Inside Look


Saturday August 15 2020

Our Pick of the Top Graduate Opportunities in Australian Tech


Written by Alex Holderness

September 12, 2017

As a growth industry, tech stands almost alone. Thanks to the instinctive human urge to progress it’s a field that is forever developing and expanding, but it’s perhaps doing so now more than ever. The dawn of the digital age has seen the tech industry go into overdrive, and the acceleration has thus far been exponential. Everywhere you look, amazing companies are doing amazing things. If we were putting it very mildly we’d describe it as an exciting time.

This is all welcome news for graduates in the space. The opportunity to work with some of the most groundbreaking, disruptive and employee-focused companies in the world is an enticing prospect, and one that has seen the amount of tech grads skyrocket in recent years in order to feed the industry’s insatiable appetite for young talent.

But what exactly are the opportunities available to today’s graduates? What sort of companies populate the Australian tech landscape? What sort of roles do these companies offer newcomers to the field? And how does a graduate go about securing their ideal position in such a competitive industry?

These are the exact questions that this article seeks to answer. We sat down with some of the biggest and most exciting names in Australian tech to learn precisely what they look for in a new hire, the positions they look to new tech graduates to fill, and the opportunities for career progression that they provide these graduates.

Are you ready to enter the world of Aussie tech? Terrific. Let’s take a look at what you’re in for.

The Types of Roles Available to New Grads

A new graduate’s entry into the tech space generally takes one of two routes – sales for the more business-minded or tech for the more technology-minded. Both disciplines are vital to the success of the industry as a whole, and opportunities abound for each.

Most will offer up a wide array of grad opportunities in both the sales and tech spaces, although supply of these opportunities will forever be dictated by demand. Professional services company Deloitte, for example, offers a huge range of grad openings depending on which areas of the organisation require a talent top-up. Programs are offered in the tech fields of cyber security, DevOps, digital forensics, platform engineering and front-end development, as well as in the sales fields of marketing analytics, product development and project management.

In short, the types of roles available to new grads in the Australian tech scene are as many and varied as anywhere in the world.

What to Look for in a Great Tech Company

So with this embarrassment of grad program riches available, what should you, as a tech industry hopeful, be looking for in terms of an employer? What makes a great company?

A few things to look for in a great tech employer include:

  • A flexible work schedule
  • A relaxed and fun office atmosphere
  • A company culture that you can identify with
  • Reward for effort
  • An understanding that there is life outside of work
  • Career progression opportunities

The last tick box is an important one. Where can a tech company take you in the long run? Career progression should be at the forefront of every ambitious tech grad’s mind.

For a start, a tech company’s grad program should go somewhere. “At the end of your tenure as a graduate employee at Optus, you will very likely be offered a permanent position in your chosen work stream,” says Jaclyn Campbell of the telecommunication giant’s talent acquisition arm. “Our grad alumni make up a significant percentage of our leadership team.”

The scope of career opportunities will inevitably be reflected in the scope of the organisation itself, making multi-nationals like Dropbox an alluring prospect. “Dropbox is an ambitious and fast growing tech company. We are an exciting and dynamic place to be, and offer huge opportunities for graduates to grow with us” declares Dean Swan, the company’s Sales Director. “Dropbox is truly global. We have offices across APAC, Europe, and the US and can offer graduates access to global roles and opportunities.”

The structure of the company also plays a huge part when talking career development. Tim Brewer,’s Manager of People and Talent, describes their almost startup-like configuration – “Our flat management structure means people often move up quite quickly through the organisation, and taking on more responsibilities quicker.”

Our pick of the best

The OPTUS Graduate Program

Tell us about the Optus Graduate Program and your graduate roles – what areas are they in? 

Our graduate program offers a unique opportunity for graduates to explore roles in the areas of Marketing, Finance, Networks, Sales, IT, Strategy and our Consumer Business. Graduates at Optus are also exposed to many areas of the business that are typically not advertised.

The Optus Graduate program has an excellent success rate. Over 70 per cent of our graduates are still in the business post 5 years with 90 per cent retention at the end of the 2-year program.  

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

Integrity: We seek graduates that display integrity and ensure that the highest ethical standards guide them in making decisions.
Confidence: We seek candidates with interpersonal skills, professionalism, and enthusiasm. Tolerance: We’re looking for two types of tolerance. Interpersonal and stress tolerance. Self-Awareness: A graduate should be able to identify/acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses.  Positive attitude: Mistakes (whether yours or colleagues) will happen and they’re not the end of the world.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

One of the focuses of our graduate program is on technology and engineering within the software development and UX design areas of our business:

The Programs that we focus on include:

  • The DevelopHer Program (2-year program) – Focuses on women who are career changers that are interested in becoming a software developer.
  • The MYOB Grad Program (2-year program) – for university graduates
  • Internships/IBL Program ( 6-month program) – Partnering up with universities to provide us with software developers

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

One of the most important traits we look for is someone who is a learner, eager to learn, happy to take feedback and make an opportunity of the lessons that they are exposed to here at MYOB. We also look for grads with a passion for technology, are collaborative and innovative.

Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

We hire tech grads from all different areas and backgrounds – from Computer Science and Statistics to Physics and Electrical Engineering. We have graduate opportunities not just in Software Engineering, but also Data Science, Design, and Product Management.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We look for individuals who have a knack for solving problems, and a passion to learn. We look for smart people who love the tech space, and having a data-centric approach to business and product problems! Seeing our work reflected in the data is important here.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

We hire University Graduates as Software Engineers, Site Reliability Engineers, Associate Product Managers, User Experience Designers/Researchers, and IT Specialists. In our Sydney office, our Software Engineering University Graduates get to work on products like Google Maps, used by a billion people around the world.

Our Business graduates shape how new and existing business grow through their knowledge of online media combined with their communication skills and analytical abilities. They set the vision and the strategy for how our clients’ advertising can reach thousands of users. They are the face of Google! These encompass Consultative Sales and Customer Experience graduate positions within our Google Marketing Solutions Team (GMS).

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We need our engineers to be versatile and passionate to tackle new problems as we continue to push technology forward. University Graduates are a key member of a small and versatile team, designing, testing, deploying and maintaining software solutions.

For our non-technical roles, we look for future account managers and strategists who are all dedicated to top-notch client service and growing the business. We want innovators and leaders to inspire our clients to grow their business online.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

We would hire graduates into the Sales and Customer Support functions with plans to look at hiring graduates into our Engineering function in the near future.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

Our culture is very important to us so a good culture fit is the most important determinant, followed by the appropriate education. We expect our people to be proactive, critical thinkers and customer focussed so the ability to showcase these behaviours are a must. We invest heavily in the development of our people through on-the-job training, formal training courses and conferences to ensure that our people are up-to-date on their chosen fields.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

Our programs focus on giving our new entrants in-depth experience by working alongside business leaders to architect the growing family of products that handle over a billion files a day for people and businesses around the world.

At Dropbox Australia, our business is growing and we’re looking for the brightest talent to grow with us. We are currently recruiting for two Business Development Representative (BDR) roles, which will be based in our Sydney office.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We are a values driven company, so when hiring we first and foremost look for people who share our values. We’re a thoughtful, tightly-knit team that’s committed to realising ambitious and creative ideas. We hire people who are; Audacious, Genuine, Humble, Passionate and Thoughtful.

As for the BDR positions, traits that we feel will ensure the candidate’s success in the role include: Curiosity, Resilience, Self Awareness, Tenacity.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

Our graduate roles are incredibly varied. If you want to go pure tech, you could be working in any number of specialties. Think cyber security, DevOps, digital forensics, platform engineering, front-end development. If you’ve got a tech background but you love the business-side of things, you might like areas like marketing analytics, product development, and project management.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We look for 3 things: Hustle, talent, and individuality. You’ll stand out to us if you’ve got:

  1.     Hustle – you’ll be hungry, unafraid of risks, you might have a few side projects on the go already, and really know how to pitch your ideas
  2.     Talent – solid tech skills, stellar people skills and a good measure of creativity thrown in the mix
  3.     Individuality – you’ll lean into what makes you different and be unabashedly yourself

Bottom line is: show us you’re passionate. If that comes through in your application and every time we chat to you, you’ll stand out.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

Sales development and Technical Support Engineering is where we see most of our grads entering the company.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

Resilience and hunger. Your degree (even post-graduate) is the beginning, not the end of your life’s education. Our most successful new grad recruits immerse themselves into the role and our ecosystem. They tend to be lifelong learners and adapt very quickly to new environments.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

Our current graduate hiring has been for IT or computer science students that have a background in traditional computer networking knowledge whether it’s for service provider types of technologies or enterprise ones. Worldwide Juniper has been hiring new grads in marketing, sales and customer service functions as well—which may expand to Australia.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We’re unique in that we’re a middle sized company and can’t train everything, but also don’t dump grads in the deep end and expect them to swim. Juniper looks for excellent communication skills, a genuine interest, and passion for our technology segment and a desire to push the boundaries with technology applications. And since we have focused on hiring for the SE organization, a bit of business ambition and sales mentality.

Clemenger BBDO

Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?                      

The programme starts with a rotation through the different departments in the agency – account management, planning, creative, interactive production, content production and print production – in order to get the broadest experience possible and touch all possible aspects of the job. Once the rotations are complete, each of the Exceptions takes up a longer term role for the rest of the programme. This could be in any of the areas from the rotation.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

The big difference with our entry level recruitment drive is that no specific academic qualifications are required and we don’t ask to see a CV. Diversity is a big focus and we’re looking to recruit new talent from all walks of life, because we were worried we were missing out on amazing people that might have chosen a different path. Graduates are still an important part of our recruitment process, but we wanted to level the playing field and encourage applications from people with different experiences. If someone has an interesting story to tell, we want to hear from them. We’re after people that are ready to think, to do and to make – that have a deep-seated curiosity about what makes the world tick, and a desire to share their own special energy with the agency.


Tell us about your graduate roles – what areas are they in?         

We have opportunities with our Sales and Pre-Sales academy. It’s an 18-week training program that prepares participants for a career as a SAS Sales and Pre-Sales professional. The program provides training in SAS’ core technology, methodology, product sales and positioning, business practices. It also equips trainees with the necessary skills to succeed in the field.

What traits do you look for in new grad recruits?

We generally hire graduates who have completed courses in Business related studies, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science or Computer Engineering with interest or experience in IT Software/Solutions and Internet industries

Personally, we look for an eagerness to learn, good communication, passion in data/analytics, team-oriented and customer- oriented.

Tips and Advice to Help You Nail the Interview

 So what do the titans of the tech industry look for in a new graduate? We asked, and they answered.

Reena Denise, the Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at analytics, BI and data management company SAS, describes “an eagerness to learn, good communication, and a passion for the field that a new grad has chosen.” She goes on to say that SAS want potential employees to “be curious and observant about not only the products and solutions we provide, but also how we do things within the company.” A bit of pre-interview study never goes astray.

Jeffrey Cummings, Talent Acquisition Manager at Juniper, a multi-national networking services provider, echoes a lot of the statements above. “Juniper looks for excellent communication skills, a genuine interest in and passion for our technology segment, and a desire to push the boundaries. We also value a bit of business ambition and a sales mentality.”

Emma Taylor, Head of Graduate Recruitment at Deloitte, has a very clear-cut idea of what new graduates need to bring to the table. “We look for 3 things. You’ll stand out to us if you’ve got hustle (you’re hungry and unafraid of risks, you maybe have a few side projects on the go already, and you really know how to pitch your ideas), talent (solid tech skills, stellar people skills and a good measure of creativity thrown in), and individuality (you’ll embrace what makes you different and be unabashedly yourself).

“The bottom line is this: show us you’re passionate. If that comes through in your application and every time we chat to you, you’ll stand out.”



Written by Alex Holderness

September 12, 2017

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