The Future Is Bright: 5 exciting jobs for kids with a great STEAM education
Teaching kids to code, take an interest in robotics, or be passionate about digital design might just be the key in helping them succeed in the future job market
Growing up, we are asked the same question over and over again: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
As kids, our answers are often based on what we see on television, on a favorite hobby, or a mirror of our parents’ careers. And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s one of life’s hardest questions, with a perplexing amount of factors to consider–our interests, advice from people who know us well, things we learn and excel at in school, and things we don’t excel at! And, of course, the changing global economic and labor market trends, which nowadays seem to be evolving faster than ever before.
Our education plays a big role in the career paths we will take, and as our parents know, it’s critical to have the best education possible to broaden opportunities for our future selves. But here’s the thing: there is a growing gap between current educational system and future available jobs. The World Economic Forum predicts that the fourth industrial revolution will lead to a five million job net loss in different developed and emerging markets by 2020. But it is not all bad news because there will be a boom in new industries like robotics, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The biggest issue, however, is that there are just not enough students graduating with right skills to fill these opportunities; our traditional education systems are failing to deliver the education and skills needed.
How do we fix the education gap? By focusing on the delivery of STEAM education and engaging new learning models like blended learning, flipped classrooms, and massive online open courses, that’s how! STEAM education is key with its emphasis on a holistic multidisciplinary and problem based approach to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math – all key for future industries and job opportunities. STEAM curriculums are fast being adopted in developed countries seeking to improve poorer than acceptable education outcomes. STEAM programs are effective partly because they challenge learners with open ended questions that are similar to real world problems with an emphasis on 21st century skills like coding, robotics, design process, problem solving, collaboration and innovation – as opposed to compartmentalizing these subjects and memorizing concepts the old school way.
The booming tech industry is renowned for luring our brightest graduates. Interesting jobs, upward career paths, and cool company perks–from wear-whatever-you-want policy to free coffee and donuts all day, plus big fat pay checks are all great incentives. And an even bigger draw is that these companies are innovative, and often the birthplace of new ideas that will rock the future. Pretty exciting, huh!?
And it’s not just technology giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter that bring exciting opportunities, there are many more future opportunities for interesting, well paid jobs as we see many existing and new industries evolve at what some consider breakneck speeds.
Here’s our list of jobs that we think are pretty cool for STEAM education graduates!
We all know what or who Siri is. While the artificial intelligence for Apple products has been very helpful to our daily lives, AIs and robots are due for some major breakthroughs in the next couple of years, which is why this career promises endless opportunities. And if you really excel and are lucky, you might even be the voice for the next big AI!
If your heart is with helping the poor and finding cure for the sick, consider becoming a nano-medic. Nano-medicine uses sub-atomic treatments to improve healthcare and find cure for serious diseases. You may have the chance to discover the cure for AIDS, and Alzheimer’s, or improve cancer treatment, or make other amazing breakthroughs for humanity.
Virtual Reality Designers
Virtual reality looks cool and fun when used for games and movies, but it is more than that. In five to ten years, virtual reality will be a big part of our everyday experience and there will be huge opportunities for designers of virtual goods, from houses and furniture to virtual personal companions. There are already plenty of examples of virtual economies from Half Life and Roblox, to designing for virtual reality simulation games like Project Cars. Checkout this amazing link to an artist’s impression of future VR and hyper reality.
Space pilots, tour guides, and architects
Travel the world? Why not aim for the stars? Fasten your seat belts as space tourism will become very accessible in the near future. These jobs are already available for space explorations and there are a lot of institutions that offer programs related to this, but once space tourism materializes, there will an upsurge in careers in this industry. Space X and Virgin Galactic are already testing sub orbital space tourism, with plans to commercialize their endeavors soon and even build space resorts!
Mobile app and game developers
Who doesn’t have a game on their smart phone? Mobile apps are our daily tools nowadays–Gmail to answer work emails, Spotify for your music, Instagram as your photo album, the game-of-the-month to kill your boredom while stuck in traffic, and even a dating app for your social life. App developers are already some of the highest paid professionals; plus, you get to create really cool stuff that people love.
Some cool stuff, huh? A great STEAM education is key to future job opportunities like these, and other just as interesting career paths, for example: cyber security engineer, virtual goods designer, drone programmers, brain therapist, digital entrepreneur, or a career in 3D printing to name a few.
Today, we are at the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is poised to change the current employment landscape to a such a degree that it will cause significant disruption. For our kids, knowing what future jobs will look like, is an important insight that will allow us to help them invest in a range of activities and interests to support future academic pursuits and career opportunity, and eventually, succeed in life. So whether its kids coding camps, robotic clubs, or design school, encourage your kids to get into a STEAM program and learn some important future skills.