Are you interested in a science career? Talented scientists are in high demand in just about every sector. With innovation exploding in STEM, AKA science, technology, engineering and math, job growth opportunities are a given. Key to your success in carving out your STEM career is defining a clear career path and then launching your career. In the next twenty years, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 1,000,000 STEM jobs will be added, translated to nearly 11% growth compared to less than 8% for all other industries. Now is the time to jump on that bandwagon.
It goes without saying, the more education you have for a job in science, the higher your earning potential will be. Scientists with PhD degrees + MBAs are industry leaders. While most started in a “hands-on” role, they had the vision to see the holy grail at the top. That meant working their way through higher levels of education, at the same time higher levels of responsibility in their careers.
A master’s degree with a specialization will open a lot more doors than a bachelor’s degree will. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but a masters degree in data science, you should know that the demand for data scientists is expected to grow a whopping 22% over the next decade. An entry level data scientist can demand a salary of close to 100K, and it’s only up from there.
A bachelor’s degree + applicable internships or Co-ops + academic work experience will bring you into an entry level position. The key here is to be very proactive. Don’t just go to class and “check the boxes.” Use your academic contacts to get your foot in the door with internships. Go to every job fair! That’s where companies find their young talent. Most entry level candidates transition from an internship into full time employment. Make this time count. After that, consider getting an advanced degree. Many companies will foot the bill for continuing education.
An associate’s degree MIGHT get you into a science career, but don’t count on climbing the ladder. Common science jobs associated with AA degrees are technicians of any kind, but even those require specific training. Again, if you have an AA degree and are determined to make a career in science, try to get a full time position and then pursue a bachelor’s degree. With luck your employer will pay for it, especially if it is highly relatable to their business and you have proven yourself to be a valued employee.
You better have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and/or information technology. SOME tech wizards can get in the door without that degree, but it’s rare. An IT Security Analyst monitors their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigates when one occurs. They are cyber detectives, using and maintaining software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information, while checking for vulnerabilities in computer and network systems.
IE’s can be found in just about every industry. Their work includes analyzing operations, designing workflows and production processes, reducing inefficiency, and ensuring that final products meet the established quality standards. A bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering is a must.
Medical Scientists design and conduct studies to investigate human diseases, and methods to prevent and treat them. Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings. Most medical scientists have advanced degrees, but a minimum requirement would be a bachelor’s degree.
Statisticians collect data and analyze it, looking for patterns that explain behavior or describe the world as it is. A good statistician is involved in survey development and data collection from the beginning, ensuring the validity and usefulness of the data. Bachelor’s degree in statistics, preferably masters.
Computer and Information Research Scientists, explore problems in computing and develop theories and models to address those problems. Collaborate with scientists and engineers to solve complex computing problems. They determine computing needs and system requirements. A master’s degree in computer science or IT is generally required, but you might get in the door with a bachelor’s.
Computer User Support Specialists, the “worker bees” of the tech world. These are the people in “tech support” when your laptop crashes. Computer support specialists oversee the daily performance of computer systems. They read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support. No degree required, but a solid understanding of various computer systems, plus a tech savvy mind will go a long way in this career. An associates degree would be a big plus.
If you are a numbers wiz and love it, this is the career for you. Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Most actuaries have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in math or statistics. Advanced degree is a plus for many companies.
Epidemiologists, the “disease detectives” of science and healthcare. Epidemiologists monitor infectious diseases, bioterrorism threats, and other problem areas for public health agencies. Epidemiologists are public health workers who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury. Epidemiologists typically need at least a master’s degree to enter the occupation. They may have a master’s degree in public health (MPH) or a related field, and some have completed a doctoral degree in epidemiology or medicine.
Remember when you were a kid and building parking structures with your blocks? If you loved that, you may be interested in designing the real thing. Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.
A bachelor’s degree is a must, and many have masters. A social science research associate designs, manages, and directs research projects designed to identify, and investigate social issues and social problems relating to all facets of human behavior. With our society trending toward data driven outcomes, these researchers can work in any industry.