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Careers in STEM

Careers in STEM

There will be one million new jobs in STEM by 2020 – are you ready?

Careers in STEM bigger file english


What are STEM Careers?

Careers in STEM are careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM careers cover everything from computer programmers to accountants to film animators. Professionals who work in these fields work in a variety of environments such as offices, clinics, labs, classrooms, and even the outside.

In our smart car and social media era, technology has become pervasive- it affects almost every aspect of our daily lives. As our home and work lives become more intertwined with technology, STEM skills and knowledge become more important for all types of individuals (not just scientists and mathematicians). Skills such as troubleshooting your computer problems or designing a flyer for your school club have become everyday abilities that most people possess.

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation)

Benefits of a STEM Career

futureIn 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor listed the ten most wanted employees. Eight of those employees were ones with degrees in the STEM fields: accounting, computer science, electrical, mechanical, civil, and computer engineering, information sciences and systems, economics, and finance. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while others are growing at 9.8%.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 5% of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to science and engineering, yet they are responsible for more than 50% of our sustained economic expansion.And although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S., they hold less than 25% of STEM-related jobs. At the same time, 43% of school-age children today are of African American, Latino, or Native American descent. Yet of all the engineering bachelor’s degrees in the U.S., less than 15% are awarded to underrepresented minorities.

Sources: Forbes Newsite ;


Highlighted STEM Careers

Here’s a quick look at a few careers in STEM and what they encompass:


Computer Animation Artist  (Films, Documentaries, etc)

graphic designerDescription: These creative professionals design visually stunning animations for a range of mediums, including film, television, video games, mobile apps and websites. As the title suggests, computer animators use computer software and hardware to ply their trade (as opposed to the hand-drawn designs of traditional animators). Recent advances in animation technology, along with the increased popularity and diversity of devices used to access entertainment have made computer animator one of the most exciting and lucrative career paths for technically-inclined artists.

Median Salary: $70,000

Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer animation, multimedia design, fine arts, graphic design, or a related field of study.

People Skills: Creative, attention to detail, communication.

Academic Skills: Studio courses in art, composition and design, combined with instruction in the technology used to create motion graphics.

Sources:, Department of Labor, Shmoop,

Computer Hardware Engineer

computer artistDescription: Computer hardware engineers are on the cutting edge of new technologies. They work to research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. Through innovation and creativity, computer hardware engineers develop exciting advances in computer technology.

Median Salary: $111,730

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering.

People Skills: Attention to detail, logic and reasoning, and innovation.

Academic Skills: Math, physical sciences, and computer proficiency.

Computer Software Engineer

Crime Scene Investigator

police-2167968__340Description: A Crime Scene Investigator gathers, collects, processes, and analyzes physical crime scene evidence. CSIs may collect fingerprints, footprints, trace materials, hair, fibers, and biological evidence found at the scene or on a victim’s body. The evidence is then processed and analyzed in a lab.

Median Salary: $56,320

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Chemistry, or Forensic Science.

People Skills: hard stomach, attention to detail, problem solving.

Academic Skills: chemistry, biology, technical writing.


Mechanical Engineer

photo-1454165804606-c3d57bc86b40Description: Mechanical engineers design, produce, and operate machinery. They can go into industry (work for a business), do research (with a business or university), and continue their education to go into academia.

Mechanical engineering is very diverse, ranging from the design and manufacture of small individual parts and devices (ex: microscale sensors and fuel injectors) to large systems (ex: sports cars and machine tools). The role of a mechanical engineer is to take a product from a idea to market – designing, creating, and refining each step of the way.

Median Salary: $83,590

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

People Skills: Attention to detail, logic and reasoning, and problem solving.

Academic Skills: Math, physics, interpret technical writing/drawings.



boy nurseDescription: Nurses play significant roles in hospitals, clinics and private practices. They make up the biggest health care occupation in the United States. Nursing job duties include communicating between patients and doctors, caring for patients, administering medicine and supervising nurses’ aides.

Median Salary: $67,490

Education: There are several different paths that can lead to licensure as an Registered Nurse. Aspiring RNs may earn a diploma, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

People Skills: Compassion, communication, critical thinking, attention to detail.

Academic Skills: Anatomy, Microbiology, Chemistry, Nutrition, and Psychology.

Click here if you’d like to find out what the difference is between an RN and a BSN! This link also answers questions such as “Which degree is better?”, “Which degree has higher pay?”, etc.


Robotics Technician

droneDescription: A Robotics Technician is like a mechanic, but for robots. They work closely with engineers to design, test, repair, and maintain robots and robotic systems. As robots become more prolific in daily life, demand for Robotic Technicians will likely increase.
Median Salary: $55,610

Education: Associate’s Degree in Mechanical technology field.

People Skills: Problem solving, dexterity, teamwork.

Academic Skills: physical sciences, math, electronics.



as close as i could get to a zoologistDescription: Zoologists study the physical characteristics of wild animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and their natural habitats and ecosystems. Zoologists work with a diverse array of animals in the field, labs, zoos/animal care centers, or offices.

Median Salary: $ 59,680

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology or wildlife biology.

People Skills: Resourcefulness, adaptability, willingness to get dirty.

Academic Skills: biology, genetics, nutrition.

For a more comprehensive list of careers in STEM and free videos, simulations, and downloadable info sheets for 50+ STEM careers, please visit:

Source: Career in STEM

What type of job would you like? STEM Career Resources


It can be a lot of pressure trying to figure out what you want to do for work after you graduate. Below, you’ll find some links that might help you decide what your future could look like.

American Math Society – How Mathematics Can Help You Build Your Career-

Information for anyone wanting to know how studying math can help their STEM career.

Career Basics: Advice and Resources for Scientists – This site contains a booklet that provides advice and help on preparing CVs and resumes, writing grants and scientific papers, networking, etc, especially for those who want a career as a scientist.

Careers in Spaceflight –
 Profiles of individuals who work in spaceflight.

Discovering Engineering –
 Information about becoming an engineer.

Find Your STEM Passion: STEMStudy-
 Information about STEM career paths, educational opportunities, and STEM quizzes.

Marine Careers-
 Information about careers in marine science.

Science Jobs-
 Science Career resources from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers-
 Ever wonder what engineers and scientists do when they go to work? Information about scientists and engineers in the workforce.



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