Over the last decade STEM related career fields have become recognised as essential to the growth of a competitive global economy, forming the foundations of many of the most innovative companies. Moving forward, it’s expected traditional non-tech industries will come to rely more heavily on professionals with STEM skills, as technology continues to be integrated with more aspects of life and business.
The great thing about a career in STEM is that it's so varied you'll find something for everyone. What ties all STEM fields together is the focus on solving problems and creating knew knowledge. Many current STEM professions didn’t even exist ten years ago and in another ten years from now there will almost certainly be jobs we can’t even imagine now.
What you’ll get out of a STEM career
You learn transferable skills - the core focus on both a high level of technical skill and a rigorous approach to problem-solving remains the same in all STEM fields. Maths, science and programming are universal languages that enable teams from around the world to collaborate on difficult problems, allowing you to have a truly global career.
You get to live and work on the cutting edge - STEM professionals such as software developers, roboticists, computer scientists are evolving our understanding of what’s and are building the future.
Job security - no job is completely secure, but because of growing demand, professionals working in STEM fields are less likely to be unemployed. Most students graduating with STEM degrees find themselves immediately employed or have the skills to be freelance consultants.
Career focus - Mobile App Developer
One of the IT industry’s most popular job titles today is Mobile App Developer. These days, it seems we live on our smartphones, constantly checking our social media profiles and swiping between apps that keep us entertained or make our daily lives easier. Apps can be used for just about anything.
Behind every single app are teams of people who work as app developers and designers. Depending on which route a developer goes down, they can either focus on the user experience and the outward design or be part of writing the underlying code. There are so many different types of apps to work on — games, social media, finance, music, entertainment — which makes this a really varied career.
If you’re the creative type, a digital design course is a great way to bridge the gap between your interests in art & technology and this can help prepare you for a career in front-end web development, user experience, user interface design, application design, and more. Whether your passion is user experience or video game design, digital design offers a creative twist on mobile app development.
Most employers look for employees with at least a degree in mobile application development, software engineering, or computer science. Related fields of study, like digital design, can also be a route into a successful application development career.
All the acronyms
Formal training will provide you with the skills you need to get started in the industry, including knowledge of popular programming languages like C++, Java, SQL, and iOS, to name a few. You’ll also need to master basic programming concepts, including an understanding of the software development process and lifecycle, development methodology, and principles of stable software design.
Applications software can be written for a particular operating system, such as Android, iOS or Windows. App developers typically specialize in a specific development area, such as mobile phone applications, graphics software, accounting software, or office suites.
What other skills do you need?
As well as having the technical skills to be able to do the job there are other qualities that contribute to being a successful developer:
Analytical skills - recognising the needs of customers, and creating new applications that meet those needs
Communication - clearly communicating ideas to coders, teammates and management
Creativity - inventing new ways of handling problems and developing innovative applications
Customer service - dealing directly with clients and customers, having excellent customer service skills to answer questions and fix issues
Attention to detail - having all parts of applications working together for the application to function
Problem solving - making decisions that move the project forward
Teamwork - as part of a large team of developers, working well with others
So, what next?
The world of technology is an open door with endless career opportunities for everyone. They key thing to do now is to think about where your interests might slot into one of the many options. Then, consider which skills you might need to have in your career toolkit – which school subjects and university courses are going to help shape your skills and give you the experience and knowledge required. Or, if you're thinking about changing careers there are lots of online resources to help guide you. It's always a good idea to connect with women already in the field, through reading their blogs, following them on social media or connecting on platforms like LinkedIn.
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From 13 October 2020 check out our resources over on the Ada.Scot website.
The information contained in this article does not constitute business advice and should not be acted on as such. This content is based on our understanding in October 2020. Head Resourcing are not liable for the information contained on any third-party websites linked to this article.