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Australian Government Digital Emerging Talent Programs

  • > 100,000 employees

Adam Smith

A career with the Australian government will give you valuable industry experience while working on projects that help everyone.

What's your name and job title?

Adam Smith – talent attraction lead of the Digital Emerging Talent Programs.

What did you study? When did you graduate?

A Bachelor of Business Studies, 2014.

The team

What does your team do and why is it employing graduate students?

The Digital Graduate Program is part of the Australian Government Digital Emerging Talent Programs, which support the digital transformation agenda of government by building strong digital capabilities. The program facilitates digital capability uplift to ensure there are sufficient skills to drive innovation and service delivery.

What should graduates know about a career in your sector before they decide to pursue one?

A career with the Australian government will give you valuable industry experience while working on projects that help everyone. The Australian Public Service is one of Australia's biggest employers and provides diverse opportunities across multiple agencies.

What can graduates expect to do on a day-to-day basis?

Applicants should expect to be working with digital technologies and problem solving daily. Tasks will vary from technical analytics to digital design and development.

What sort of training do graduates receive?

Participants receive a tailored mix of postgraduate study, professional association membership, cohort networking events and industry masterclasses.


What qualifications are required?

Applicants will need to have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a digital or technical field in the last seven years or be set to complete one by December of the current year. 

What types of interview formats are used during the interview process?

Applicants will be interviewed by a small panel of representatives from participating agencies and a panel chair. Those that interview strongly will be invited back to meet with representatives of all the participating agencies to help them make a decision on which government agency they’d most like to work for.

What advice would you give to job seekers in terms of applying and interviewing for jobs in this sector?

Have a strong understanding of what work you’re passionate about before you apply. In my experience passion is the strongest element that shines through at both the application and interview stages. Also, don’t neglect showcasing your ’soft skills’. Technical ability is important for these roles but so are things like being able to communicate well and work as part of a team.

The ideal candidate

What sort of skills does a graduate need to succeed in your program?

Above all else, participants need to be passionate about working with technology, problem-solving and working as a member of a team.

On the job

What do graduates say is the best thing about their work?

Participants consistently appreciate the diversity of their work and the opportunity to rotate through various areas within their agencies and create networks with other members of the cohort.

Are there any challenges that graduates can expect to face? For example, do they bear a lot of responsibility? Do they have to work on weekends or do frequent overtime?

The development of participants is a big focus of the program. Participants will be challenged but are provided with all the tools for success, including flexible working arrangements, career coaching and mentoring.

What is the future employment outlook for careers in your sector? How is the field changing?

Government agencies have many different digital and technical roles. These roles support the core functions of each agency and are always changing. Future capability is required in the following areas: Cyber Security, Data, Technology, User-Centred Design, Operations, Outcome Management and Quality.

A word to the wise…

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? 

  • Study what interests you and what you have a passion for.
  • Record your university work in a portfolio or journal. This will be very handy when applying for graduate positions.
  • Make use of your university’s career service. In my experience staff in these areas consistently go above and beyond to assist their students with applying for graduate positions.