UX about function. They come together to make human-centric technological products.

UX designers can often be found in design labs, conducting user research and testing, as well as developing user journey maps, which are essentially flowcharts outlining the arrangement of information in a digital product like a website or application.

Contrastingly, UI designers are most in their element in front of a computer screen, coding and building the product itself using the design blueprints provided by UX writers and designers.

All things considered, both of these tech career pathways are well-suited for creative types who also have a keen interest in the technical aspects of design.

3. Data analysis

Another highly lucrative career pathway with plenty of employment opportunities, data analytics is rapidly becoming perceived as the backbone of global economics. The digitisation of business and trade have ensured that data is worth its own weight in gold, so to speak.

Engaging with industry data can help businesses gain insights into what their consumers want and need, as well as where their competitors may be lacking, allowing companies to improve on their offerings and strengthen their position in the market.

As a result, companies across the globe are willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars into data analytics, which is naturally fantastic news for current and future generations of data analytics professionals.

A career in data analytics can see you working for dedicated analytics firms or even as in-house analytics specialists for companies from all corners of the global market. In other words, you can opt to work in whatever industry intrigues you most, or even wherever you'd like to gain industry experience. Talk about having options!

4. Web development

Another great career pathway for creative types with a flair for technical work, web development has often been referred to as one of the defining job markets of the information age. With the rise of social media and all of the new commercial opportunities available on the world wide web, business-oriented web developers became a highly sought after commodity for virtually all business owners.

Even today, as we transition from the information age and through to the digital age, the role of the web developer continues to evolve, just as web and coding technologies evolve.

Web developers working today have the unique opportunity to design websites and web applications that utilise new-age technologies like AI chatbots, voice search, IoT or the 'internet of things', and even blockchain.

If you like the idea of being at the forefront of modern technologies and their practical implementation, then web development could be a highly satisfying career pathway for you.

5. Blockchain engineer

With the rise (and fall) of NFTs and the world's ongoing obsession with investing in cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has likely made an appearance in your newsfeed here and there over the past few years at the very least. But what exactly is blockchain technology, and what opportunities does this technology hold for younger generations of tech students?

Truth be told, blockchain technology boasts so much more potential past supporting cryptocurrencies alone.

Blockchain technology allows consumers to make secure transactions for digital assets online, as the blockchain utilises cryptographic methods to ensure user and event data is maintained securely between two nodes along that asset's blockchain network. This is effectively how cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold securely and with limited risks of fraud.

The security of blockchain allows for this technology to have other applications outside of fintech, or finance tech. This is basically where blockchain engineering comes into play, as blockchain engineers utilise this technology to create secure software solutions for a range of businesses.

Simply put, blockchain engineers are tasked with developing, testing, and troubleshooting blockchain-driven projects for businesses.

As blockchain technologies are becoming more heavily utilised by banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions, blockchain engineering is a great career pathway for any commerce students that are interested in working with technology and software development.

6. Networking and systems specialist

Last but certainly not least, all modern businesses will require networking and systems specialists, engineers or administrators, both currently and in the years to come.

As more and more businesses utilise technologies and the internet to manage their operations, it's becoming crucial for all Australian businesses to possess a strong wireless network, both with regards to networking speeds and bandwidth as well as security.

Networking and systems specialists are tasked with developing and maintaining business networks, establishing security measures like firewalls, and providing support across all other departments within that business in the event of a security breach or network fault.

Networking and systems specialists are typically expected to possess a range of different skills, including an eye for analytics and diagnostics, as well as competency using programming languages, and working with a range of networking hardware and software. If you love building systems from the ground up, a career in networking could be great for you!


Do any of these 6 techie careers call out to you? Then we highly recommend you look through course brochures at your university, TAFE, or any other institution that provides technical training in order to find a course that works for you.

Be sure to also attend open days and ask plenty of questions when communicating with any course coordinators, teachers, or other industry professionals that you may be able to speak with through your institution or perhaps even by attending industry events.