Going Beyond Normal: 6 Most Unconventional STEM Careers

STEM careers
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STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is a realm where a degree in any one of these disciplines has become increasingly rewarding in modern times. The conventional perception of STEM careers has undergone a radical change as a consequence of the technological explosion that has taken place over the past few decades. These sectors are now vibrant and prospering, offering students an array of alternatives. There are many career options available for every field of study primarily an outcome of the global community’s ongoing scientific and technical breakthroughs. The allure of STEM careers for pursuance has gained a lot more appeal. Modern-day STEM careers do not necessarily demand conventional degrees such as engineering or mathematics. The traditional degree is no longer considered the be-all and end-all for career prospects.

Here are 6 unorthodox STEM careers that you can consider pursuing:

  • Augmented Reality Developer

Augmented Reality development presents an unconventional yet promising career path following a STEM degree. Graduates can create immersive and interactive experiences that blur the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds thanks to a position that combines competence in technology, computer science, and design with a creative and imaginative attitude. Developers of augmented reality (AR) as one uncommon STEM careers use their expertise in programming languages and cutting-edge technologies to produce interactive digital experiences that blend virtual and real-world components, including games, simulations, and apps. The career prognosis for AR developers is promising as more companies and organisations use AR technology to provide cutting-edge consumer experiences. As a result, the need for AR developers is anticipated to increase across a variety of sectors, including gaming, healthcare, education, and marketing. After earning a STEM degree, aspirant AR developers should have a strong background in computer science, programming languages like C++, Java, or Python, and 3D modelling and design software. In addition, success in the industry requires a thorough grasp of computer graphics and algorithms.

Various globally revered institutions offer the course, namely:

International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
University College London, UK
Stanford University, USA

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  • Digital Forensic Analyst

A STEM degree may be used to pursue a career in digital forensic analysis, which merges the subjects of computer science, forensic science, and law enforcement. It calls for a certain set of abilities that are uncommon in standard STEM professions. An expert who investigates and examines digital networks and devices to obtain data for legal proceedings or to stop cybercrime is known as a “digital forensic analyst.” They collaborate with government agencies, commercial businesses, and law enforcement to safeguard computer networks and look into online crimes. Data recovery from computers, cell phones, and other digital devices is done by experts in the field of digital forensic analysis. The job market for Digital Forensic Analysts is growing rapidly, as cybercrime continues to be a major threat to businesses and organizations. The demand for professionals who can investigate and prevent cybercrime is expected to increase in the coming years, leading to a promising job market for Digital Forensic Analysts.

Several Indian and international institutions that offer Digital Forensics courses include:
Indian Cyber Security Solutions, Kolkata
Manipal University, Karnataka
Dublin City University, Ireland
University of New South Wales, Australia

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  • Food Scientist

Food Science is considered an offbeat career option after a STEM degree because it involves a unique blend of various scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering applied to the study of food. This profession is not widely recognized and is not an ordinary option for STEM grads. An expert who studies food, its composition, and its behaviour scientifically is known as a food scientist. A degree in food science, nutrition, or a similar discipline is required to pursue a career as a food scientist after earning a STEM degree. They operate in the food business, R&D, academia, and government organisations to create new food items, enhance already-existing ones, and guarantee the security and calibre of the food supply. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics projects that employment of food scientists will increase by 6% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Due to the rising need for food safety and quality, the creation of new food items, and the expanding population, there will likely be a rise in the number of jobs available for food scientists in the upcoming years.

Courses in food science are available at a number of renowned Indian and international universities that include:
Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur
National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, India
University of Helsinki, Finland
Cornell University, USA

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  • Geochemist

A number of STEM students may be unaware of the plethora of unconventional career opportunities that lie beyond the more mainstream disciplines, such as engineering, medicine, or computer science. One such unconventional path is that of a Geochemist, who is a scientist skilled in analyzing the chemical composition of rocks, minerals, soil, and water, as well as the chemical reactions that occur in the Earth’s crust and oceans. They can explain geological processes including mineral creation, water movement through the Earth, and the impacts of human activity on the environment by using their expertise. Numerous job opportunities are available in the field of geochemistry in sectors like mining, petroleum, environmental consulting, and academia. In order to gather and analyse samples from the Earth’s surface, subsurface, and aquatic bodies, geochemists employ a variety of analytical equipment and procedures. Due to the rising need for climate change research, environmental protection, and natural resource management, the job market for geochemists in the future promises to be promising.

Globally acclaimed institutions offering this course are:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India
University of Calcutta
University of Tokyo, Japan
University of California, Berkeley, USA

  • Oceanographer

Oceanography is an interdisciplinary pursuit that blends elements of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and environmental science to scrutinize the oceans and their ecosystems. It provides the chance to engage in fieldwork, carry out cutting-edge research, and actively contribute to the preservation of marine species and protecting ocean health as a diverging career route following a STEM degree. Understanding the physical, chemical, biological, and geological characteristics of the ocean is the focus of the field of research known as oceanography. In order to understand how ocean currents, waves, tides, and the makeup and circulation of seawater behave, oceanographers use their expertise. Their diverse responsibilities include gathering oceanographic information and samples, processing and analysing the information and communicating their findings at conferences or in scientific journals. Oceanographers are responsible for finding solutions to issues with climate change, marine ecosystems, marine technologies, and natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis. Some oceanographers work as consultants or in the policy-making process.

The following highly regarded universities offering this course are:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
University of British Columbia, Canada
National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
Cochin University of Science and Technology, India

  • Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife biology is considered an offbeat career option after a STEM degree because it is a highly specialized field that requires a deep understanding of biology and ecology, as well as a passion for wildlife conservation. A specialist who analyses and maintains animal populations and their habitats is known as a wildlife biologist. They gather and examine data to comprehend the behaviour, range, and abundance of diverse species and seek to create plans for their management and protection. They frequently do field research, gather data, analyse it in the lab, and use statistical modelling in their work. The necessity for environmental impact analyses and biodiversity research, as well as growing conservation and sustainability-related issues, are the main drivers of this rise.

Many universities and colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs in this field for example:
Wildlife Institute of India
National Centre for Biological Sciences
Forest Research Institute, Dehradun
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
University of Cape Town, South Africa

Thus, the scope of STEM careers has recently undergone a significant transformation, opening the door for the development of alternative career paths. Technology’s constant advancement and the arrival of scientific discoveries give rise to new fields of study and commercial sectors, opening up a variety of career options for people with STEM degrees.


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