Ten exciting careers you can have with a STEM degree | Top Universities
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Ten exciting careers you can have with a STEM degree

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Laura Lightfinch

Updated Jul 05, 2023
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Marine biologist in scuba suit in water

With a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, you’ll have a huge range of career options available to you. Whether you’re looking to find solutions to big world problems, create new innovations, or explore greater depths, the world is looking to STEM graduates to step into some of the fastest growing industries and make an impact. 

Here are some of the most exciting careers you can have with a STEM degree. 

Astronomy 

Astronomer looking at moon with telescope

With a career in astronomy, you can study the mysteries of the universe and specialise in exploring stars, planets, galaxies or cosmology. Generally, astronomers will use scientific equipment to collect data and find answers to some of the complex questions of the universe.  

The careers within astronomy are broad and you could work as an astrophysicist, a planetary scientist, in astro-informatics, as an astrobiologist or a telescopic equipment engineer, to name a few.  

Skills required for a career in astronomy: As an astronomer, you’ll use maths, physics and computer programming in your daily work. Depending on the specific role, you may also need to bring in engineering skills, data management or biology

Aerospace engineering 

A career in aerospace engineering means using your science and technology skills to improve the efficiency and safety of aircrafts and other aerospace vehicles. From aeroplanes to satellites and space shuttles, you could work on designing, developing and testing new technologies.  

Aerospace engineers play an important part in advancing aviation and space exploration, and in the climate crisis there is increasing emphasis on developing sustainable air travel.  

Skills required for a career in aerospace engineering: As an aerospace engineer, you’ll use skills in engineering, maths, physics and technology. You could gain a degree in aerospace or general engineering, or even top up your bachelor’s degree in maths or physics with a specialised master’s to give you the skills you’ll need in the field.  

Energy engineering 

Arguably the most vital sector to humanity’s development, the energy sector is at a critical point. New, efficient and innovative ways of supplying energy are needed to continue powering the world and STEM graduates could provide the answer. 

As an energy engineer, you could work for an energy provider and private company, government department or in a research position.  

Skills required for a career in energy engineering: As an engineer in the energy field, you’ll use skills in engineering, maths and technology. You could choose a degree in electrical engineering, environmental engineering or even environmental and earth sciences.  

Forensic science

Fornsic scientist at crime scene

 

The competitive field of forensic science can take you into the world of crime scene investigation, where you’ll support the prosecution or defence in court cases. Forensic scientists often work in laboratories and deliver expert testimony in court.  

You’ll examine contact trace materials including hairs, fibres, drugs, blood and fluids for signs of evidence. Forensic scientists usually work with chemical and technological methods to analyse materials, organise evidence and work with different teams to share findings. 

Skills required for a career in forensic science: To work in forensic science, you’ll need a scientific degree like chemistry, biology or medical science, or a degree in forensic science. As the field is so competitive, it’s advantageous to have experience working in a laboratory before you apply. 

Games design 

From mobile to PC, console and AI platforms, games designers create fun for the player by using both technical and creative skills for smooth user experience.  

As a games designer, you may develop your own ideas into full digital experiences, or you may work on other people’s concepts to bring them to life. Whatever you work on, you’ll be involved in planning and developing everything from storyline and background to rules and restrictions, interaction, functionality and modes of play.  

Skills required for a career in games design: Computer and technology skills are ideal, though you don’t need to have a games design degree to become a games designer. An undergraduate degree in a STEM subject is helpful, plus evidence of an artistic flair.   

Geoscience 

Whether you ultimately choose to focus on geology or volcanology, environmental science, geochemistry or oceanography, a career in geoscience can take you across the world to explore some of the most impressive natural landscapes on the planet.  

Depending on which area of geoscience you choose, you’ll be involved in studying natural resources and understanding the impact humanity has on the earth and its ecosystems. You could work as a consultant or advisor, providing expertise on geological matters to decision makers.  

Skills required for a career in geoscience: To work in the field of geoscience, you’ll need to have a science degree, preferably in earth or environmental sciences, though a mathematics degree would also be helpful.   

AI and machine learning 

Robotic arm

AI and machine learning is a rapidly growing industry, with high demand for skilful graduates to take the technology into the future.  

As a machine learning engineer, you could work in data science, deep learning, robotics, AI ethics, AI research or even as an AI consultant. Whichever area you choose, you’ll be responsible for building the coding and algorithms that enable machines to act without direction.  

Machine learning engineers are problem solvers, working with various teams to understand the challenge at hand and find effective solutions.  

Skills required for a career in AI and machine learning: Universities are introducing specific AI and machine learning degrees to address the demand for graduates in the field, but there aren’t many yet. Skills in related STEM fields like computer science, technology, electrical engineering or mathematics are also valuable.  

Marine biology 

Marine biology helps us to understand life in our oceans and the impact that human life has on valuable ecosystems under the sea. A career in marine biology could take you across the world on field trips to explore the different ecosystems in any of our five oceans and 15 seas. 

You could work as a marine ecologist, fisheries biologist, environmental engineer, an oil spill response specialist, research scientist or a marine policy advisor, to name a few.  

Skills required for a career in marine biology: For a career in marine biology, you’ll need to study a science-related undergraduate degree before specialising in a marine-focused postgraduate programme. The key for getting into the field is to gain voluntary or paid experience with a marine-related company or organisation.  

Meteorology 

Meteorologist at a wind farm site

Meteorologists study the weather and climate, using data to forecast future weather patterns. Data and computer skills are essential to this industry, as meteorologists use specialised equipment in the field.  

In today’s climate emergency, meteorologists are increasingly important in predicting longer-term weather patterns to understand how global warming will impact cultures and ecosystems around the world.  

As a meteorologist, you could work with various organisations including the media and news broadcasting, shipping industries, aviation, armed forces and even government services.  

Skills required for a career in meteorology: For a career as a meteorologist, you’ll need mathematical and computing skills, and a scientific ability to write up complex data into easy-to-understand reports. 

UX design 

User experience (UX) design is about enhancing digital experiences to ensure easy and continued use of applications, websites and other digital spaces. As well as a UX designer, you could take a role as an information architect, usability tester or UX writer.  

UX designers work collaboratively with many other technical specialists and experts to create visually appealing and responsive products and services. You’ll likely work through the entire process from understanding client needs to creating wireframes to building innovative solutions.  

Skills required for a career in UX design: For a career in UX design, you will require some computer science, web design or media technology experience, with a degree in a related field.  

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