An oceanographer. A video game designer. An engineer for Lego. If these sound like cool occupations to you, we have good news. In today’s job market, there’s a demand for talented individuals ready to take on these fascinating occupations, which are categorized as “STEM” occupations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
There’s just one problem: women are sorely underrepresented in the world of STEM careers. Many girls steer clear of these fields for a number of reasons—negative stereotypes, lack of confidence or the belief that they’d prefer careers that seem more social or creative. Well, if you’ve ever wondered if a STEM job could ever be interesting or cool, this post is for you. Here are just a few of the amazing careers available with a background in STEM…and the women behind the job titles.
Science Illustrator: Think you can’t mix art and science? Think again! Jo Griffiths, a science illustrator, found a way to combine her love for both science and her passion for drawing. She uses graphics to capture scientific phenomena ranging from earthquakes to whale patterns to the distribution of penguins! Need more examples of careers that combine STEM with the arts? Try “Game Music Composer” or “Video Game Designer.”
Video Game Producer: Do you know what takes a video game from okay to great? Video game producers do just what it sounds like—oversee the production of a game throughout its development. But you have to bring more to the (game) table than just a love of gaming. Lyndsay Pearson, a producer for the “Sims” label of video games, first got her college degree in Computer Video Imaging with a focus in modeling and animation.
Oceanographer: Sylvia Earle has loved the ocean since she was three years old. Today, she works for National Geographic as an “Explorer in Residence,” and yep—it’s just as cool as it sounds. She’s led more than a hundred expeditions and spent more than 7,000 hours underwater to learn about issues from biodiversity to building resiliency in the face of climate change. But don’t think you have to grow up too fast to live a life like hers. According to Earle, “The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask question and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity.”
Roboticist: Think designing robots is something they only do in movies? Think again! Cynthia Breazeal creates robots…and not just any robots. Hers can recognize emotion and even make eye contact! To be successful in her STEM career, she has to be an inventor, computer scientist and artist. Her knowledge base comes from engineering and computer programming, but also psychology and even popular cartoons.
Cognitive Neuroscientist: Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? We couldn’t resist adding this career to the list, in honor of Mayim Bialik’s character “Amy.” Amy is both the long-suffering girlfriend of physicist Sheldon and a brilliant scientist in her own right. But did you know that actress Mayim Bialik is—in actuality—a neuroscientist? In the years she took off from acting, this smarty-pants actress earned her PhD in neuroscience. So when she rattles off all that medical terminology on the show? Yeah, she knows what she’s talking about. Watch this video about her efforts to encourage more girls and young women to pursue a STEM education like she did:
Are you interested in learning more about STEM careers? Click here for a collection of websites dedicated to this important topic—many of which are targeted towards math, science, and tech-savvy young women like you! And for more cool STEM jobs, check out this article.
- 10 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs (and How To Cop Them Yourself) - September 15, 2017
- You Gotta Look Out for #1. Don’t Forget to Take Care of You! - August 20, 2016
- Five Cures for the Common Collegiate Meltdown - August 5, 2016
- Whether You’re a Student or a Student of Life, Here’s How to Face Your Career Fears Like A Boss - July 8, 2016
- How Do You Find Your Passions? Try These 6 Tips - January 25, 2016
- Networking for Introverts: 5 Tips to Build Your Professional Circle Now - November 17, 2015
- How To Ask For a Favor—and Get a “Yes” - July 27, 2015
- Where to Volunteer? 5 Factors to Consider - September 30, 2014
- Spotlight On: Feminism = Equality - March 18, 2014
- Cause of the Month: Girls for a Change - March 4, 2014