Careers in Scientific and Technical Visualization

  • Scientific Visualization Objectives
  • Tools
  • Teacher Instructions
  • References and Resources
  • Link to Profiles Page
  •  Student Assignment
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Purpose:  Develop understanding of the range of careers that involve scientific visualization skills.  Focus on careers in graphic and design fields.   Produce a growing catalog of  Career Pages as a resource for future students.
    Overview:  Students will research a career path in scientific and technical visualization.  If possible, they will locate and interview a person who uses scientific visualization in their work.  The interview may be an in person meeting or electronic.  Students will then prepare a  Career Web Page about the career path they chose and a profile describing important aspects of their interview subject's work and training.  The web pages will be compiled into an electronic resource for future students.

        Scientific Visualization:  Leadership Development

    NC Scientific and Technical Visualization Objectives:

    1.04 Identify career goal and opportunities and review career development plan.
    2.02 Apply problem solving and design methodology.


    Html editor - Netscape Composer, Page Mill, Dreamweaver or other
    digital camera (optional)

    Teacher Instructions

    Brainstorm with students a list of occupations that involve extensive use of scientific visualization.   Do not restrict the list to positions with scientific visualization appears in the title.  For example the person who designs educational web pages for a zoo or a museum is using scientific visualization to convey scientific ideas to the public while a research chemist may use scientific visualization to design a better medical drug or an engineer to design a faster race car.   During a brainstorm it is best to accept all suggestions without questioning how related the position is to scientific or technical visualization.  This helps students to think freely.   Later you can ask small groups of students to discuss the scientific visualization aspect of each job and choose those most closely related to scientific or technical visualization for further development.

    Next, assign or  have students choose a position they find interesting and use the internet, school and public library and school career center  to find out more information.  Good internet sources are listed below in the reference section.  If possible,  students should find a real person with this job to interview.   Depending on your school's policies it may be possible for a student to contact a graphic artist or scientist over the web and conduct an electronic interview.

    Next students should create a web page about a particular job or career in  scientific visualization. If possible,  they should link it to a profile web page for a person who actually has this job, and to the web page of a business performing this type of work.  Link to sample profile pages.

    Finally students should present their web pages  to the class followed by discussion and critique.  This is a very important aspect of  completing each project.  The presentation allows students to develop their oral skills and explain to classmates new techniques they have learned.  It gives classmates the opportunity to benefit from each students work.  The discussion  and critique should start with asking the student what she or he likes best about their own project and then what they would change if they had more time.  Then ask other students to state what they think is the strongest point of the presentation and what one change they would ask the author to make.  This keeps the discussion focused on positive and productive criticism.  Students can then be allowed to incorporate their classmates suggestions into their projects if the project will be published on the web or placed in the portfolio.  Even if they do not do this final editing phase, the critique process helps students focus on improvements in their next project.


    Scientific Visualization Sites:  This page has many links to scientific visualization web sites around the world.  It is  produced by NASA's Ames Research Center.

    Medical Illustration Sites:  East Texas Area Health Education Center career page for Medical Illustration:      The Association of Medical Illustrators Home Page:
    MedImagery Site with information on the Medical Illustrator profession and links to University programs in medical illustration:

    NCSU's Career Center has links to different Occupational Areas.  This one on design has several relevant links .  The CALs area has another set of interesting links - many are specifically for NCSU students- others are more general.

    North Carolina's Occupational Information Center at

    Try for specific jobs in graphic design.  They also have a links page to many job search sites some of which are targeted to graphics design.

    The 1998-1999 Occupational Outlook Handbook:  Actually doesn't have much information specific to scientific visualization.    Has a good search engine for job hunting.  The Wall Street Journal's Career site.  They also have a book: Jobs Rated Almanac by Les Krantz  St. Martin's Griffin, New York: 1999. 333pp. another job hunter web site.

    Student Assignment Sheet                                                                        Name______________________
    1. Choose a job or career related to scientific visualization to investigate.
    2. Research a career path  in this field.  Using the internet, libraries, school career center, local businesses etc.  find related employment opportunities and information.   Check especially on the education and experience required for the jobs you are interested in.
    3.  Prepare a Web Page to inform others about the career path you have investigated.  Your page should be an attractive advertisement for this career.
    4. In your web page describe the career path, a typical entry level job and future opportunities.
    5. Find 3 entry level jobs being advertised on the web or other source.  Prepare advertisements on your page for these jobs.  (Do not link your page to the actual advertisements as job postings change  frequently.)
    6. List the job title, description and salary range for each job.
    7.  For each job, find the education and experience required.  (Even entry level jobs may require internship experience)
    8. Link your page to the web page of a  school or college offering an appropriate educational program. 
    9. Insert a picture either of someone doing this job or of  a product they might produce. 
    10. If possible, interview someone with a job in this field and include their advice, experiences, picture and work samples in your page or in a linked page. 
    11. Research a company offering jobs in this field, finding its location, products, size,  whether it offers internships, etc....   Link your page to the company web site. 
    12. Test your web page on a fellow student.  Do they find it attractive, fun to read, and easy to navigate?   Do the links work?  Is the information accurate?  Are the spelling and grammar correct? 
    13. Present your information and web page to the class. 
    14. Complete a self evaluation  explaining at least three strengths of your project, what problems you had to overcome to produce it  and detailing what you would change about it if you could.  This should be word processed and  no longer than 1 page. 


    Evaluation Criteria:
    entry level job is described 
    future opportunities described
    3 job advertisements 
    link to educational program 
    appropriate picture of worker or product inserted into page 
    Company or Employer information 
    Link to company or employer 
    Good use of color
    Good use of Font
    Text clearly written, grammatically correct
    Overall web page 
    Clarity of presentation to class 
    self evaluation
    appropriate participation in discussion of other student presentations 

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    last updated 12/02/99