5 Less-Known STEM Careers

The STEM workforce has grown rapidly over recent decades improving living standards, economic growth and global competitiveness in the United States. Individuals in STEM fuel the nation's innovative capacity through research and development as well as through technological advancements. Through hands-on learning, STEM education provides students with a wealth of knowledge and skills to help them understand a wide range of concepts and thrive in many industries.

Merging science, technology, engineering and mathematics, students who experience STEM education are primed to become the next generation of innovators. Career opportunities in STEM-related industries are endless as the demand for research, development and innovation are high in every industry.

Engineer, software designer or architect are well-known jobs within STEM. However, STEM expands far beyond being a scientist or engineer and into industries such as forensics, gaming and entertainment. Below are five less-known careers in STEM for educators to explore with their students in their STEM classes to better understand the vast scope of career opportunities within STEM.

 

Meteorologist

The American Meteorological Society defines a meteorologist as a person who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe and forecast the earth's atmospheric phenomena and how the atmosphere affects life on earth. Meteorologists serve an important role in society as they research and observe weather to promote public health and safety, from predicting outbreaks of air and waterborne diseases, to issuing early warnings when a dangerous storm or flood threatens to harm people or damage property.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 10,000 openings for meteorologists are projected by 2030. Individuals interested in pursuing meteorology as a career can find work in a variety of institutions such as the military, federal and state governments as well as private sectors including, news media or commercial companies.


Video Game Designer

At first glance, designing video games may not sound like a STEM career; however, video game designers use computer science, mathematics as well as engineering practices to create animations and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other forms of media. They build concepts for game characters and stories and pitch ideas to executives or their clients if they work as an independent contractor. They also conceptualize game plots and storylines, levels and environments and character interactions.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 78,000 openings for video game designers are projected by 2030. Students interested in pursuing video game design as a career can find work in a variety of settings and roles, including working for a commercial or independent video game company or owning their own production company.


Financial Manager

A financial manager builds financial strategies and reports to help companies and individuals improve their financial state and meet long-term goals. They also coordinate accounting and produce financial reports, cash-flow statements and profit projections. Financial managers have a wide range of duties and responsibilities that can be industry-specific and are often changing to suit the financial and technological climate.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 64,000 openings for financial managers are projected by 2030. Individuals interested in pursuing a career in financial management can find employment opportunities in banks, investment firms, independent firms and insurance companies.

 

Forensic Scientist/Technician

The world of forensic science has developed immensely over the past few decades as a result of technological advances and now plays an important role in the U.S. justice system. Today, forensic scientists and technicians identify, collect and examine physical evidence found at crime scenes. Other duties include analyzing and interpreting blood spatter patterns, making observations of crimes based on autopsies and taking photographs and videos to be used as evidence.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 25,000 openings for forensic scientists and technicians are projected by 2030. Forensic scientists typically work in law enforcement, crime laboratories or federal agencies. Police departments also employ forensic scientists to assist with investigations locally.


Data Analyst

Data analysts are responsible for using their knowledge of data processing software and business development strategies to provide effective business strategies for companies and organizations. Their duties also include collaborating with other data professionals to collect data figures, creating reports based on their findings and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine business initiatives’ success and overall productivity.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 102,000 openings for data analysts are projected by 2030. Data analysts can find job opportunities in virtually any industry as data is valuable for every company or organization. Common settings for data analysts can include investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms.

 

Today's STEM professionals work in a multitude of settings, industries and roles making STEM education valuable to today’s students. STEM education courses allow students to develop industry knowledge, professional and personal skills and gain a better perspective of possible careers they can pursue. Explore these careers with your students to share the vast opportunities available to them through STEM.

For the month of February, iCEV has highlighted the importance of career exploration in CTE and various careers within each career cluster.  To learn more about career explorations and the value it adds to students’ academic experiences, download iCEV’s Career Cluster Poster Series and view iCEV’s Career Exploration Curriculum. Stay tuned for more blogs and join us in celebrating CTE Month by sharing this blog with others to share the value of CTE.

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