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February 28, 2017

3 Emerging STEM Careers in a Tech-Crazed World

Image courtesy of (noomhh) /

Just 30 years ago, the thought of driverless cars, hoverboards and robots typically came from the plot of a sci-fi movie.

Today, that’s a different story. Thanks to the likes of Google, Apple and other tech visionaries, many of these far-fetched products have leapt from the big screen right into our homes.

However, with this much innovation comes great demand for skilled professionals who can understand, manage and optimize emerging technology. Let’s take a look at three rising career paths in a modern technological world.

Virtual Reality 

With the help of Oculus Rift, the VR phenomenon is quickly going mainstream. It’s filtering into consumer electronics, software applications and all industries ranging from tourism to real estate. For example, realtors can use VR to show a client dozens of new homes without the client ever having to leave the comfort of his/her own couch. And that’s just the beginning.

VR capabilities have improved significantly with faster computer processors and graphic speeds — that means companies need more skilled employees to manage the computing platform. In the VR industry, the hottest jobs on the market include backend system developers, user experience staff and software engineers. Although it’s still a developing field, Goldman Sachs predicts that VR will generate $80 billion by 2025.

Technical visionaries and product creators will help lead VR out of infancy, but the growth of the industry will require visionary and leadership roles as well. To launch a thriving career in VR, a background in engineering, computer programming or game development is essential.


The Internet of Things (IoT) and big data are everywhere. From Siri and Alexa to Smart home appliances and medical devices, the IoT has become deeply ingrained in many aspects of our lives. Consider Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, which makes grocery shopping a breeze by giving owners a real-time look into their fridge using a camera app. Billions of similar smart, interconnected devices are reshaping — and even creating — new industries, enhancing customer experiences and improving everyday functions.

The IoT is simultaneously increasing data creation and the need for skilled professionals to make sense of it all. As a result, data scientists and Web developer engineers are two of the top trending roles within the IoT realm. Data scientists build the backend algorithms and interpret data, while Web developer engineers create the customer-facing applications. Together, these specialties are part of a challenging but lucrative industry, one that is predicted to generate $357 billion by 2019.

In the coming years, the IoT will filter down to most major consumer and industrial manufacturers, opening the path to more business-centric careers. In the meantime, operating within the IoT requires education and experience in engineering, software development or IT.

Cloud Computing

If you’ve ever streamed music from Spotify or opened up a Google Doc, then cloud computing is probably a familiar term. As the basis of modern data storage, cloud computing eliminates the need to buy new hardware, increases computer processing speed and makes data backup easier and less expensive.

Despite the cloud’s obvious benefits, the idea of storing secure information over the Internet is still frightening to many users. As a result, more skilled professionals are needed to mitigate these safety concerns and secure the data, particularly as more companies transition to the cloud. The job opportunities are extensive; some up-and-coming careers include cloud administrators, cloud architects and cloud software engineers. Most companies seek professionals with a background in IT security, computer science or engineering. 
The tech revolution is nowhere near to slowing down. If the last five years have shown us anything, it’s that there are even bigger, better and more innovative things in store.


With an 18-year background in higher education, Scott Rhodes leads enrollment and recruitment strategies for Florida’s newest university. By applying new and evolving technologies to enrollment efforts, Rhodes identifies and connects with the most talented STEM high school students who show enormous potential for future STEM careers.