STEM Career Opportunities: Your Path to Innovation
Exploring Exciting STEM Career Paths
As you enter college, you are ready to answer many important questions about your life; one of these questions will be your major. I am sure many of you have heard about pursuing a career in STEM from social media, your peers, and your teachers. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These include majors such as engineering, computer science, biology, physics, chemistry, and math, but are not limited to these subject areas alone. Many new and fascinating careers can be pursued in the STEM fields that deviate from traditional pathways in the health professions, engineering, or academic. Here are a few STEM career opportunities that are nontraditional and fascinating.
While we usually see chemists as people working in sterile laboratories pipetting liquids, synthesizing liquid combinations, or something similar, most people don’t realize how much chemistry goes into making food healthy and taste good. This is where the food chemist comes in. As a food chemist, you can conduct experiments on making food healthier and tastier. Food chemists also test food and beverages to confirm they meet state safety standards and analyze them through various methods to maximize flavor like boiling, freezing, or adding other ingredients. Interestingly, many food chemists consider isolating and analyzing flavors an art form as much as it is a science. Many enter this field by starting with a biology or chemistry undergraduate degree, then advancing into a master’s level food science program. A Ph.D. program is required for food chemists who eventually want to teach or run their own labs.
Here is another unconventional STEM career opportunity. Volcanologists are geologists with a specialization in volcanos. Volcanology is a field that welcomes scientists of all disciplines. Volcanologists study the physical and chemical aspects of volcanos, as well as analyze data from many sources such as seismographs, satellite images, and gas emissions. Volcanologists spend a lot of time in the field, traveling around the world to understand the different types of volcanoes, their eruption patterns, and their implications for the people living near them. To become a volcanologist, an undergraduate degree in biology, earth science, or geology is the best starting point. From there, it is possible to gain more experience in an entry-level position and specialize in volcanology.
Here is another great STEM career opportunity. Who said you need to make music to be part of the music industry? Sound engineers can often see themselves preparing sound for films, concerts, or other events. While they may do some work in a recording studio, they can also be present at live events. The sound engineers do not just record a concert and keep track of volume but are also responsible for editing, mixing, and mastering sound so everything is great to listen to. Some programs have four-year degrees for sound engineers, while there are also certificates that can be added on to help you get more hands-on experience.
While it seems like pursuing a career in STEM is far away, keep in mind there is more than one way to find a great STEM career that does not need to be a conventional one. Know yourself and be ready to explore all the STEM career opportunities if this is a field you want to be part of.
Author: Maaida Kirmani