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Monday, 31 July 2017

How to Find a Great Career

The evolution of technology all around us is raising all sorts of interesting questions. Today futurists are asking questions about the role AI will play in research and development of new products and services, as well as whether automation will replace many low or manual labour will be performed by machines. 

These questions, however, aren’t just being asked by people interested in anticipating the next new future wave; you’re probably asking them, too, if you’re a current college student or recent graduate. Instead of taking classes for a career that won’t exist in the future or applying for jobs that are on their way out, you want to make sure that you’re taking classes that will be relevant to new and emerging technology or presenting yourself to prospective employers in the right light to show you have "the right stuff" for the future.

First, let’s take a look at some interesting futuristic careers you could be studying if you’re still in school. We’ll also briefly cover how you should be presenting yourself to prospective employers if you’ve just graduated.

Rethink Engineering

When students think of high paying jobs, they usually think about a career in computer science. While this is a perfectly valid idea because millions of computer science jobs will go unfilled in the next ten years, many future breakthroughs are also expected in the field of engineering. However, this is not traditional engineering, like electrical or mechanical engineering but fields like material sciences and biomedicine.

A Career in Material Sciences

You’ll be on the cutting edge of materials science and engineering if you focus on graphene engineering.

Since 1859, scientists have speculated on the possibility of two-dimensional
Copyright: foxterrier2005 / 123RF Stock Photo
materials, but it was not until 2004 when graphene was discovered. At that time, two University of Manchester researchers, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Novoselov noticed small parts of graphene on a piece of scotch tape used to clean a graphene stone. In 2010, they received a Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking scientific discovery. 

Graphene is usually used to make graphene sheets, which are composed of two-dimensional crystals that possess a unique set of properties. They are the thinnest and lightest object ever discovered. They are also the strongest materials ever known—harder than diamonds and 300 times stronger than steel. Graphene conducts electricity much better than copper, is transparent, and can be bent into any shape you want.

As a material science engineer, you will be able to get a well-paid job in one of the hundreds of laboratories around the world doing cutting-edge research on the world's thinnest material. There are a lot of exciting things happening when it comes to this new material, and it will transform aerospace, automotive, electronics, energy storage, coatings, paint, communications, sensors, solar, and much more.

Besides graphene, you might work with other materials. The discovery of graphene resulted in the discovery of a whole new class of crystals that are only one atom thin and that can be shuffled to work with each other.

A Career in Biomedicine

Another exciting field is Biomedicine. Biomedical engineering (BME) applies the principles of engineering and the concepts of design to research the fields of medicine and biology. Research findings will result in diagnostic of therapeutic healthcare benefits. David Belair explains why this is such an exciting field: “Biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary field, and as such, a biomedical engineer can have a range of different specialties that range from electronics, optics, mechanics, materials science, basic biology, physiology, neuroscience, cardiovascular science, and other medical-related and engineering-related areas.”

Impress Prospective Employers

If you’ve already graduated, then your focus will be on networking and showing prospective employers that you have the right stuff.

Ultimately, your success will depend on how well you manage the interview. So be sure to be punctual and impeccably dressed for the interview. Your interview needs to communicate the same message that you originally communicated in your cover letter, your resume, and your portfolio. However, during the interview, there is no need to reiterate the technical knowledge and skills you have detailed in your written presentation. Instead focus on demonstrating the following soft skills: good communication, organisation, team player, and critical thinking. These skills are important to an employer because they aren’t just looking for someone who has a specialised academic background. They are also looking for someone who will help their business flourish.

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