Children are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. Doctor, lawyer, teacher, firefighter, police officer, or veterinarian are a few of the typical answers one might expect. They excitedly draw pictures of gallant firefighters on ladders rescuing cats from trees, or detail rosy classrooms filled with perfectly behaving children. Pretend playtime is filled with ailing stuffed animals treated for all sorts of maladies —until children learn that the majority of veterinary work involves spaying, neutering, and euthanizing animals. The sparkly glitz of being a veterinarian might fade to a dim shimmer with that realization. Attention could then shift to becoming a police officer, until mom gets pulled over for speeding, that is. That’s when “police officer” gets axed from the ever-shrinking list. What is a child to do?
Such broad-brush responses imply a limited exposure to the vast catalog of available careers. Although the previously mentioned occupations are the perfect fit for some children, they aren’t right for everyone and certainly aren’t the only available choices. Children have many options such as telemarketer, odor tester, or gravedigger (you really don’t want to fall asleep on that job). However, most children don’t actively pursue those options either. With further exposure to the intriguing world of career selection, they may choose to be a cartographer, journeyman, or geoscientist, though.
“What if I don’t want to be an odor tester, Mom?”
The field of science is teeming with fascinating career choices that extend far beyond a lab coat and Petri dish. Unfortunately, most science careers tend to get lumped under the umbrella of “scientist,” and their individualistic natures are lost to young students. Real Science-4-Kids wants to help ignite a passion for all avenues of science in the young minds of today’s students. Use our careers-focused blog posts as resources to aid in the discovery of available science careers and help future scientists find the right fit for themselves. We dive into the wonderful world of science careers and invite you along for the journey. Each of our career posts highlight a different field of science.
One of these posts just might discuss the option your child has been searching for. The same child who isn’t necessarily thrilled about the prospect of treating dogs who have fleas might jump at the chance to observe territorial behaviors of bluebirds in their natural habitat. Such is the life of an ecologist. Does your child want to help people without having to work in a hospital? Perhaps the budding field of genetics is more enticing. If your student likes the idea of being a firefighter but would rather work in the mountains, he or she might want to consider being a conservation scientist who deals with forest fire management and prevention. Upcoming blog editions will dive into careers like neurobiology — the study of the brain and nervous system.
In the meantime, check out this amazing resource: http://coolsciencecareers.rice.edu/ . This program is provided through Rice University and will take your student on an occupational tour that can help find a science career suited to your student’s interests. Have fun engaging with the website and then let us know what you think in the comments section.