Careers in Technology and Science

By Julian, Charles | Children's Technology and Engineering, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Careers in Technology and Science


Julian, Charles, Children's Technology and Engineering


Technology is fantastic! But what are its impacts on us and the environment? How can we assure that our lifestyles are not harming us in the long run? Our recent concern for global environmental health has raised the level of need for scientists who study the impacts we have on our surroundings and offer guidance for our choices. Demand for skills in the environmental and medical science fields is expected to grow at least as fast as the average occupation, in some cases much faster. With globally increasing populations, demand for energy, and fossil fuel contaminants, scientists specializing in environmental and medical fields are needed to explore renewable energy sources resource depletion, atmospheric deterioration, and organism well-being. As you will see, occupations that rely on science experts are manifold. The bread that we eat; the beverages that we drink; the paint that is used to coat our cars and homes, and the materials that we use to build with and clothe ourselves are all influenced in their development by scientists. In many of the examples mentioned above, there is a need to insure that these products are safe for humans to be around and use. The explosion of chemicals that have entered our environment is startling. Scientists test these compounds to make sure that they are safe and won't create long-term problems for humans and other creatures.

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Scientists perform this work in a wide variety of settings. Their work can take place in a laboratory, out in the environment (field work), in clinical settings, or at industrial and management sites. Scientists engage in both basic research and applied research. Basic research is undertaken to gain meaning and understanding of a particular event or phenomenon. Basic research occurs out of curiosity and our fundamental need to explore. Applied research often results in commercial products and solutions to real-world problems. What a great opportunity it would be to become part of the team that researches the steps necessary to keep the planet and biological population healthy! Some of those fields include environmental scientists, hydrologists, geoscientists, medical scientists, biochemists and biophysicists, atmospheric scientists, physicists, and biological scientists.

Environmental scientists research topics relating to natural resources, plants, animals, and humans. Their findings can be used to spread awareness about pollution and ways of preventing it. They identify problems and find solutions that minimize hazards to the health of the environment and the population. Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Heightened public interests in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists. By 2016, the number of new jobs is expected to rise to 21,000, with yearly salaries of $56,100.

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Hydrologists study bodies of water and rainfall throughout the world, including the water cycle. Their research helps other scientists, governments, and businesses understand what pollutants are affecting the water supply. Population growth and environmental concerns are expected to increase demand for hydrologists. Employment of hydrologists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Average yearly salary is about $66,260.

Geoscientists (except hydrologists and geographers) study the characteristics of the Earth to understand its origins and how it has evolved.

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