Undergraduate qualifications

Science, engineering and technology interest fields

How do my career interests link with this field?

Read the following statements and select the statements that apply to you. The more statements you select that apply to you, the higher your interest in this area.

Science, engineering and technology
(main motivation: finding solutions to complex problems)

  • designing things
  • inventing new things
  • knowing how things work
  • mathematics
  • problem-solving
  • sciences (chemistry and physics)
  • technology
  • working with computers
  • working with data

Career fields, possible job titles and work environments

The following is a list of career areas linked to science, engineering and technology, together with a description, possible job titles and work environments. Click on the career field to read more about the field, possible job titles and work environments. In addition, we provide you with an indication of which occupations are in high, higher, or highest demand according to the National List of Occupations in High Demand: 2018. These occupations are marked as follows:

High demand

Higher demand

Highest demand

Occupations that have been classified as green occupations are marked with an .

Remember that this information is a start for you to explore options related to specific career fields - you will need to expand your research as you continue with your studies. Download the Career research document to learn more about different ways you could find information related to your career decision. 



Applied mathematics and mathematics


What is this all about?

Mathematics and applied mathematics provide the tools and skills to analyse data and make informed decisions. Mathematical techniques are used in a variety of contexts such as banking, mining, the pharmaceutical industry, government, research organisations and universities.


Possible job titles related to applied mathematics and mathematics

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Data quality officer
  • Decision modeller
  • Decision support analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Investment analyst
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Market research analyst
  • Mathematical assistant
  • Mathematician
  • Mathematics educator
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Research analyst


Possible work environments related to applied mathematics and mathematics

  • Banking industry
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Insurance and investment companies
  • Market research organisations
  • Medical research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Public sector (eg StatsSA)
  • Schools
  • Self-employed (as a consultant)


Find out more about careers in this field


Chemical engineering


What is this all about?

Chemical engineering is concerned with industrial processes for the conversion of raw materials into products with a higher economic or social value through physical and chemical changes.


Possible job titles related to chemical engineering

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Chemical engineering technician 
  • Chemical engineering technologist
  • Environmental engineering technician  


Possible work environments related to chemical engineering

Chemical engineers are widely employed in the following employment sectors:

  • Agriculture
  • Cement making
  • Chemicals
  • Education
  • Effluent treatment
  • Explosives
  • Fertiliser manufacturing
  • Food processing
  • Government
  • Metallurgical
  • Oil, coal and gas
  • Papermaking
  • Petrochemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics and fibres
  • Power generation
  • Research and consulting
  • Water treatment


Find out more about careers in this field


Chemistry


What is this all about?

Chemistry studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.


Possible job titles related to chemistry

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations, including scarce skills (marked with ) and "green" occupations (marked with ).

  • Agricultural chemist
  • Air pollution analyst 
  • Chemistry technician
  • Food chemist
  • Forensic analyst
  • Forensic science technician
  • Laboratory analyst
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Materials specialist
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Product developer
  • Quality controller
  • Research and development (R&D) manager
  • Research and development (R&D) scientist
  • Scientist
  • Soil and plant chemist
  • Toxicologist
  • Water quality analyst 


Possible work environments related to chemistry

  • Government (research and development, quality, law enforcement, environment and health)
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Industry (research and development, quality control, manufacturing, sales/ marketing)
  • Own employment


Find out more about careers in this field


Civil engineering


What is this all about?

Civil engineering is the art and science of planning, design and construction of infrastructure for society, through critical and creative thinking on work that is functional, economical, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable. The civil engineer is responsible individually or as part of a team for one or more of the following aspects: planning, investigations, design, detailing, analysis, bill of quantities, cost estimates, specifications, tender documentation, project management, work inspections, testing of materials and payment certificates. 


Possible job titles related to civil engineering

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Civil engineering technician
  • Civil engineering technologist
  • Environmental impact and restoration analyst
  • Production engineering technologist


Possible work environments related to civil engineering

  • Construction
  • Design engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • International development organisations
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Public service (local or provincial government)
  • Steel and mining industries
  • Structural engineering
  • Water resources engineering
  • Urban and regional planning


Find out more about careers in this field


Computer and information systems


What is this all about?

Computer systems, networks, software and information storage, processing and distribution. The information technology sector is extremely varied and IT-related careers can be found in all industries.


Possible job titles related to computer and information systems

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Application development manager
  • Application (APP) programmer
  • Chief information officer (CIO)
  • Computer network and systems engineer
  • Data management manager
  • Database architect
  • Database designer and systems administrator
  • Developer programmer
  • Human-computer interaction specialist
  • ICT communications assistant
  • ICT project manager
  • ICT risk specialist
  • IT manager
  • Lecturer
  • Network analyst
  • Programmer analyst
  • Quality assurance analyst (computers)
  • Security specialist (ICT)
  • Software developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems designer
  • Technical support technician
  • Technical (ICT) support services manager
  • Technical writer
  • Trainer (IT)
  • Web developer


Possible work environments related to computer and information systems

  • Any organisation using computer systems and networks
  • Computer manufacturers
  • Government departments
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Self-employed as contractor and consultant
  • Software development companies


Find out more about careers in this field

  • Download the IT @ Unisa brochure to learn more about preparing yourself for career opportunities in this field.
  • Career Guide (Media, Information and Communication Technologies SETA)
  • Download the Career research document to learn more about different ways you could find information related to your career and study choices.


Electrical engineering


What is this all about?

Electrical engineers and technologists are responsible for the generation, transfer and conversion of electrical power, while electronic engineers and technologists are concerned with the transfer of information using radio waves, the design of electronic circuits, the design of computer systems and the development of control systems such as aircraft autopilots. 


Possible job titles related to electrical engineering

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Electrical engineering technician
  • Electrical engineering technologist
  • Electronic engineering technician
  • Electronic engineering technologist
  • Energy efficiency manager
  • Energy efficiency technician


Possible work environments related to electrical engineering

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Lighting design and control, including both interior and exterior lighting
  • Lighting protection
  • Power conditioning and uninterruptible power supply
  • Power distribution - both primary and secondary distribution
  • Power generation, including co-generation and standby systems
  • Programmable controllers
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Security and surveillance
  • Telecommunications


Find out more about careers in this field


Mechanical engineering


What is this all about?

Mechanical engineering is concerned with the design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of just about anything that has movable parts. It involves the production, transmission and use of mechanical power. 


Possible job titles related to mechanical engineering

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations, including scarce skills.

  • Aeronautical engineering technician
  • Aeronautical engineering technologist
  • Mechanical engineering technician
  • Mechanical engineering technologist


Possible work environments related to mechanical engineering

  • Acoustics
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive industry
  • Aviation and aircraft management
  • Biomedical industry
  • Biotechnology
  • Computers and electronics
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Energy conversion
  • Government
  • Mechatronics
  • Mining industry
  • Organisations such as the CSIR, Eskom, NECSA, AECI, Sasol, Genmin, JCI, MINTEK, SABS
  • Rail transportation
  • Renewable resources and environmental sustainability
  • Research and development
  • Robotics
  • Sound engineering
  • Textile industry


Find out more about careers in this field


Mining engineering


What is this all about?

Mining engineers are in charge of planning, designing, organising and supervising the development of mines and much of the related facilities, equipment and infrastructure. 


Possible job titles related to mining engineering

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations, including scarce skills (marked with ).

  • Mining engineering technician
  • Mining engineering technologist
  • Rock engineering technician


Possible work environments related to mining engineering

  • Business management (mine manager, director, chief operating officer, chief executive officer, president)
  • Education
  • Government (mine inspector, health and safety, environment)
  • Mining industry
  • Occupational health and safety organisations
  • Petroleum and gas industry
  • Research and consulting
  • Waste management


Find out more about careers in this field


Physics


What is this all about?

Physical sciences include the study of inanimate objects and how matter and energy functions.


Possible job titles related to physics

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Laboratory analyst
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Product developer
  • Physicist
  • Physical science technician
  • Research and development (R&D) manager
  • Research and development (R&D) scientist
  • Scientific researcher
  • Scientist


Possible work environments related to physics

  • Green jobs
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Research institutions such as the National Research Foundation, South African Astronomical Observatory, National Accelerator Centre, South African Institute of Physics, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and Schonland Research Centre for Nuclear Sciences


Find out more about careers in this field

  • Physics careers (South African Institute of Physics)
  • Download the Career research document to learn more about different ways you could find information related to your career and study choices.


Statistics


What is this all about?

Statistics provides the tools and skills to make decisions by collecting, analysing and making inferences from data. Statistical techniques are used in areas of science, engineering, business and education, such as banking, mining, the pharmaceutical industry, government, research organisations and universities.


Possible job titles related to statistics

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Biostatistician
  • Data analyst
  • Data architect
  • Data miner
  • Data modeller
  • Data modeller specialist
  • Data scientist
  • Decision modeller
  • Decision support analyst  
  • Financial analyst
  • Investment analyst
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Market research analyst
  • Research analyst
  • Statistical analyst
  • Statistical assistant
  • Statistical clerk
  • Statistical modeller
  • Statistician
  • Survey researcher


Possible work environments related to statistics

  • Banking industry
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)
  • Insurance and investment companies
  • Market research organisations
  • Medical research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Public sector (eg StatsSA)
  • Schools
  • Self-employment (as a consultant)


Find out more about careers in this field

Further career information