Five Growing STEM Careers Your Teen Could Explore

By Huntington Learning Center

As your teen is thinking ahead to college and beyond, it’s important to start having conversations about careers that might be of interest. And while you certainly want your teen to follow their passions and strengths, there’s a lot of value in choosing a stable path that is in demand and projected to continue growing after your teen will enter the workforce.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers have experienced above-average growth in the past decade – double the growth rate of non-STEM careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Computer occupations and engineer occupations were among the types of STEM jobs that have grown the most, per a 2017 report, STEM Occupations: Past, Present and Future, but there are lots of other excellent choices for students who are strong in subjects such as math, science, computers, and technology.

Encourage your teen to check out these growing occupations when thinking about possible college majors:

  1. Statisticians – Number lovers can do the math and easily see the pros of a career as a statistician. It made the BLS’s recent top 20 fastest-growing occupations list (occupations with the highest projected change of employment between 2019 and 2029), boasting a whopping 33% growth rate – much faster than average. Median pay is $92,030. If your teen loves math, analyzing data, and applying statistics to solve problems, they should consider this field and a major in mathematics or statistics. Typical entry level does require a master’s degree.
  2. Actuaries – Actuaries often work for insurance companies, studying and calculating the possibility of risk for floods, fires, unemployment, or death, for example, to help those companies issue policies to individuals or businesses. It’s a great career for someone who is inquisitive and enjoys math and research. Great news if this is your teen: this career is projected to grow 18% between 2019 and 2028 and has a median pay of $108,350.
  3. Software Developers – Loving computers might make software development appealing right off the bat, but students who enjoy problem-solving and are the first to embrace new technology the second it hits the market make great computer science/programming majors – and later, software developers. Your teen could build the next great app or program life-changing machinery for the healthcare or military industry. Another fast-growing occupation, the outlook for software developers is strong: a 22% growth rate 2019-2029. Median pay is $107,510, and your teen could start in this field with a bachelor’s degree.
  4. Epidemiologist – If your teen loves the idea of working in the health care field on the research side of things, epidemiology might be worth a look. Your teen might start out getting a bachelor’s degree in public health or epidemiology and go on to earn a Master of Public Health. Job-wise, your teen might study infectious diseases, work for a federal agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or work for a public health system or hospital system. Job growth is projected at 5% between 2019 and 2029, and median pay is $70,990.
  5. Biomedical Engineers – That revolutionary medical equipment that saves lives? Those artificial joints that improve the lives of people with failing hips and knees? Those were designed and tested by biomedical engineers. Your teen could get a foot in the door of this great career by earning a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering. The career is expected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, and median pay is $91,410.

This is a small sample of the careers that might pique your teen’s interest. Rest assured, if your teen likes STEM subjects, is a critical thinker, and enjoys solving challenges, there are many excellent options available.

They don’t need to decide now, of course. Most important is to focus on doing well in high school (and the STEM-related subjects) and staying on track for college. If your teen wants to keep that GPA high in anticipation of applying to college soon, Huntington is always here to help. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to discover our tutoring and test prep programs for college-bound students.

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