Science, technology, engineering, arts/design and mathematics — better know as STEAM fields — top classroom discourse as presidential priorities for today's high school and college students.
Since President Obama's 2009 "Educate to Innovate" initiative launched, STEAM fields have steadily strengthened to equip students with the necessary science and math skills to compete in a global job market.
Because Georgia is known for its advanced manufacturing, mining and modern technology industries, graduates may want to consider the following fast-growing STEAM gigs as shown on the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 to 2024 employment projections list:
Wind turbine service technician:
Median pay: $51, 050 yearly
Entry-level education: Technical or trade school and on-site training.
What they do: Windtechs install, maintain and repair wind turbines.
Why this job matters: Used for generating electricity, wind energy serves as a clean, green resource to power buildings, small vehicles and large buildings.
Median pay: $80,110 yearly
Entry-level education: Master's degree in statistics, mathematics or other quantitative field; bachelor's degree sufficient for some entry-level jobs.
What they do: Statisticians use numerical methods to collect and analyze information to solve problems in fields like health care, engineering and business.
Why this job matters: This science — and arguably an art — of learning from data can help employers and lawmakers make sound career, policy decisions and forecast trends.
Median pay: $56,320 yearly
Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree in forensic science or a natural science like biology or chemistry, along with on-the-job training.
What they do: Forensic scientists aid criminal investigators by compiling and analyzing evidence of crime scenes or in the laboratory.
Why this job matters: This application of science to law enforcement helps narrow down culprit possibilities associated with mostly drug-related and sex crimes.
Median pay: $64,970 yearly
Entry-level education: Associate's degree in web design or related field, along with knowledge of programming and graphic design.
What they do: Web developers create websites, including the overall look, technical aspects and performance. Some developers also create content to accompany the site.
Why this job matters: In today's Information Age, companies have turned to the Web to communicate with customers globally. Web developers provide the necessary services to connect with clients digitally and creatively, and potentially help businesses earn revenue online, too.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installer:
Median pay: $37,830 yearly
Entry-level education: Ranges from a high school diploma and on-the-job training to technical or community college training in an apprenticeship program.
What they do: PV installers assemble, install or maintain solar panel systems on structures, typically on roofs.
Why this job matters: PV and solar-thermal panels are becoming more popular because they generate electricity by converting sunlight into electricity or transferring the sun's heat to ventilation systems.