Ballin' ....Through Math & Science!
4/22/2013 11:18:00 AM
You remember the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For me, answers varied from being an actress, to singer, to model, then an accountant. But reality kicked in! I only grew to be five feet tall. I never made it to Hollywood. Singing? Stopped except at church. The accounting was a go until college orientation and I discovered I could get paid to do what I do a lot of – talking! I went for a field where I was passionate but sometimes, we don’t know what it is when we first go to college.
Or we get surprised. We cop the degree but have nowhere to use it.
As some college goers or returning older students ponder what career will have growth and possibly a larger paycheck, there is an answer. If you are interested in – and have the aptitude to match – a STEM job may be the route to go!
With STEM jobs - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - the demand for science professionals is blowing up. Current forecasts point out this field will will expand by at least 17 percent, compared with just 10 percent growth for other jobs. And the pay? while the average U.S. salary is around $43,000, the average STEM income is closer to $78,000!
But there is a misconception about these jobs, the biggest being you need a PhD to land a lucrative gig in this industry. And fact is – not necessarily. Yes, that may be your goal and by all means go for it. And in some areas you may need it to advance. But Brazen Careerist details several careers where there’s no need for an advanced degree.
From Brazen Careerist:
1. Environmental Scientist
Environmental scientists are problem solvers for Mother Nature. Depending on your specialty (protection, chemistry or health), you might gather field data to help restore polluted wetlands, create recommendations to slow ozone depletion or develop plans to ensure air is safe to breath. To prepare for this eco-friendly career, get your bachelor’s degree in a natural science field like biology or chemistry.
Not interested in a four-year degree? Earn your associate’s in a science-related field to become an environmental field technician.
Job Outlook: 19 – 24 percent (depending on type and specialty)
Average Salary: $41,000 – $62,000 (depending on type and specialty)
Sonographers are the scuba divers of the human body. While you don’t literally go inside, you do use ultrasound technology to see the organs hidden deep below the skin’s surface. Your high-tech job helps doctors assess and diagnose diseases and injuries.
Like some other medical jobs, you can break into this field in more than one way. A bachelor’s or associate’s degree in sonography, or—if you’re already a trained health pro like a nurse—a one-year certificate program can prepare you for this career.
Job Outlook: 44 percent
Average Salary: $64,000
3. Veterinary Technician
Whether you’re working to keep pets healthy at a vet practice or helping scientists perform research in a lab, your main goal is to make sure animals are treated carefully and humanely. And when it comes to your education, you’ve got options: there are jobs available for people with either a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in veterinary technology.
Job Outlook: 52 percent
Average Salary: $30,000
As a society, we rely on oil and gas to fuel our cars, heat our houses and run our appliances. And geotechs (short for geological technicians) are on the front line of efforts to explore and extract new pockets of these natural resources. Some employers will hire people with only a high school diploma, but most prefer aspiring geotechs to have at least an associate’s degree in an area like geology or chemistry.
Job Outlook: 15 percent
Average Salary: $54,000
Nurses blend the hard science of medicine with the art of patient care. This job often tops the list of quick-change career ideas because of the variety of education options (including certificates, associate’s and bachelor’s degree paths) and the good benefits. So if you’re the type who thrives on mixing person-to-person interaction with the analytics of health care, this could be a good option for you.
Job Outlook: 22 – 26 percent (depending on type and specialty)
Average Salary: $40,000 – $65,000 (depending on type and specialty)
6. Forensic Science Tech
Forensic science techs are sharp-eyed individuals responsible for collecting or analyzing evidence that can put criminals behind bars. Whether you want to be an on-the-ground CSI or focus on laboratory work, your best bet is to get a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, biology or chemistry.
However, many rural police agencies will hire applicants for CSI work who only have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree. Check with your local agency to learn about specific requirements.
Job Outlook: 19 percent
Average Salary: $52,000
7. Biomedical Engineer
By 2020, demand for biomedical engineers is set to skyrocket 62 percent—making this career the fastest-growing science job in America. To break into this field, you do need a bachelor’s degree in the fairly narrow and tough area of biomedical engineering. However, the payoff can be worth it; average income is $81,000. Not a bad deal for paying attention in bio class, right?
Job Outlook: 62 percent
Average Salary: $81,000
For young students and those going back to school, this is some good info to have. It gives insight as to what you can do in fields that sometimes are under-investigated. But even for our younger kids, this gives them more direction for a future career path. Your child may not be a super athlete, singer, etc. but if they grasp math and science, their shot at a lucrative future is there. Nurturing the area of academia must be a focus for us to build up generational wealth and strengthen our communities.
And yes while education is empowerment, it is more attainable than that shot in the NBA NFL or on a catwalk. Those opportunities may come – but are not readily available to the many children in the upcoming generation. Let's direct them to fields where more open doors and opportunity prevails.