STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is relevant in all most every job out there. The term is used when these four subjects are studied or used together, supporting one another.
The demand for STEM careers has never been so high, and it will continue to increase during the upcoming years too. STEM subjects are important because of our dependency on technology which is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives- science is everywhere in the world around us. STEM subjects are needed to deal with changes in society, such as technological advancements and the internet of thing.
Employers really value the skills you develop in STEM subjects and careers. Why? Because there are going to be more skilled jobs available in these areas in the future and people will be needed to do those jobs. Being creative is also important, and to be innovative in solving workplace challenges.
In Cumbria, STEM skills are vital as advanced manufacturing, construction and nuclear and clean energy are all growth sectors. A recent study by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills shows that 43% of vacancies in STEM roles in Cumbria are hard to fill due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills.
What kind of jobs exactly?
Some really exciting ones! For some, the first job ideas that spring to mind when thinking of 'STEM careers', are: engineers, technicians, scientists or roles in medicine. However, there are countless STEM careers out there, that you've probably never heard of.
A STEM career could have you being responsible for:
• Inventing a new low carbon transport system
• Curing an illness or disease
• Creating the biggest videogame of all time
• Building the tallest tower in the world.
In this blog we've listed some unusual STEM careers, that don't even sound like real jobs!
Certified Ethical Hacker
When you think of hackers, you probably picture a shadowy figure in a dark hoodie, sat behind a computer stealing data for ransom and wreaking havoc with major government systems, but not all hackers are cyber criminals. Ethical Hackers are employed to purposefully hack various programs, so that vulnerabilities can be identified and corrected before someone with more sinister intentions stumble across them.
The role of a cost estimator is to gather and analyse data in order to estimate the amount of materials, money, time and labour required to manufacture a product, construct a building or provide a service. Cost estimators need to have good mathematician and communication skills as well as logical thinking abilities.
Video Game Tester
Video game testers generally work with video game developers often in close connection with programmers and other technical members of the development team. Their role is to play computer games to check that they work, to identify find problems or 'bugs' and to assess overall quality.
Wave Power Engineer
Wave Power Engineers harness the power of sea movement to create energy, this includes installing, maintaining and repairing systems that generate renewable energy from the sea. This is a growing area of renewable energy production in the UK and so the number of opportunities is increasing. As an island, the UK has plenty of places where this could be applied!
Machine Learning Engineer
A specific branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses big data to create complex algorithms to programme a machine (such as a self-driving car or digital voice assistant) to perform and carry out tasks like a human.
Machine Learning Engineers design and create AI algorithms capable of learning and making predictions that define machine learning. They typically works as part of a larger data science team and will communicate with data scientists, administrators, data analysts, data engineers and data architects.
LEGO Master Builder
This job utilises engineering skills, as well as creative design talents too. A LEGO master builder, or LEGO designer is tasked with coming up with original and innovating ideas for LEGO sets, while simultaneously making sure that they work as actual structures! It's a competitive career, with few openings , however with an impressive creative talent, an eye for detail, and a lot of enthusiasm, there's no reason why you couldn't aim for it!