5 Futureproof STEM Careers to Consider
Science, tech, engineering and math related roles are growing fast, both in Canada and globally.
Generating more than $210 billion in revenue and contributing more than $94 billion to Canada’s GDP, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector alone is growing at more than three times the speed of the national economy.
Similarly, professional, scientific and technical services are some of the biggest industries in Canada which encompass a wide variety of STEM fields. From architects and statisticians to auditors and scientific researchers, there are numerous STEM careers to explore in this sector. Furthermore, healthcare, construction, mining, gas and oil extraction and manufacturing are amongst the top five largest industries in the country.
All of these sectors are heavily focused on STEM, so it’s easy to see why science, tech, engineering and math-related job opportunities are increasing all the time.
Building a Career in STEM Sectors
Although there have been plenty of initiatives designed to facilitate STEM learning and education, it can be tricky to determine what type of STEM career you’re best suited to. STEM roles are available in every industry, although some sectors are more geared towards these specialities. As a result, there are endless ways to build a STEM career in any industry you choose.
When you’re planning your professional trajectory, it’s important to consider how the future will impact the role or the sector. New innovations or changing societal behaviour can lead to industry declines, for example, so you’ll want to bear this in mind.
By choosing a STEM career that’s likely to be more in demand in the future than it is now, you can be confident that you’ll have a wealth of job opportunities to explore as your career progresses. Similarly, you can enjoy an enhanced level of job security when you choose a STEM career path that’s going to be part of the future. If you want to know exactly what the future holds for workers in STEM fields, click here.
With this in mind, take a look at these five futureproof STEM careers and find out if they’re right for you:
1. Biomedical Engineer
As a biomedical engineer, you’ll be responsible for developing and maintaining equipment for use in healthcare and science sectors. Combining more than one element of the STEM umbrella, it’s a great career choice for engineers who want to use their skills to advance the medical profession.
With an overarching goal of enhancing patient care and increasing the efficacy of treatments, you’ll play a significant role in the future of medicine. As health tech becomes increasingly commonplace in society, increased demand for technological solutions to physical and mental health problems will see a rise in biomedical engineer roles.
Biomedical engineering has facilitated some of the most notable medical developments in recent decades and its influence is only going to increase in upcoming years. As technology continues to evolve, biomedical engineers are bringing new treatments to the fore and making them a reality. Due to this, you can be confident that the biomedical engineering sector will be an industry that grows rather than declines in the future.
2. Cybersecurity Specialist
Since the creation of the internet, cybersecurity has been a growing field. Companies, government departments and individuals strive to keep their data and online identities safe and secure, and they rely on effective cybersecurity tools to facilitate this. Of course, new security threats emerge all the time, which means cybersecurity specialists must continually predict, identify and mitigate threats.
A career as a cybersecurity specialist often begins with a degree in a related subject, such as Information Technology, Computer Science or Management Information Systems. Following this, you may choose to work as an Information Security Analyst or Administrator in order to gain experience in the sector.
When it comes to career progression, there are numerous options available to you. Obtaining an advanced qualification can enable you to secure promotions more quickly, so it needn’t be long until you’re working as an Information Security Manager, Security Architect or even as a Chief Security Officer. Alternatively, you may choose to work as a freelance Security Consultant or to launch your own cybersecurity business.
Technology is a critical part of our day-to-day lives and it’s only going to become more integrated over time. Similarly, the security threats we face will evolve and become more sophisticated. As a result, the cybersecurity industry will continue to grow in upcoming years, which is great news for anyone who wants to pursue a career in this field.
3. Environmental Engineer
As awareness of climate change continues to increase, there are growing demands for governments to commit to zero-emissions strategies. Businesses are already enacting changes in order to reduce their carbon footprints and minimise the negative impact their operations have on the environment.
There has been a notable shift in how society views environmental damage, and this has been reflected in consumer behavior. In response to this, commercial entities are adopting ‘green principles’ and striving to fulfil the demands of their customers. As a result, there is a growing need for environmental engineers in the private sector, as well as in the public sector.
When you work as an environmental engineer, you’ll be designing, creating, testing and maintaining solutions to a range of environmental issues. From finding ways to reduce air pollution to facilitating a shift to renewable energy, there are a variety of niche areas you can choose to specialise in.
As Canada looks to turn its 2050 net-zero pledge into law, it’s clear that environmental issues will come to the fore in upcoming years. Based on this, environmental engineers will play an increasing important role in both public sector organisations and private entities, which makes it a top STEM career choice.
4. Software Developer
The vast majority of people use software every day, and for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s on your cell phone, laptop or tablet, there’s a good chance you use multiple programs a day to perform a range of tasks. Behind these programs are teams of software developers and engineers who design, create, build, refine and maintain them.
New software is being created all the time, which means there’s a constant demand for software developers. As well as writing ‘off-the-shelf’ programs for retail and enterprise customers, your role may include creating bespoke platforms for organisations and businesses. Alternatively, you might focus on creating software to increase automation or facilitate IoT. If you choose to further your career, you could go on to become a Software Manager, Project Director or Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
With so many uses for software, and an ever-growing tech industry, software developers will enjoy a varied range of job opportunities in upcoming years. Whether you’re particularly interested in writing software for video games, developing FinTech solutions or you want to be part of the smart tech revolution, there are numerous specialties to consider. By choosing to hone your skills in this area now, you’ll be well-placed to make the most of the industry growth that’s predicted to occur.
5. Smart Cities Designer
Smart cities use data and technology to deliver a seamless infrastructure. With the potential to collate data, increase safety and provide resources in response to changing demands, smart cities are set to have a major impact on society. City planners are already embracing technology when it comes to making communities safer and healthier, and you can expect the use of tech to increasing in upcoming years.
With Canadian municipalities, indigenous communities and government organisations being encouraged to take part in smart city challenges, it’s clear that any future urban developments will incorporate an increasing amount of tech. As a growing area of specialism, choosing to pursue a career in smart cities will give you the opportunity to be at the forefront of the industry. As you gain experience and provide genuine value, you’ll play a significant role in creating safer, more secure and more integrated environments.
What Does it Take to Succeed in STEM Job Roles?
As there are so many job roles and career paths that fit under the STEM umbrella, it’s not possible to determine which qualifications or characteristics are best suited to a career in STEM. Instead, you’ll need to consider which degrees, traits and attributes are most applicable to your chosen career path or sector. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re well-equipped to build a successful career in whatever STEM field is right for you.
However, there are a range of skills which will stand you in good stead, regardless of which area of STEM you choose to work in. Known as transferable skills, these enable you to succeed in virtually any working environment and include things like:
- Written and verbal communication
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
By honing your transferable skills, as well as the sector-specific skills you’ll need to perform your duties, you can lay the groundwork for a successful and rewarding career in STEM. Let us know how you get on!
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