Scientists and engineers work in some of the most exciting jobs around. From astrophysicists to nuclear technicians, people in these careers might work with cutting-edge technology, or discover new ways of seeing the world.
So, just what are Science and Engineering all about? Basically, scientists study and predict the natural world, and engineers use that knowledge for practical purposes.
You may have heard that Science and Engineering are good fields to get into. After all, they are the “S” and the “E” in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But why is there so much hype about studying STEM fields?
Well, it’s mostly because there is a high demand for workers in these jobs, and these careers tend to pay very well. That means that graduates of STEM programs usually get a good return on investment for their college education.
But these jobs also attract students because they let you learn interesting things and work on projects that are just plain cool. Sound interesting? Read on to learn more about the exciting careers that could await you in Science and Engineering, or check out the College Choice Science & Technology homepage.
Fields of Study
If you are interested in studying living things, from amoebas to human beings, you might enjoy choosing a specialty in life sciences. In this field, you could study animals as a zoologist, or focus on genetics to learn the causes of inherited diseases.
On the other hand, if you choose to study the physical sciences, you would study non-living objects and systems. You could study the properties of matter and motion as a physicist, or explore the universe beyond the earth as an astronomer.
Would you like to study the oceans, the air, ecosystems, or even the chemical composition of the earth itself? You could study climate change, natural disasters, or ecosystems if you go into earth sciences.
Engineers can specialize in areas like chemical, civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering. What they all have in common is that they apply scientific knowledge and processes to finding solutions to problems – or to imagining new ways to use scientific knowledge.
As an engineer, your work can have a huge impact in the world. For example, engineers have developed water pipelines that can bend during an earthquake, so that cities like Los Angeles can replacing their old, rigid pipes with these new ones that won’t snap under stress.
Benefits of Studying Science and Engineering
Science and Engineering are rewarding fields for people who are naturally curious and analytical. If this is the way your mind works, this could be a career path with a high level of job satisfaction.
But aside from the meaningful work, the employment outlook is also strong for these careers. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the demand for workers in Science and Engineering will increase seven to ten percent by 2026.
And you can expect higher-than-average starting salaries in these careers. In 2017, the average starting salary for all college graduates was just under $50,000, according to Money, while STEM grads tended to command starting salaries of above $60,000 per year.
Flexible career options are another benefit of studying Science and Engineering. Aside from the huge array of possible specializations, you could also go on to work in a variety of different settings and job roles. You could work in academia, teaching and doing research, or you could work for a large corporation, developing the next world-changing technology (flying cars, anyone?).