Exceptionally Interesting STEM Careers
When you picture a STEM-related career, what comes to mind—lab coats, chalkboard-filling equations, or even stacks of half-assembled motherboards?
These may be the familiar sights and scenes that we associate with jobs related to science, technology, engineering, and math. In today’s world, however, they merely represent a small facet of the exciting and varied career paths that open up with STEM-based learning.
In fact, the great thing about STEM is that it allows you to approach the things that interest you in an entirely new way—from skateboard parks to fireworks and even hot food trends, STEM can certainly pop up in unusual places. And with the skills that STEM provides, who knows where you’ll end up!
Here are just a few of the unexpected careers that STEM-based learning can lead you to.
Skateboard Park Engineer
All of those ramps, half-pipes, bowls, and rails may look like a ton of fun, but step back for a moment and view them with a different perspective. Underneath the many unique shapes, curves, and concaves that allow you to catch some serious vertical air, you’ll find engineering, geometry, skilled labour, and mathematics hard at work.
It’s a great example of how creativity and STEM can meet in an exciting way—an engineer can not only have a hand in designing the look of a skateboard park, but they can also be responsible for calculating the amount of building materials such as concrete, wood, and coping needed to bring everything together.
As you might already know, a skateboard park can be seriously fun, but it’s also a serious achievement in engineering!
These days, hacking seems to be making headlines and popping up in the news all of the time—hacker-led data breaches are an increasingly common threat to our connected lives. But there’s a different type of hacker out there that’s working just as hard to ensure that protected information remains just that: the ethical hacker.
Ethical hackers are hired to do something often called “penetration testing” for clients such as banks, hospitals, and governments. Armed with a STEM-based degree in computer science and a knack for problem solving, ethical hackers are tasked with finding digital security weaknesses.
Once they fid a way in, so to speak, they can then design or alter software to ensure that anyone else with genuinely bad intentions won’t find the same vulnerabilities to exploit.
Ethical hacking can be a career that requires a great deal of creativity, enthusiasm, and a solid technical background—exactly the kind of skills that STEM offers!
Video Game Designer
Think of your all-time favourite video games. They may have provided you with hours of entertainment, occasional frustration, and loads of excitement, but the one thing they (and every other video game out there) all have in common is that someone had to design them.
From understanding the complexities of physics and how it relates to gameplay, refining a game’s user experience and creating its digital art to developing new gaming software, the video game industry offers many interesting and unexpected careers that wouldn’t exist without STEM-based skills and training.
You might even say that applying your STEM skills towards video game design is the perfect way to mix boundless creativity with real technical know-how. Talk about achievement unlocked in a major way!
Fireworks may be an incredible sight, but the real beauty isn’t just in the colourful explosions that light up a dark sky—it’s also in the engineering that helps to put them together.
And while pyrotechnics have certainly advanced over time, the one thing you’ll need to ensure a successful career here is a very strong understanding of chemistry, or even a degree in chemical engineering.
Then there’s always room for innovation and creativity—you’ll not only have to plan out the colours, shapes, and sizes of your pyrotechnics, but you’ll need to consider other elements such as choreographing your big, bright bangs to music.
This is definitely the kind of career that STEM can help propel to new heights!
Food is a daily part of our lives—so much so that perhaps sometimes we may take its preparation for granted. When you look at food through the eyes of a molecular gastronomist, however, you tend to develop a newfound appreciation for how ingredients can change together at a chemical level, and how these exciting changes can influence the taste, consistency, colour, and shape of food.
This is definitely a career that benefits greatly from a STEM-related background in chemistry and physics—as a molecular gastronomist, you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with unique food and flavour combinations.
Aside from all of the STEM-based experimentation you’ll be doing in the kitchen, this is also an ideal platform for creative self-expression—with this career, the possibilities are quite literally endless (not to mention delicious!).
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