Five Up-and-Coming STEM Careers

Although professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) already form the backbone of many sectors, certain STEM professions are poised for explosive growth over the next decade and beyond. These cutting-edge careers are predicted to add massive job numbers and fundamentally transform the nature of their fields. With big technological changes on the horizon, students and workers in STEM should consider these positions for a chance to use their skills in exciting, rapidly changing sectors at the forefront of innovation.

Software Developers

Although software developers are already a well-represented profession with about 1.5 million jobs in 2019, predictions indicate this position will continue its massive growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development jobs are projected to grow a whopping 22 percent over the next decade.1

With technology becoming a more integral part of daily life and business, high demand for new software on smartphones and tablets will continue to fuel the need for software developers. Similarly, many businesses are making the digital switch to cut costs and improve efficiency, further boosting demand for this job. As organizations digitize, security and privacy concerns are producing a heightened need for protection software—creating even more opportunities for developers.

For those pursuing a career in software development, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is usually a must. Aspiring software developers should make sure their programming skills are top-notch. Some employers may prioritize applicants with a master’s degree, so further education is always a bonus.

Statisticians

Popular culture frequently portrays professional mathematics as a highly theoretical field confined to the university classroom, but this perception could not be further from reality. Projections indicate a job growth of 35 percent for statisticians from 2019-2029.2 As advanced technology enables increasingly complex statistical analysis, businesses and government entities are seeking professionals with the skills to crunch massive volumes of data.

As greater numbers of people and businesses rely on technology, more data is generated, and businesses will need statisticians to make sense of it. Statisticians provide the vital analysis to help businesses improve their processes, create new products, and maximize advertising reach. Governments are also seeking mathematics professionals to make the predictions and analysis necessary for informed policy decisions.

Most statisticians will need a master’s degree in a relevant field, although some may find employment with a bachelor’s degree.2 For those interested in combining advanced mathematical theory with practical applications, this field offers lucrative opportunities in a variety of sectors.

Information Security Analysts

As technology continues transforming business procedures and digitizes massive amounts of data, cyberattacks have increased, ranging from information theft to targeted attacks that can crash entire networks. As a result, financial institutions, healthcare entities, government agencies, and more are all seeking analysts who can protect their data from theft and prevent malicious network interference. Because of this growing demand, information security analysts are projected to see a job growth rate of 31 percent.3

These cybersecurity experts develop new methods to monitor networks for security issues and investigate identified issues, develop security reports, and test security by simulating attacks. For those seeking a job in the field, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related area is necessary, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems may be preferred.

Operations Research Analysts

Combining skills in mathematics, technology, and business, employment for operations research analysts is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029.4 Businesses seeking improved efficiency are looking for analysts who can revolutionize their processes, planning, and decision making through advanced analytics.

Using advanced mathematics and analytical knowledge, operations research analysts create solutions to issues across business fields, gather and analyze data, and use statistical analysis and predictive modeling to develop innovative solutions. As businesses acquire larger volumes of data due to technological improvements, the demand for operations analysts has grown. New analytical software has cut costs for operations research and broadened its applications, further increasing demand for operations research analysts.

Most operations research analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as computer science or business, but a master’s degree may be advantageous. STEM workers with broad interests in computer science and business will find ample options to play an important role in many organizations as an operations research analyst.

Computer and Information Research Scientists

For those looking for a truly cutting-edge position pioneering technological innovations in computer science, a position as a computer or information research scientist offers a chance to apply advanced STEM skills and creative thinking. With organizations constantly seeking an edge in the technological arms race, these scientists are in increasingly high demand, with a projected 15 percent growth rate from 2019 to 2029.5

Pushing the envelope for technology, computer and information research scientists develop theoretical frameworks for complex computing issues, design new programming tools and languages, create software systems, and explore experiments testing the function of such systems. These computer science experts are at the forefront of developing and studying algorithms, which form the basis of computer science and have allowed the creation of new technologies like machine learning and cloud computing.

If you are looking for an advanced computer science career as a research scientist, consider pursuing advanced postgraduate degrees in the field. With such a key role in generating new ideas, computer and information research scientists are in high demand as companies constantly seek to upgrade their technology and maintain a competitive edge. As data collection needs increase, organizations will need computer scientists to write algorithms for data mining and analysis.

Your Career on the Cutting Edge

As new technologies transform our world, businesses and government agencies are seeking STEM professionals to revolutionize their procedures and make sense of data. Whether you are a job seeker, a student interested in potential careers, or an organization looking to improve performance, these pioneering positions offer countless opportunities.

Interested in a STEM career or need qualified candidates to fill a STEM role at your business? AllSTEM Connections can help. For more information, visit our website at allstemconnections.com.

  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm#tab-1
  3. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
  4. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm
  5. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm#tab-1

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