Career, Features, Stem

Careers in STEM: Five Career Paths African Women can Venture in.

STEM careers are those that require science, technology, engineering and math knowledge. And these are usually sought by employers and can take you into careers such as Video Game Design, Civil Engineering, Computer Programming, Architectural Designing and more. It is important for more women to venture in STEM careers fields because it brings a wide range of diversity to research. New ideas and intelligence are brought to the table when more women are involved in the research and studies behind advancements in the STEM field. Throughout the world, especially in Africa, there is a stark under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions. The future of the continent depends fully on the utilisation of human capacity available to us; and women account for half of its population.

Carol Ofafa, the Electrical and Electronic Engineer from Kenya was featured in our Ladies at Work Series.

 

The world economic forum estimates that the fourth industrial revolution will present a total gain of two million jobs in STEM-RELATED fields (that women are particularly at risk of losing out on) and a loss of 4.7 million jobs concentrated in routine white collar office functions, such as office and administrative roles (predominantly held by women). There is therefore an urgent economic incentive to include women more fully into the science and technology workforce and to skill young women and girls for a future that is quickly catching up. We must increase the enrolment of women and girls in STEM and scale approaches to enhance their attraction to and retention in this sector.

We contribute to campaign for more women in STEM fields through our “LadiesatWork“ Series on the Moving Women Empowerment Network Platforms and we have featured women in many sectors in the STEM Fields that are doing great work.

There are many sectors and here we would like to present some possible STEM careers African women and girls can venture in.

Computer science and Engineering: the gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs like computer science and engineering. A typical STEM worker earns two-thirds more than those employed in other fields, according to Pew Research Center. And some of the highest earning fields such as this one have the lowest percentages of women workers. Engineering is a diverse, creative and exciting career and gives you the opportunity to do something life changing. It is a fantastic career for women and there are many female engineers doing amazing things.

Cyber Security: with technology advancing and cyber-crimes on the rise, the security of a company’s electronic information needs protecting now more than ever. IT and computing is another male dominated industry, but it doesn’t need to be. As an innovative career, cyber security work involves developing new ways to improve a company’s security, documenting/stimulating security breaches and recognising flaws within a system. If you are knowledgeable about IT, love solving problems and enjoy analysing security systems and you are always aware of common and upcoming threats and trends within the field, a career in cyber security is definitely for you.

Actuarial Science: it is a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. It deals with evaluating risks and maintaining the economic stability of insurance or financial organisations. Actuarial studies graduates learn how to use mathematics, statistics and profitability principles to anticipate future events and take preventive measures. More generally, actuaries apply rigorous mathematics to model matters of uncertainty. Career opportunities for actuaries, the math whizzes behind the calculations of risk and its financial implications, are growing quickly.

Software Development: the occupation of a software developer is one of the best STEM job growth. In the decade between 2016 and 2026, jobs of software developers are expected to explode, growing by an almost unheard of 24%. Since the field is already fairly large, this amounts to over 300,000 new jobs. This boom in the industry is due in large part to the increasing need for software applications, especially for mobile devices.

Statistician: whether working for a corporation as a data analyst or teaching the next generation of mathematicians, these professionals use their knowledge of mathematical principles and theories to advance understanding of math and statistics relayed questions. A staggering projected job growth of 33% makes the role of a statistician one of the best STEM jobs for the future, practically ensuring a job offer upon graduation. This growth is explained by businesses’ growing reliance on statistical data as well as a boom in the amount of data from the internet.

There are so many more STEM careers women available and we will be featuring them as we go. The increasing acceptance of female STEM workers leads to more representation for women of all backgrounds. Breaking down this barrier will bring more equality in workplaces and schools. Giving women equal opportunities to pursue-and thrive in STEM careers helps narrow the gender gap, enhances economic security and ensures a diverse and talented STEM workforce and prevents biases in these fields and the products and services they produce.

Would you like to share your great story to empower other women and girls?

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