Digitalization is quickly integrating all of our daily activities. Modern toddlers know how to use a smartphone before even learning to talk or read. However, being familiar with the technology is different from having a firm STEM ground.
The abbreviation STEM was suggested by the National Foundation back in 2001. It stands for “science, technology, engineering, and math.” These disciplines were united into one term, reflecting the interdisciplinary approach of STEM education. If you think about prestigious professions in the modern market of labor, they are very likely to be on the edge of various disciplines and require at least basic knowledge in IT. In the future, most jobs made by people will inevitably be connected to innovational technology. The chances are high that cyber law specialists will be on higher demand than regular lawyers. From that follows the necessity of technological background for non-IT people as well.
Apart from the apparent need to go digital, STEM education helps to develop a set of skills that are highly appreciated by hiring managers. They include problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. You will learn to understand causal relationships easily, know how to operate data, and how to be objective about it.
IT Jobs of the Future
With the rise of technology, your job, especially if it’s repetitive and doesn’t demand any creative solutions, risks being automated in a couple of decades. At the same time, we should expect new occupations to appear. Naturally, college programs forming such professionals do not exist yet. What is more, some subjects taught in 2021 will surely not be needed for your future career.
Technology Integration Specialist
This person will be responsible for the improvement of the quality of one’s life or job by integrating appropriate technology. Smartwatches, smart scales, EUC, self-driving cars… with the wide choice of gadgets and software we have today, it is not surprising that companies and individuals will need a helper to understand which ones they should invest in and how to use them efficiently.
Esports Arena Architect
Esports has seen astronomic growth lately. In 2019, its revenues exceeded $1 billion, and the audience was close to 500 million people all over the world. This means that the industry will be offering more careers in the future, and the architect of virtual space will be one of them. With the development of virtual reality, every tiny detail in areas holding esports competition will need to be well-designed.
Self-Driving Car Mechanic
Contrary to our expectations, self-driving cars are not self-fixing (at least yet). Whereas the first cars were already produced and tested, their mass usage will demand more people capable of repairing these hi-tech vehicles.
Telesurgeries conducted thanks to the usage of video and other technologies would create a revolution in the healthcare industry. Surgeons will be able to help people in remote areas and react better to urgent health matters. Specialists in this field will need to master robotics in addition to regular medical training.
Closing the Gender Gap in STEM
Young women are still discouraged to build careers in fields historically dominated by men, including STEM. First of all, because of the common stereotypes leading to jokes and an unwelcoming atmosphere. Secondly, many women find it easier and safer to study and work in the circle of women.
Currently, only 26% of STEM jobs are held by women. Many educators acknowledge this issue and offer mentorship to women who choose to study exact sciences. However, this is not the case in many schools, especially in remote areas. Suppose you are a woman and do not feel welcome in STEM. In that case, this is absolutely normal to ask for help or support, especially with fellow students. Look up inclusive STEM communities or groups in your region, such as Girls Who Code. If you are a boy who sees a lot of examples of discriminative behavior, speak up, and offer help to your female colleagues. We need to create equal opportunities for all because the future of STEM depends on its inclusivity.
Not STEM but STEAM
Even though STEM education includes the basis of several fields, some researchers consider it limited and lacking creativity. For that reason, some scientists insist on the need to include artistic training in STEM education. Indeed, if you think about Nobel prize nominees, nearly all of them had artistic hobbies, such as singing or painting. This can be explained by the fact that arts and crafts stimulate our creative thinking, which can be helpful in situations where you need to create innovations. Even if the curriculum of the college or university of your choice emphasizes STEM and excludes any arts subjects, you can still practice it as a hobby. Think about it as your pleasant step towards the Nobel.
The main characteristics of STEM education contribute to the development of competitive skills and abilities that help students to be more in demand in the modern labor market, which is becoming more and more technological. The interdisciplinary approach helps to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and teamwork. Finally, most of the professions of the future will demand a solid technical background. So go for STEM and stay in the frontline!
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