3 Exciting Ways to Apply Your STEM Camp Experience
What do you want to be when you grow up? In 2019 The New York Post reported that the most popular dream jobs among American kids were “a teacher, a veterinarian, a musician and a movie star.”
Although a teacher can be a super-cool field for kids interested in STEM-related topics, introverted types aren’t likely to pursue the other options on this dream list. This dream list also reveals how few kids know about careers that allow them to be a rockstar — without actually having to get on a stage, or perform in front of an audience.
In the 1920s psychologist Carl Jung coined the terms “introvert” and “extrovert” to describe personality traits. According to WebMD, the population of the United States is split almost 50/50 for the numbers of introverts and extroverts. Introverts are generally described as those who have an active inner world of thoughts and ideas, and prefer hanging out in small groups.
Shyness often accompanies an introverted personality; however, being shy doesn’t necessarily make you an introvert. WebMD also reports that, “Researchers have found that introverts have a higher blood flow to their frontal lobe than extroverts do. This part of the brain helps you remember things, solve problems, and plan ahead.” Dopamine, the “chemical that turns on the reward- and pleasure-seeking part of your brain,” is also processed differently, so when this neurotransmitter is activated, an introvert may feel drained, rather than getting the rush an extrovert might get.
There are oodles of awesome, well-paying careers for introverts. Unfortunately most kids aren’t aware of these careers unless a parent or relative works in a related field, or a school guidance counselor exposes you to suitable paths. Luckily, Emagination STEM camp counselors are a great resource for campers to learn about pathways to little-known technology, computer, or STEM-related fields, and often inspire the next generation of top performers. Emagination Tech Camps’ alumni have gone on to work at amazing companies like Google, MIT, Snap, Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, and Epic Games.
Introverts are also known to “daydream, or use their imaginations, to work out a problem,” and “take time making decisions.” So prepare to oil-up those frontal lobes, because we’ve put together a fabulous list to help our beloved introverts re-imagine what a “dream job” looks like.
STEM-Related Careers for Introverts
“Cryptography has generated number theory, algebraic geometry over finite fields, algebra, combinatorics & computers.” — Vladimir Arnold, Ukrainian-born mathematician & winner of the Wolf prize for his work on dynamical systems, differential equations & singularity theory
If you love puzzles and computers, and are good at math and keeping secrets, cryptography may be the right path for you. Cryptographers work for tech companies, banks, FBI and law enforcement, insurance agencies, universities, and nearly any place that needs to store and secure data. Organizations hire cryptographers to encrypt data using a cypher, so cyber criminals can’t hack and steal valuable information.
Cryptography is a career that is expanding exponentially, because every organization, state, or government agency has a need for secure databases, networks, and client services. Many cryptographers are self-taught, and acquire knowledge by sharing code in programming groups or clubs, or they simply picked up a book and learned the necessary skills. Others pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in Cybersecurity or Cryptographic Engineering.
Cyber security is in high demand, so applicants that show strong math skills with a proven track record for encrypting data can easily land a job. Those who are self-taught often have a knack for this field, but should still sign up for cryptography courses to help them better understand what employers are looking for and obtain core cyber security skills.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for an information security analyst is currently over $99,000. That's before stock options, bonuses, perks and benefits. By 2029, the field is projected to expand by over 30% — which is more than 4 times the average growth for other technology fields.
WEBSITE DESIGN & GRAPHICS
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” — Ralf Speth, former CEO of Jaguar Land Rover
Emagination STEM camps are a great way to launch young campers into the field of website design and graphics. Courses on both subjects are included in our Technology Camp curriculum, allowing students to progress with increasingly challenging tasks when they repeat these courses over several sessions.
According to Glassdoor.com, a website designer can earn anywhere from $31K to $220K per year, plus benefits. Web designers can be self-taught, get a certification, or earn a 4-year degree prior to joining the workforce. Entry-level designers gain experience by interning for local companies, working on pet projects, or volunteering.
Graphic and Website design allow creative introverts to work from anywhere, remotely discussing project needs and edits with team members and clients via video calls and screen sharing technology. Freelance designers may have to incorporate networking skills to launch their career, so recognizing your strengths and matching those strengths with the right kind of clients is the key to success. Sometimes passing on opportunities that don’t suit your aesthetic (or personality) will earn you big wins in the long run.
GAME DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
“A lot of indie developers who became 'Overnight Successes' were working at it for ten years.” — Dan Adelman, director of digital content & development at Nintendo
Most of the recognizable names in game development came up in the field from a sincere passion for gaming. They were often introverts who spent much of their formative years in front of a variety of video game consoles. Unfortunately, just having a love for playing video games won't land you a dream job. Do get started, you'll need to develop a specific skill set.
According to Salary.com, in 2022 an established video game designer can expect to make $85K to $400K per year. This of course makes the field highly competitive; however, most young designers don’t realize that gamers don’t need to break into a company like Nintendo to be successful in this career. Industries such as finance and insurance, transportation, construction, education, manufacturing, and arts & entertainment also employ video game designers.
If you’re an aspiring game designer, reading and sharing projects on related discussion boards can be a key to breaking in. This is because many professional game developers are searching these boards for talent, and understand that the field attracts a high percentage of introverts who may not be comfortable doing in-person networking.
Don’t have a project to share? Sign up for a Game Design course with Emagination to get going on your next game project and connect with likeminded campers. Our campers often stay in touch for years beyond summer camp, and have helped each other land jobs at major technology and design firms.
Is your child an introvert? Are you looking for a great camp to help him/her find like-minded kids they can relate to? Register now for Summer 2022 with Emagination Tech Camps, and find your tribe. Learn more at emaginationtechcamps.com