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What are some of the most meaningful non-healthcare STEM careers?


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John’s Answer

STEM careers account for over 6% of all U.S. jobs. The acronym refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and includes careers in physical and life sciences, computer science, mathematics, and engineering. While a STEM career can be lucrative, that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. As individuals, we all have different interests, personality types, aptitudes, and work-related values. Each of these traits should play a crucial role in identifying a suitable profession and course of study. Don't make any career-related decisions without first taking the time to learn about yourself and explore the career you are considering Jane.

FIVE STEM CAREERS IN MATHEMATICS

COMPUTER SCIENCE – Computer science covers computer architecture, programming languages, algorithms, computations and theories. Degree programs in computer science are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Degree candidates study topics such as modeling, robotics, artificial intelligence, security and Internet systems, among others. A degree in computer science affords numerous career options. Those who have obtained a bachelor's or master's degree may go on to work as systems analysts, database administrators, computer programmers and testers while those with master's or doctoral degrees may go into postsecondary education or computer research and development. The U.S. government offers opportunities for communication managers, intelligence specialists and computer systems specialists.

STATISTICIANS – Specifically use statistics to analyze and interpret data that is then used to solve real-world problems in various fields, such as healthcare, science or business. These kinds of mathematicians must determine what data is needed, and then design surveys, opinion polls or other experiments to gather the data. They apply various statistical methods to analyze the data and report their findings to their clients or management. Statisticians usually need a master's degree, but some positions may require a Ph.D. or only a bachelor's degree.

PHYSICISTS – Study matter and energy and can specialize in numerous areas, including astrophysics, nuclear physics, medical physics, atomic physics and more. They use very complex math calculations and experiments to try and prove or disprove theories in their field. They may also use math, models and other computer software to analyze data. Physicists often need to apply for grants and other forms of funding, since their experiments involve using high-tech and expensive equipment, such as lasers. Their findings are reported in scientific papers and presentations. These professionals usually need a Ph.D. to conduct research. Some entry-level government jobs only require a bachelor's degree.

CHEMISTS – Conduct complex experiments, but usually in a laboratory setting. They may use math to calculate and measure various solutions, temperatures and other factors involved in these experiments. Chemists generally study and examine chemical processes and components of products and substances to check for safety and/or to create new products. Their findings are also presented in technical reports to other scientists, clients or the public. They need at least a bachelor's degree, but most hold a master's or Ph.D.

CILIVIL ENGINEERS – Must combine math, physics and engineering principles as they design and oversee the construction of all kinds of structures. They may work on projects to build bridges, buildings, roads, tunnels and more. Before they even begin designing their project, civil engineers may need to research, investigate and test the area designated for the project to gain insight into potential environmental hazards, construction costs and more. They may also test various materials that will be used on the project for durability and safety. All of their projects must adhere to safety and other government regulations. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree, and they may be required to hold a license to work with the public.

Hope this was Helpful Jane

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Nancy’s Answer

Hi Jane,
First it is super cool you are interested in a career associated with STEM. I am a woman in high tech for 20 years and I mentor a robotics team - our team had two young women co-captains last year. In my experience STEM can be applied in many areas. For instance I was interested in computer science way back in the 1980's as a college student. I minored in programming and computer science and I worked at an early computer store selling computers to college students to pay my student bills. But I found I was better at talking with people about the computers and what the software was doing than I was at doing the programming myself. So I went to work at a computer software company right out of college but worked in sales and not as a programmer. I found I was good helping people solve problems that had to do with software versus make the software. I have helped solve problems that way by being a product manager, a program manager and a strategic planner. What did I learn that is applicable to you? Well STEM applies to so many parts of our life today and we can use it in so many ways to make a difference and help people. The diversity of fields allows you to start at what you are interested in and pursue the technical, scientific or engineering aspects of that to solve useful problems for others. Do you like creating images and graphics? You could pursue that to find out how computers create images, maybe apply that math and imagery to solving problems in geology or climate mapping. One of the best women directors in software I know got her start in research and computer generated imagery because she is an artist first. Do you care about animals? Then how could you use STEM to make their lives better? For instance I love horses and told my son he needs to 3D print fit on shoes for some of the horses with problem hooves who can't wear nailed on shoes. He hasn't taken that up yet but you see how combining what you love and STEM can lead to many career outcomes. I seriously hope this could help you think about areas you are interested in and how you could pursue STEM related fields. Wishing you wonderful luck. We need more STEM ladies. We bring a great wealth of views to many fields. Cheers to you Jane!

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Brendon’s Answer

Jane,

It's almost impossible for someone to answer this for you. This is a question for YOU to answer. What do YOU care about and WHY?

Ultimately, all of these jobs exist because it was determined one way or another that there was a need for it. Although oftentimes you will not see or even feel the impact of what you're doing, there is typically a reason for someone to be doing it.

If you're looking for something specifically NON-HEALTHCARE related, then here are a few ideas you could consider:

1) Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is the future. The world is moving away from fossil fuels and is looking for energy sources that are carbon-neutral (possibly even negative) and can reliably produce energy. Solar, wind, oceanic, gravitational, etc. are all being worked on in order to fulfill this need. If you want to join a field that is 'meaningful,' this might be one to consider.

2) Recycling/Environmental Cleanup
This is not a real category, but I am highlighting the need for cleanup of the environment. Humanity has had a devastating effect on the environment and at some point there is going to have to be a more cooperative effort to 'clean things up.' There is no way humanity can continue to stay on its current trajectory, because the flora/fauna that we depend on is going to be destroyed.

3) Medical Devices for Animals
The title says it all. If you don't want to work in healthcare for people, maybe you are interested in healthcare for animals?

4) Research of ANY KIND
Research is always a noble pursuit. There are still MILLIONS of species of animals/plants/microbes that have not yet been discovered. Identifying and researching them could be meaningful.

5) Teaching
Teaching. People will always need teachers. Teaching can be a rewarding/meaningful career for the right person.

There are many, many more ideas out there, but these are just a handful of the ones I could come up with. Ultimately, you will need to listen TO YOURSELF to figure out what is meaningful and what is not.

Good luck!

Hi Brendon: #5 is on point. Teaching is definitely an area that is most needed; especially now in the midst of COVID-19 and teaching virtually. Sheila Jordan

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Donna’s Answer

Jane;

There are many STEM opportunities outside of health care. As I work in telecommunications, I will say the upcoming opportunities in that field are the next EVOLUTION. 5G is opening doors to creative and new integrations in technology everyday. Specialized fields like self driving cars, traffic monitoring and control, temperature tracking and controls on food items, etc.. Google Quantum Key and Fiber Sensing technology.

Under all that technological advancement is the networks in which all this relies. Fiber optic design, system enhancements and network security. If you have a desire for the political side of all this FCC regulations and guidelines to keeping the industry moving forward, while balancing corporate and government responsibilities.

There are so many opportunities at your feet. Pick one up and run with it. If it turns out to not be your thing, lay it aside and change direction. At this point in your life it is all about "YOU".

Donna recommends the following next steps:

https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/

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Marie’s Answer

Hi Jane,

I am an Intellectual Property attorney and have found the work interesting and meaningful. The following article gives more information about this career:
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/intellectual-property-law-2164607

Marie


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Donna’s Answer

Jane;

There are many STEM opportunities outside of health care. As I work in telecommunications, I will say the upcoming opportunities in that field are the next EVOLUTION. 5G is opening doors to creative and new integrations in technology everyday. Specialized fields like self driving cars, traffic monitoring and control, temperature tracking and controls on food items, etc.. Google Quantum Key and Fiber Sensing technology.

Under all that technological advancement is the networks in which all this relies. Fiber optic design, system enhancements and network security. If you have a desire for the political side of all this FCC regulations and guidelines to keeping the industry moving forward, while balancing corporate and government responsibilities.

There are so many opportunities at your feet. Pick one up and run with it. If it turns out to not be your thing, lay it aside and change direction. At this point in your life it is all about "YOU".

Donna recommends the following next steps:

https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/

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Bryce’s Answer

Hi Jane,

Great question, but it is a little subjective and can vary from person to person. Personally, I have found that STEM jobs involved with the environment and conservation can be very rewarding. These jobs focus on protecting vulnerable and endangered wildlife, as well as protecting and conserving natural habitats. I have always had a love for wildlife, so this probably makes me biased. It honestly all comes down to what are your interests and what jobs you can find within your interests.

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