10 STEM Careers That Are In High DemandPosted September 14, 2021, 1:19 pm by
What would the world be without people like Thomas Edison, inventor of the incandescent light bulb? It was Edison who said, “I start where the last man left off.” What would life be like without Marie Curie, famous for her impact on cancer treatments? It was Curie who said, “Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Can you imagine life without Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft? It is Gates who said, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” And how great is it to live in a time with a rebellious business magnate like Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX? It is Musk who said, “If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day.”
Two traits these famous figures share is a persistence in problem solving and the pursuit of education in what we now call STEM, the acronym for the fields and curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For those considering STEM, jobs are plentiful, lucrative and potentially world-shaking and life-changing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations within the STEM fields are projected to grow 8 percent by 2029, compared to 3.7 percent growth in all other occupations. Still, “there’s not a lot of appreciation for the types of jobs in STEM disciplines,,” said Josh Henkin, a career coach and founder of STEM Career Services. “The world is your oyster,” said Amanda Laungani, a career counselor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Even in a world of rapid technological advancements, college officials and career counselors agree that some things remain constant. A strong understanding of mathematics will never go out of style. Neither will people skills. And since many STEM disciplines are ever-changing, lifelong learners have the best opportunity for success.
What STEM careers are most in demand? Here are 10:
For more information on STEM careers and colleges, check out our newly updated Your Future in STEM Guide
1. Data Analysis
Most businesses rely on data, and they need people with the skills to interpret it.
“You could work at the Gap and be a data scientist, or you could work for a pharmaceutical company and be a data scientist,” says Henkin. “The data is everywhere, and we’re making such precise decisions based on it.
2. Software Development
Let’s face it. In the age of smartphones and virtual everything, software keeps us operational — and entertained. No end is in sight in the demand for technical and creative masterminds who conceive, program and troubleshoot computer software
3. Mechanical Engineering
When it comes to the “E” in STEM, engineering is in high demand. Mechanical engineers in particular design, produce and operate machinery. These days they are likely to be trigonometry whizzes attracted to 3D printing and nanotechnology. They could find themselves at home in a LEGO design studio, a Formula One racing team or a NASA robotics lab.
You don’t need a worldwide pandemic to recognize the need for experts who can decipher biological problems. It’s true, biochemists have played enormous roles in developing vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. But understanding the chemistry of life can also open up a world of other opportunities, including in forensics, ecology and food production
5. Information Technology
To run most efficiently and profitably, most businesses need information technology experts capable of tailoring computer systems.
“From the car you drive and the streaming entertainment channels you enjoy, to a telehealth visit with your doctor and the ease and efficiency of online banking, today’s IT professional plays a leading role in virtually every business and industry,” said Steven Ostrowski of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce.
6. Actuarial Science
That’s right, the world needs actuaries — those with an expertise in mathematics to evaluate the likelihood of future events, risks and rewards. Actuaries have found many niches, most notably in the insurance industry and government.
7. Information Security Analysis
There’s detective work involved, and maybe even a few cloaks and daggers. Unfortunate but true, with the increase in hacking, companies, government agencies and private citizens increasingly rely on information technology experts to protect computer systems and networks from information disruption, theft and damage.
If you have a passion to help those suffering from disease and injury, the field of medicine has many needs, including physician assistants, imaging technologists, telemetry technicians, and clinical laboratory scientists.
9. Technical Writing
Many facets of STEM are highly technical. That’s where technical writers come in. Someone needs to explain all this in clear, concise language! This is not limited to the written word. Communication needs to be clear in any medium. If you are good at getting people to understand complex issues, this could be a good career to pursue.
10. Environmental Engineering
With increasing concern about environmental degradation, environmental engineers are increasingly in demand to find novel solutions to the human impact on our natural world. Career opportunities are high in the areas of public health, pollution and building design.