AN OVERVIEW OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS
We have all heard of STEM by now. We know that STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. We know that these fields of knowledge have given us many of the luxuries, technologies, and modern advancements that we take advantage of today. In 2017, we even know that careers with degrees in STEM education are rising and that employers in these fields of study are willing to pay employees well for the skills that they bring to the workplace.
Here is an overview of what STEM is:
Science is an unbelievably difficult word to define because it incorporates all things we associate with discovery, growth, physical reactions, and the way our world works in general. The simplest definition found at the Geology department of the University of Georgia’s website states: “Science is the concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the history of the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding. It is done through observation of natural phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate natural processes under controlled conditions.”>
In order to understand the many different aspects of our lives and the world around us in general, we conduct a variety of experiments, grow biological organisms, and complete detailed observations. If this is the sort of work that interests you, then you may wish to consider any of the following careers in the field of science:
- Health Care Professional
- Biologist (Microbiologist, Wildlife Biologist, or Marine Biologist, for example)
- Nuclear Physicist
- Food Scientist
- Science Teacher
The list of careers does not end there. For a complete list of all STEM education related degrees visit The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. You may find that there are careers that you have never heard of or would never have thought of as a science career before.
Every one of us has used technology in some way, shape, or form at least once in our lifetimes- you can certainly count using whatever piece of technology you are using to read this, for example. Technology has touched our lives in a variety of ways: it is now easier to communicate with others around the world, the medical testing that is done is more accurate now than years in the past, and our sources of entertainment have exponentially increased from the time we were born to now.
The Business Dictionary defines technology as “the purposeful application of information in the design, production, and utilization of goods and services, and in the organization of human activities.” Essentially, technology can be anything from the rocks that our ancestors shaped into wheels to the latest smartphone that has yet to be released. Technology is designed to either enhance our lives or to make our lives easier in some much-needed way.
If you love the idea of getting to work with technology, design technology, or explain technology, then you may find that a career in technology is perfect for you. These careers are growing in popularity and demand:
- Computer and Information Research Scientist
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Scientist
- Database Administrator
- Information Security Analyst
- Software Developer
- Website Designer
- Technology Design Specialist
- Multimedia Animator
- Robotics Animator
Employers in these fields are actively seeking to employ individuals. These careers pay well and let you design, test, and analyze the technologies that are the most important to you and your way of life.
Engineering is a complex area of study that actively incorporates many aspects of science, technology, and mathematics all at once. Each branch of engineering tends to have a focus on science, technology, or mathematics more so than the other two just because of the nature of the work that needs to be completed. Constructing a bridge that needs to be able to hold 3,000 vehicles at any given time is just a bit different than designing a new piece of medical technology that is light, flexible, and strong enough to support an individual with broken bones so that they may continue life as normal.
Oxford Dictionary defines Engineering as “the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures.” This is a short and vague representation of what Engineering actually is. You’ll find that there are multiple definitions that accurately describe the field of Engineering.
If you are the type of person that loves to complete complex tasks, use your love of science, mathematics, and technology all at once, and contribute to the betterment of society, then a career in Engineering sounds perfect for you. Here are just a few careers that may interest you:
- Software Engineer
- Biomedical Engineer
- Aerospace Engineer
- Nuclear Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Petroleum Engineer
Mathematics is the type of subject that many people seem to struggle with during school. Mathematics is not the easiest concept to visualize for all children and not all teachers are willing to employ a variety of techniques to teach it. Unfortunately, this usually helps to form a negative opinion of the subject and all that it could possibly stand for. Fortunately, mathematics can actually be quite a bit of fun. It is a stable career, a relevant career, and a career that can provide you with an income that others will envy.
Dictonary.com defines mathematics as “the study of numbers, equations, functions, and geometric shapes and their relationships.” This can mean anything and everything from the simple addition you do every morning when you calculate how many plates you need to get out for breakfast for the family to complex statistics and critical crime scene analysis.
A career in mathematics can be far more fun and rewarding than it can be boring or negative if it is given a fair chance. These careers prove that mathematics is just that:
- Math Teacher or Math Professor
- Market Research Analyst
- Mathematical Physicist
- Stock Broker
- Budget Analyst
- Quantitative Financial Market Analyst
- Cost Estimator
It is important to know what each field of study really focuses on so that you know exactly what you are getting into when you start thinking about entering into a lifelong career with a major in STEM education. Many people see the jobs that are available in science, but you may be surprised at how few know about the careers in the other subjects listed above. Hopefully you will be able to take the breakdown of each subject and feel just a bit more informed than you did previously.