Student Info & Guide

Is a STEM Career for Me?

by on December 8, 2015 | Top Stories, Career Guide

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are commonly grouped together and called STEM for short. STEM offers many promising opportunities but is a STEM career for you? And if yes, where do you fit in in this huge and exciting world of in science, technology, engineering and mathematics?

Is a STEM Career for Me? -

  • Do you like to solve interesting and challenging problems?
  • Do you like to be creative and work with others?
  • Do you like to work on projects that make a difference?
  • Do you want to earn a good salary and enjoy job flexibility?
  • Do you want to change the world?

If you answered 'yes' to most of the questions then a STEM career could be a great choice for you!

Take this Fun Quiz to find out which STEM career could be for you.

Or try out this detailed STEM Job Profiler (registration required)

8 Tips for Parents

Wondering how you can encourage your child to explore a career in STEM?

  • Watch programmes about STEM related topics together and talk about them after
  • Encourage your child to be curious about how things work or how they're made
  • Be supportive and show you're interested when your child has a science project to work on
  • Encourage your child to join a science or math club at school
  • Go on an excursion! Visit the science centre, museum or any exhibitions on inventions, science or technology
  • Carry out simple experiments at home or work on a small project together
  • Get a friend who works in the STEM field to speak to your child about his/her job
  • Go through job advertisements with your child and read the ones that are STEM related – what are the job tasks, qualifications required, pay and benefits, working conditions, etc.?

10 Hobbies that Increase your STEM Skills

  1. Help organise a fundraising event that allows you to plan a budget and use your math skills
  2. Participate in a data-collection project: conduct interviews using questionnaires and analyse data
  3. Volunteer to teach young children math or science
  4. Try programming your own video game or creating your own app
  5. Take up a technical hobby that allows you to build something – you can build your own computer, or make a model of a building or a vehicle
  6. Job shadow someone who works in a STEM related field
  7. Join a math or science club at school; or a camp or workshop during the school holidays
  8. Join an astrology club
  9. Conduct simple biology experiments such as documenting the number of species of plants or insects you can find in your garden or a nearby park
  10. Volunteer at a zoo or farm

A closer look at careers in STEM

STEM is a very vast field that continually sees new changes and additions. Let's have a look at the career opportunities under each STEM discipline as listed by O*NET OnLine.

1. Chemistry

Chemistry - Is a STEM Career for Me? -

Biochemical Engineers: Develop usable, tangible products, using knowledge of biology, chemistry, or engineering. Solve problems related to materials, systems, or processes that interact with humans, plants, animals, microorganisms, or biological materials.

Biochemists and Biophysicists: Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena.

Chemical Engineers: Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Chemists: Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

Soil and Plant Scientists: Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests.

Examples of Other Careers in Chemistry
  • Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
  • Chemical Plant and System Operators
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Natural Sciences Managers


2. Computer Science

Computer Science - Is a STEM Career for Me? -

Computer Hardware Engineers: Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Computer Programmers: Create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals.

Computer Systems Analysts: Analyse science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems.

Mechatronics Engineers: Research, design, develop, or test automation, intelligent systems, smart devices, or industrial systems control.

Security Management Specialists: Conduct security assessments for organizations, and design security systems and processes. May specialize in areas such as physical security, personnel security, and information security.

Software Developers, Applications: Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programmes. Analyse user needs and develop software solutions.

Video Game Designers: Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies.

Examples of Other Careers in Computer Science
  • Accountants
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers
  • Auditors
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Business Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Computer Network Support Specialists
  • Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
  • Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Computer User Support Specialists
  • Database Administrators
  • Electrical Engineering Technicians
  • Electronics Engineering Technicians
  • Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Financial Quantitative Analysts
  • Graphic Designers
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Software Developers, Systems Software
  • Telecommunications Engineering Specialists


3. Engineering

Engineering - Is a STEM Career for Me? -

Agricultural Engineers: Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

Automotive Engineering Technicians: Assist engineers in determining the practicality of proposed product design changes and plan and carry out tests on experimental test devices or equipment for performance, durability, or efficiency.

Biomedical Engineers: Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Construction Managers: Plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems.

Mechanical Engineers: Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment.

Petroleum Engineers: Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs.

Transportation Engineers: Develop plans for surface transportation projects, according to established engineering standards and state or federal construction policy.

Examples of Other Careers in Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
  • Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers
  • Architectural Drafters
  • Architecture Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Automotive Master Mechanics
  • Automotive Specialty Technicians
  • Avionics Technicians
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Civil Drafters
  • Civil Engineering Technicians
  • Civil Engineers
  • Computer Hardware Engineers
  • Cost Estimators
  • Electrical Engineering Technicians
  • Electrical Engineering Technologists
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Electromechanical Engineering Technologists
  • Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers
  • Electronics Engineering Technicians
  • Electronics Engineering Technologists
  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
  • Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers
  • Forest and Conservation Workers
  • Foresters
  • Geodetic Surveyors
  • Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
  • Industrial Engineering Technicians
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Safety and Health Engineers
  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Marine Architects
  • Marine Engineers
  • Materials Engineers
  • Materials Scientists
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists
  • Mechatronics Engineers
  • Microsystems Engineers
  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Nuclear Engineers
  • Nuclear Equipment Operation Technicians
  • Nuclear Monitoring Technicians
  • Product Safety Engineers
  • Software Developers, Applications
  • Software Developers, Systems Software
  • Transportation Planners
  • Transportation Vehicle, Equipment and Systems Inspectors, Except Aviation
  • Validation Engineers
  • Water Resource Specialists
  • Water/Wastewater Engineers
  • Wind Turbine Service Technicians


4. Environmental Science

Environmental Science - Is a STEM Career for Me? -

Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers: Define, plan, or execute biofuels/biodiesel research programs that evaluate alternative feedstock and process technologies with near-term commercial potential.

Climate Change Analysts: Research and analyse policy developments related to climate change.

Environmental Engineers: Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health: Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population.

Examples of Other Careers in Environmental Science
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists and Site Managers
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health
  • Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary

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Read More: Step UP with an Education in STEM

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