The best career today

One of the key factors that a majority of students do not study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is the lack of information about career opportunity and inadequate advice from teachers and parents, who also do not have information about the type of jobs that are relevant for STEM fields. Some parents are still following the old belief that studying science and maths means to become teachers, or studying technology means to be technicians who fixing computers and laptops.

To many parents, the goal of a college education is for their children to get a job immediately after graduation and avoiding unemployment. They want their children to study something “Safe” which means what they believe is the right field to study. However, many parents never ask their children about their interest or what they are capable of. Therefore, a career planning is based on what they think instead of what are the opportunities and options that their children could choose. Unfortunately, many students also do not know what they want or what their interest is so they let their parents make the decision for them or follow what their friends are doing instead of making a decision for themselves. That is why many people end up in an unhappy situation in the years following graduation because of the wrong choice of careers that they have made.

Today we are living in a world driven mostly by technology, therefore, Science and Technology are the dominant forces that dictate most of the good jobs. A few years ago, a market analyst wrote on the Wall Street Journal: “Students who graduate without STEM skills will have difficulty finding a job in today’s market. If they go to school unprepared and have no career plan, they will not be able to lead productive lives. All graduates who think that they have invested in their education without science and technology will be totally unprepared for the job market. Although it is bad for students, it is much worst for the business.”

Even there is a high number of unemployed graduates, many college students are still focusing on the degree, rather than on the knowledge and skills. A student told me: “If I have a degree, I can get a job. It does not matter whether the job is relating to the subject that I study in school or not. As long as it is a job, then it is OK.” I asked him: “If all you want is a job then why go to college? You can get a job without a college degree.” He asked: “What type of job is that?” I told him: “Look around, there are many jobs such as labor jobs, construction jobs, manufacturing jobs, etc. You go to college to get an education so you can get a job that is relating to what you are learning. If you only want a job then why wasting your time and efforts? ”

For years, I always advocate that science and technology are the two fields of study that have the highest demand across all industries. I have written several articles about these subjects on my blog that have been translated into several languages. But when teaching in Asia, parents often asked me: “You need to be more specific as we want the “Safest career” for our children.” I told them: “Today all businesses are depending on the fast flowing of information. Internet users, both individual and businesses are sending, receiving, and storing more data on connected devices than ever before. As more and more companies are using technology as the key to increase efficiency, productivity, and profits, I believe that studying “Information Technology” could be the “Safest career” as graduates in this field can work in all type of jobs in any industry.”

According to industry research, the total number of mobile devices will grow from 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion devices in the next ten years and data traffic will multiply at least 1,000 times which place an unprecedented demand on network infrastructure that the current network will not be able to handle. One of the emerging technology today is next-generation mobile networks or 5G and it will change everything. As more and more companies are demanding better and faster Internet speed and capacity, all telecommunication companies will have to completely change their infrastructure and network architecture. In order to support all features of the 5G network to optimize all types of connected devices such as mobile phones, tablets, Internet of Things, and other applications, they need more technical workers.

Based on what I know, there will be very high demand for college graduates with skills in Network engineering, cloud computing, Mobile app developing, Software Engineering, data analytics and machine learning etc. As college students, if you could study these fields NOW, after graduation, you will not have any problem finding a good job with high salary.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University