From building artificial organs to tackling climate change, STEM is at the core of so many exciting and important careers. We look at five amazing things you can do with STEM and how your choice of electives can help set you on the right path while you’re still at school.
With STEM you can…
1. Solve global problems
We’re facing major global challenges right now, including climate change and COVID-19. But with STEM, you can help.
There are stacks of global warming careers that are making a difference to our planet’s health. You could become a renewable energy engineer, a conservation scientist, or a meteorologist.
If you want to kick COVID and other infectious diseases to the curb, think about epidemiology (investigating the cause and spread of diseases) or vaccine research. Be inspired by the CSIRO scientists with the skills to fight COVID-10 here.
Wanna save the world? These electives will give you a head start:
- Earth and Environmental Science
2. Develop healthy communities
So many health careers have a solid base in STEM. You might want to work in food or exercise science, build artificial organs, or even treat mental health issues with virtual reality (VR).
Or you could work in computational modelling like CSIRO senior research scientist, Dr Vu Nguyen. He saves lives with surgical implants and even makes wearable tech to cure sleep apnoea!
Keen to jump on a STEM + health path? Choose electives like:
- Health and Human Development
3. Build a smarter future
Engineers are at the forefront of creating more sustainable societies, using artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to get the job done.
If designing driverless cars or robotic farm tech sounds like a fun 9-5 to you, get across these electives:
- Engineering Studies
- Design and Technology
- Information Processes and Technology
- Software Design and Development
4. Work in space
You don’t actually have to leave Earth to work in space – make your mark on the cosmos as a robotics engineer, an astronomer or an avionics technician.
Dr Sarah Pearce has an incredible space career. She’s the director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science and responsible for CSIRO’s engagement on the Square Kilometre Array project, which aims to build the world’s largest radio telescope!
If space is on your radar, you’ll need these electives:
- Engineering Studies
5. Be creative
Love the arts? STEM is still for you!
If English is your best subject, mix it with science and become a science communicator. Torn between engineering and art? Combining them will give you an edge as an engineer with next level design skills.
As for electives, choose the creative ones you love and think about which STEM ones could complement them and lead to cool career paths.
This article was brought to you in partnership with CSIRO.
If you’re not sure about your future career and want to explore different STEM career options, visit www.csiro.au/WithSTEMYouCan to hear from real-world STEM Professionals sharing their career achievements. You may just find inspiration for your future STEM career.
Author: Louise Meers
Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.