Wondering what careers students can get with different majors? Physics, math, computer science, and chemistry all offer stable and engaging future career paths.
As teachers of many different subject areas, it is difficult to be an expert in the career options of every field our students may be interested in. Thankfully, the website What Can I Do With This Major provides an overview of several college majors and their different descriptions, specializations, and potential employers. Physics, computer science, math, and chemistry are all essential career fields with fulfilling work and, as such, it is vital we provide our students with an overview of these options of study.
For those of us who are not experts in STEM areas of study, the field of physics may seem abstract and intimidating; so, let’s break it down. There are twelve major areas of study in physics, including acoustical, astrophysics, biophysics, chemical, condensed matter, engineering, geophysics, medical, nuclear, optical, particle/high energy, and science education. All of these areas have career options in colleges, the government, and in industry.
As you can see, there is a wide selection of physics-related areas of study depending on what your student is interested in. Is your student fascinated with how sound waves work? Acoustical physics might be for them. Does your student want to learn more about the structure of atoms and molecules? Discuss the degree option of chemical physics with them. All physics degrees are heavily based in math and science, so ensure that students are equipped with this knowledge.
Are any of your students fascinated with discovering how computers work? Do they crave to understand the inner workings of the internet and networks? If so, give them a nudge in the direction of a computer science degree. Computer science is needed everywhere by everyone not only in the United States, but across the globe. Technology becomes more ingrained into our lives daily, making expertise in computer science a hot commodity.
There are several degree paths within computer science including programming, systems development, network technology, database administration, technical support, and education. If you have a student that is tech-savvy and always seems to have the solution to any electronic malfunctions, discuss with them the options they have through a computer science degree.
The uses of a math degree are not understood by many. People often don’t know what jobs a mathematician can get. Job titles such as “computational scientist” are a bit confusing to those who aren’t a mathematician themselves, so let’s unpack this job title. A computational/mathematics scientist utilizes numerical formulas to solve complex problems that come up in engineering and physical science. If you have students who love to think abstractly and find solutions to conceptual issues, becoming a computational scientist might interest them. Other areas of study in mathematics include education, computers, finance, and even insurance, so there are several options for students who want to pursue this field.
Chemistry is all about studying and creating formulations ranging from makeup items and cleaners to life-saving medications. All of the products we see on store shelves have been created, tested, and produced in a lab. If you have any students who love to work with their hands, create, and think scientifically, then chemistry may be for them. There are several job options for chemistry majors. Chemistry has degree paths in agriculture, analytical, biochemistry, chemical engineering, geochemistry, and organic. If your student wants to work with the earth, tell them about geochemistry and agriculture chemistry. If they would rather be inventing and testing products, tell them about organic chemistry.
Equipping our Students
Overall, we want our students to pursue what they are passionate about, and if that is a STEM-related field, it is important we educate them about their options. Becoming a STEM major has obstacles, especially for children who are first-generation college students or who come from marginalized communities. Students facing these hardships don’t need to also struggle with a lack of information about potential careers and majors. Equipping our students with the knowledge they need about their different options is the first step in easing some of this adversity. Knowledge is power, so let’s get our students excited with information that will empower them to make major future decisions.