2020 Great STEM Careers in Rural Areas

Posted on September 4, 2020

by Pam Okosun

Educators and parents: encourage students to let their passion and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math bloom right where we’re planted! Young adults don’t have to leave La Porte County to pursue a STEM-based career because there are many opportunities right here in our own backyard.


Rural areas like ours often experience shortages of qualified STEM workers, so whether students want to work with computers, nature, or animals, here are some STEM jobs to consider pursuing.


Agricultural Engineer: Students can combine their interest in agriculture with engineering skills to help modernize traditional farming processes and make them more efficient. Both small and large farms need agricultural engineers to support healthy farms and the local economies built around them.


Veterinarian: Veterinarians take care of many more animals than just our dogs and cats. In rural areas they are also trained to work with large farm animals such as horses, cows, sheep, goats, and more. Doctors of Veterinary Medicine can also develop specialities in veterinary health in certain animal species or in clinical specialities such as surgery or cardiology.


Physician: For students who love the sciences and enjoy working with people, consider a career as a physician. There is a well-documented shortage of physicians and healthcare workers in rural areas. Becoming a physician is an opportunity to be a vital asset to the community while pursuing a career that is both stable and relatively lucrative.


Mechanical Engineer: We have an abundance of manufacturing companies in La Porte County and always have a need for mechanical engineers who are responsible for designing, building, testing, and maintaining the machinery that is used to make local products.


Computer Systems Engineer: Computer systems are essential to virtually every industry, including manufacturing plants, refineries, and other facilities often based in rural areas. Computer systems engineers maintain the software and hardware of those computer systems, so these are jobs that are needed here as well as throughout the country.


Accountant: Think about it — ALL of the small businesses that exist in rural communities need to manage their finances whether they are grocers, lawyers, or a small business. A rural accountant can work on their own flexible schedule with multiple clients while offering a valuable service that’s integral to the local business community.


Turf Scientist: Turf scientists use their STEM skills not only to maintain turf, but also to operate computer-controlled irrigation equipment and highly technical machines often seen while traveling throughout the countryside in La Porte county. Turf work includes care for lawns, golf courses, parks, athletic fields, and large open areas on corporate campuses.


Solar Structural Engineer: If you have a chance to fly over La Porte County in a small plane you would see a growing number of solar power installations. As companies such as NIPSCO increase clean energy options, rural areas will also increasingly be home to large solar panel arrays. Solar structural engineers conduct structural analyses for commercial and utility-scale photovoltaics power projects, leading the way for the installation and maintenance of these critical structures.


Other careers to consider include Marine Biologist, Electrical Engineer, Range Manager, Satellite Engineer, and Fisheries Scientist. Find information on these and other careers on either of the following online resources: Career One Stop and Indiana Career Ready.



Pam Okosun

Pam Okosun

Pam is a Community Engagement Librarian. She teaches library classes, plans programs, helps customers learn new technologies, and loves to discover what people are curious about. Outside the library, you might find her crocheting, playing the piano, or flying with her pilot husband.
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