Although many think of STEM in its greater break down of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, if you further explore these fields you may find that there are careers in STEM you may have never even heard of or thought about, such as:
Virtual Reality Developers
Recognized as one of today’s top up and coming technologies, Virtual Reality (VR) has actually been around since the 1960s. Technological advancements of the 21st century and the rise in the popularity of gaming, however, have since rapidly accelerated the development of virtual reality. As the market continues to grow, so does the emergence of Virtual Reality Developers. With backgrounds in software in software engineering, 3D design, and website development, these professionals design, develop, and test exceedingly complex VR simulation.
Flavor Chemists, also known as flavorists, are food scientists that work to add, enhance, replicate, or create flavors for food, beverages, and other products. Most flavorists have a degree in chemistry, food science, or other related fields and often also undergo a seven-year apprenticeship to become certified by the Society of Flavor Chemists (SFC). Being a flavorist additionally requires a keen sense of taste and smell to help identify and differentiate flavors and to most accurately replicate or create a desired flavor. It is a job that uniquely combines science and creativity. So whether it’s candy-like cereals, vegan meats, or minty toothpaste, the laboratory research and experimentation of flavor chemists are involved.
With today’s fast-paced rate of technological innovation, there has been a greater societal push towards the consideration of the ethical ramifications of technology. Whether it is issues of personal privacy, algorithmic biases, or appropriate use, the need for a relationship between ethics and technology is now greater than ever. Although still a newly emerging career, AI/data/tech ethicists have risen out of this need to research and consult on these ethical implications. Coming from a variety of different backgrounds, including philosophy, law, psychology, science and technology, these ethicists all have a deep understanding of the role technology has in society and the potential dangers that can come of that.
If you have ever seen medical diagrams, charts, or illustrations in textbooks, magazines, or at the doctor’s office, you’ve seen the work of Medical Illustrators. Experts in visual communication, medical illustrators work closely with science and medical professionals to create illustrations that present complex information to broad audiences. Medical illustrators have experience in art, design, communication, medicine, and science, with most obtaining master’s degrees in medical illustration from one of the four accredited programs in North America. Although medical illustration is a relatively small field, it has a positive job outlook as new information continues to arise out of research and as new visual avenues such as 3D printing emerges.
Ethical Hackers/White Hat Hackers
As the world continues to become technologically dependent, cyberattacks are now a risk to almost all businesses. Due to these concerns of cybersecurity, companies are increasingly hiring experts to attempt to penetrate company networks and computer systems to find possible security vulnerabilities. These information security experts are known as Ethical or White Hat Hackers. Although there is no standard criteria to become an Ethical Hacker, it is beneficial to have an educational background in a field such as computer science, computer programming, or information security. Additionally, there are also certifications offered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) that can further help individuals become Ethical Hackers.