It’s no secret that with the rise in technology and medical advances, as well as our current global situation, science and medical career opportunities are booming. Hospitals and health related facilities were already understaffed before they were overrun by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it turned our world upside down. And while the pandemic has the potential to end soon, the high demand to work in the fields of science and medicine will last for years to come.
Going into science or medicine doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a doctor. Maybe your child has a keen interest in aerospace technology or nutrition, or perhaps they’d like a career in a lab or data science. Children of all ages have at least some idea of what kind of career they want, but it’s up to us to help them to explore their options and narrow down their sights. If you have a child who has shown interest in taking the career STEM path, here are some ways to foster that passion and encourage them to invest in the long but rewarding road ahead.
Some kids naturally have a unique specialty and admiration for math and science. It’s never too early to fuel this passion with activities that fit their appropriate age range. Look for camps in their related field of interest, whether it’s biotechnology or genetics or anything else, check out books from the library, or try DIY science experiments or math activities from home.
Encourage your child to work hard and aim for the best grades and study skills they can achieve. Although there are many options available and surely more to come, careers in the STEM field are very popular and highly competitive. By instilling the drive to do their best, you will give them an important set of skills that will help carry them through the rigorous graduate program they will inevitably need to lead them down their career path of choice. If your child may need to rely on scholarships, the earlier you encourage hard work, the easier it will be for them to win them and keep up the grades they need to continue their scholarships while they’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or any other academic level of study.
If you have the ability to do so, take your child to visit a college campus. Allow them to meet professionals in their field of choice, such as biochemist, biophysicists, and biotechnologists. If your high school child is comfortable doing so, encourage them to apply for internships for volunteer hours or ask if they would like to shadow a few professionals in the fields of science or medicine. These sneak peeks could offer valuable insights into these unique career choices in a more hands-on and realistic way than studying in a classroom or looking at a brochure.
To best assist your child to work towards their dreams consider the help of a tutor so that they continuously keep their grades up in subjects that may become challenging. For example, math class is a common struggle for my young students. Make sure your child is prepared for their career in the STEM field by building a confident backbone through tutoring in this subject. However, tutoring services like Kumon math are sometimes not the type of tutoring that some students require. Opt for a different tutoring service than one that uses the Kumon method. Unlike the Kumon program, HelloThinkster provides one-on-one tutoring and flexible plans based on the school curriculum. With a great math tutor, even if it’s a virtual class, your child will be well prepared for their career in the STEM field.
Though your child isn’t heading off to a doctoral program right away, you should still understand the different career options available to them. Careers in the STEM field vary depending on what interests your child has. They may express interest in biological sciences, organic chemistry, calculus, nutrition, engineering, or medical programs. What’s important is that their desires and passion are at the heart of the career they pursue. If your child is interested in life sciences, they should look into medical programs. By pursuing a program in medicine they can explore occupations like nursing, physician’s assistant, or medical assistant programs. Due to the current pandemic, virtual classes might be a good first step into their careers so that they set their own pace throughout their career path.
If your child is struggling to dedicate their time to a specific career path, present them with more specific information. These new concepts and details might help solidify their decisions. For example, help them research different careers in the STEM field. Encourage them to read more about the specialization they’re interested in. If they’re thinking of becoming a biotechnologist make sure that they understand the step by step guide to this route in the biotechnology industry. Or, if they’re into human health, encourage them to shadow other entry-level jobs in the health field so that they get a feel for the career they desire most. In turn, your child will be excited and prepared to enter the medical field with confidence and clarity for their journey ahead.