What is it?
Defence economics is concerned with economic and budget management at a national level, regarding military expenditure during war and peace alike. It concerns providing costings and alternative analysis on military capital, personnel, and equipment expenditure, while further considering loss of life and national-level opportunity costs.
Where could I go?
You can meet challenges including balancing expenditure on expensive equipment and training in preparation for potential attacks/emergencies with the ongoing need for government investment across internal defence and non-defence sectors. Relevant positions fall primarily within defence departments in the public service, with opportunities for contracted research through appropriate institutions. Civilian graduate opportunities in finance and commercial streams are available through the Australian Government Department of Defence, with starting salaries of over $68,000 plus superannuation.
How would I get there?
Undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications, plus proven leadership skills and an interest in defence, is sufficient to apply for the graduate pathways. Completion of defence-orientated degrees through associated institutions like the University of Adelaide may give you a leg up, or for officer roles Defence University Sponsorship pays for your degree and defence training in return for your commitment to work for defence (typically equivalent to your degree duration plus one year). Note that there are requirements around citizenship, but Australia is not the only country with equivalent opportunities.
Where can I find out more?
Defence Force Australia:
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