01 Oct Top 30 Math and STEM Careers: Supporting your Child’s Interests to Lay a Foundation for Job they’ll Love Later in Life Part 1, Jobs 1-15
Haven’t we all wondered, “What will my child be when they grow up?” It can seem far away when your children are small. When your kids excel at math or STEM subjects, you want them to find good jobs that use their skills. There are many high-quality jobs where math and the sciences are used; STEM jobs are expected to grow in the future. But as your children get older, be sure to pay attention and take their own interests into account.
Identify your Children’s Interests as they Grow
When talking with your kids as they get older – listen to what they love and talk about. What gets them excited? Notice if it connects to math and or STEM classes they are taking. Below we’ve grouped high-quality jobs into categories that might help you assist your child find a match for their interests. Let’s get them connected to a career they’ll love. Math and STEM fields not only use the mathematics knowledge your children learn, but also the analytical thinking and problem solving skills they develop in tandem.
An Example of How Nurturing an Interest in Math and Nature Led to Finding the Right Job Later in Life
My dad, a lawyer, was hoping for another lawyer in the family, but when my oldest brother showed an early interest in nature and math, my parents encouraged him. He is now a microbiologist and university professor. My parents let him pick books from the library according to his interests – nature, science, even science fiction too. We watched lots of PBS programs on TV. They got him subscriptions like Ranger Rick and later National Geographic magazines (this was before the internet existed).
In middle school my brother was into astronomy, then a wonderful science teacher “set the hook,” and biology caught his interest (both use math). My parents were able to send him to a nature camp when he was young, and to a marine biology summer program when he was older.
We weren’t sure where his interests would lead; but we knew it was likely in the sciences. As he went through higher education, he settled on plant genetics research, and became a professor. He uses math and STEM daily both with students and his own research.
Modern ways to Support your Child’s Math and Science Interests
Today, this sort of thing is even easier. Not only are there library books but there are many online resources, often with entire websites and podcasts dedicated to every interest. Plus, whole television channels are dedicated to the topics of science and nature (STEM-related) programs. Helping to feed your children’s varied interests as they grow might end up being more focusing their interests, in addition to growing the seeds. After school enrichment and summer camp programs, like those that my brother went to, or that ALOHA offers in Math can also help kids build confidence and improve core math skills.
15 of the top 30 Jobs and Careers in the Math and STEM Fields Careers Using Math and Science to Build or Create Physical Things
Does your child like to know how things tick? Do they love to build things, or to take them apart and figure out how they work? Then the following careers might be up their alley.
Architect – Designs and builds residential or commercial buildings.
Civil Engineer – Designs big complex transportation projects like building bridges, highways, airports, transportation ports/hubs and more.
Mechanical or Electrical Engineer – Designs large machines, especially those dealing with power sources and systems. These projects are often on a large scale for buildings like turbines, or heating/air conditioning and electrical systems and even elevators for large facilities.
With so much news of going to space recently, an Aerospace Engineer might work for NASA, or other companies that are entering this arena. Math and STEM skills are used behind the scenes to create the software, procedures, machines, and engines and that might, in the future, help us mine resources from asteroids or stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth.
Jobs in Computer Science from Writing Software to Building Gadgets and Robots
Is your child fascinated with technology, not just playing games, but trying to figure out “How do they do that?” when technology is at work?
Systems Architect – your child might need to start in one of the roles below, but this is one of the highest paying jobs in the IT industry. System Architects create and implement the structure of the complete IT system supporting a business. This crucial role acts as the connection between technology and how a company does business.
Software Developer, Computer Scientist, Coder – Creating software concepts and writing code to build, study and improve the systems and programs that underpin the technology that companies and products we love rely on.
Data Scientist – Analyze data after the software is out in the world. Combining skills in statistics and math with computer science, they analyze data, build models, and interpret the results. Then help businesses make plans based on concrete information, rather than guesswork.
App Developer – Designing digital devices and apps. These products will continue becoming more complex an frequently used. Apps range from games and smart phone apps to wearable apps (glasses and watches) to IoT (the Internet of Things) – including apps for smart homes to smart warehouses as one of my clients creates.
Robotics or Artificial Intelligence Engineer – Two related, cutting edge fields explore another direction in the future of computer science, math, and STEM.
Cryptographer or Cyber Security Expert – keeping companies, products, and infrastructure safe also is a growing, and unfortunately necessary, field.
Check back next month for part two of this post: Top Jobs 16-30 in the STEM and math fields; plus 7 bonus jobs in the financial arena.
Written by Cathy Larkin, a freelance writer and social media coordinator, who has been a part of the ALOHA Mind Math team for several years.