Negosentro | Thriving Career Paths for Women in STEM | STEM professionals are high in demand. Opportunities are rising fast, and experts predict that millions of jobs will remain unfilled due to a shortage of skilled workers. If you have the right education or experience, there’s a good chance you can break into this lucrative field and fast — no matter your gender.
While women have historically been excluded from STEM careers, making up just 8% of STEM workers in the U.S. in 1970, representation is growing across all occupations. Women in STEM are breaking barriers every single day.
Here are just five of many thriving career paths for women in STEM and how women are changing the diversity landscape in each field. Keep reading if you’re interested in finding a lucrative profession in science, technology, math, or engineering.
1. Software Developer
The field of software development has more job openings than any other career in STEM. With the use of digital apps rising, opportunities (and salaries) are increasing, too. Professionals who take on this role currently make an average of $110,140 per year and only need a bachelor’s degree to get started.
Women software developers are proving to be crucial players in the field. Not only are they helping fill in a significant amount of career openings, but they’re also bringing new perspectives and helping reduce the pervasive biases in tech.
Aiding the growth of women in software development is the level of accessibility. Many gigs in this field are remote careers that empower aspiring women in rural areas, stay-at-home mothers, and more to pursue the career path — and even create their own businesses.
2. Environmental Scientist
Environmental science may not be the fastest-growing STEM field, but it’s one of three STEM fields that are seeing the strongest growth among women. Women leaders are behind some of the most influential research, movements, policies, and more in the field.
Despite the existence of a gender pay gap, women in the environmental sciences still make an average of over $74,000 per year, which is significantly higher than the average U.S. salary. If you’re passionate about sustainability and have strong research skills, this is a lucrative opportunity to get involved in the sciences.
Though healthcare isn’t always regarded as a STEM field, professionals in this industry are often heavily trained in various sciences — and a growing percentage of them are women. With more women enrolled in medical schools than men, women physicians are expected to create greater balance in the workforce and remedy future physician shortages.
With greater physician diversity, healthcare practices also become more competent at treating diverse populations
Women can take a variety of career paths as physicians — the salaries involved are highly attractive, too. Five of the highest-paying opportunities for physicians, in which average earnings are still increasing, are in:
- Orthopedics: $511,000
- Plastic surgery: $479,000
- Cardiology: $438,000
- Radiology: $427,000
- Gastroenterology: $419,000
As long as you’re prepared for around 10 years of education, a career as a physician can truly pay off. All the while, you can break barriers for future women in STEM.
4. Civil Engineer
Civil engineering is currently the STEM field with the lowest percentage of women compared to men. But this means there are more opportunities for you to make a strong impact within the field. Women can provide fresh perspectives that can transform the world’s infrastructure, and fill shortages in civil engineering.
Choosing a career in engineering gives women a chance to express their creativity, establish financial security, and even pursue other paths in the future if civil engineering doesn’t pan out. Civil engineers make an average of $88,570 per year in the United States.
While the lack of diversity and support in the field have turned many women away from civil engineering in the past, pursuing this career is much easier now than ever. To encourage more women to enter and stay in the industry, many organizations now offer career development and financial resources to employees to foster both education and diversity.
5. Operations Research Analyst
If you’re more interested in a highly mathematical career than a job in science, tech, or engineering, consider becoming an operations research analyst. This career allows you to use data, stats, and critical thinking to help businesses and government agencies solve problems.
Women in this STEM career are gaining traction in this growing field. The average return on investment for degree earners in this field is one of the highest at 230%.
Entering this career can be rewarding beyond the salary, too. For example, some operations research analysts objectively use data to showcase the benefits of a diverse workforce and help recommend opportunities to benefit both businesses and diverse employees.
Start Your Path in STEM
Becoming a STEM professional allows you to change the world — and literally save lives — while breaking barriers for women around the world.
Due to the growing demand for skilled workers, women are greatly needed in STEM to reduce labor shortages. This demand makes STEM careers lucrative for those who want to join.
Whether you want to become a software developer, physician, or something else, male-dominated STEM fields can always use a fresh perspective, too.