STEM + X

Career Goals

By Laura Boness

Land a unique job by combining your skills with your passion.

Becoming a lab scientist or a mathematician could lead you to find a cure for cancer or discover a new galaxy. And by studying engineering or technology, you could create the next generation of smartphone or maybe your own personal robot. But even if studying straight science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects isn’t for you, there’s a growing number of exciting careers that require these skills.

By combining STEM skills with your interests, you can set yourself up for some of the most amazing and in-demand careers, or create an entirely new career.

Research shows that an estimated 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEM knowledge and skills. According to a US survey by Career Cast, the top 10 jobs for 2015 were: computer systems analyst, occupational therapist, software engineer, dental hygienist, data scientist, biomedical engineer, statistician, mathematician, audiologist and actuary (mathematical problem solver and strategist).

Many of the industries where STEM skills are required, such as data science and engineering, are also evolving in response to the changing needs of society. This means we don’t really know what the jobs of the future will be. If you combine your passion and skills with STEM, you’re likely to be highly employable.

Maddalena Gabrielli, a sustainability engineer at the Brisbane Airport Corporation and a recent graduate from the University of Queensland, says employers favour flexibility, open-mindedness and skills that have been developed outside of study.

“They’re looking for people with life experience, who’ve travelled, learned a language or done other interesting things.”

Maddalena went on exchange in France, as part of her combined Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering, after realising that she also wanted to travel and learn languages.

She studied for two years at the École Centrale Paris, as part of the Top Industrial Managers for Europe exchange program – a network of more than 50 engineering schools, facilities and technical universities where students spend two years at a partner university.

“You have to constantly grow and develop yourself. My advice is to find other interests outside of study and work – and go on exchange because it’s awesome!”

Job ads and employer surveys often mention the importance of communication skills, as well as initiative, energy and the ability to work in a team.

Maddalena says networking is one of the most important skills in building her career. “Talk to everyone around you and take an interest in what they have to say. Because when you’re new, you can guarantee that everyone around you has something valuable they can teach you.”

Combine skills and passion

“My advice is to find other interests outside of study and work – and go on exchange because it’s awesome!”

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

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