Utilizing Online Resources to Find the Right STEM Job
- August 18, 2023
- Posted by: Ashley Pereira
- Category: career guidance
STEM fields are full of high paying jobs that require a special set of skills. As high schools and colleges educate students more about the opportunities these fields offer, it’s important to find the right STEM job for your personality, education and interests.
What Is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering and Math. Experts describe STEM fields as having philosophies that integrate all four areas into a cross-disciplinary, single program that offers real world teaching methods and applications.
Simply taking a math class doesn’t mean you are in a STEM field. STEM is heavy on math and science, and a natural aptitude or willingness to study these fields is an integral part of doing well in a STEM field. The focus on science and math is important because engineering and technology philosophies rely heavily on them. STEM programs require a well-rounded approach to all four areas.
Some examples of STEM jobs include web developer, IT manager, information security analyst, physician assistant, health and medical services manager, nurse practitioner and software developer. STEM fields place a heavy focus on problem solving and critical thinking.
How Can You Land a Job in Your Preferred STEM Field?
Once you’ve graduated with the degree, the next step is to find your preferred field and search for jobs. If you are unsure what STEM job you want, there are many online tools you can utilize to figure it out.
Do Online Research
It seems almost too simple, but one of the first steps in finding the right STEM job is to do online research about what jobs are available. If you’ve graduated from college with a degree in a STEM field, you have some direction. A simple Google search through job boards can give you an idea of what skills certain jobs require and which ones you want to apply for.
Take some time to not only research but take notes on jobs listed in STEM fields. As you do this, you not only learn more about the field and job, but you also get information about how to create a resume and cover letter for a specific job. This helps when application time comes around.
Pay close attention to common STEM keywords listed in job descriptions. Some things those offering STEM jobs look for include the following:
- Curriculum development
- Afterschool education
- Post secondary education
Incorporate these keywords into your cover letter or resume to get through applicant tracking systems recruiters use to minimize the time they spend sorting through resumes and applications.
Expand Your Knowledge With Online Courses
There are many reputable online institutions that offer certifications or training programs in STEM careers. Participate in seminars or classes related to accounting, health care, computer science and other STEM fields. These classes help bolster your credentials and add some meat to your resume.
While a college degree in a STEM field is a bonus, those who didn’t study these fields can still obtain the necessary education or certification with a professional STEM-related certification course.
To gain more insight into specific STEM fields, join professional organizations and network with those in the field. Not only can this help you get a job if you know the right people, but it’s also a great way to learn more about a STEM field and determine where you want to focus your job search.
Some reputable STEM organizations to be involved in include:
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- National Science Teaching Association
- Association for Women in Mathematics
- American Physical Society
- Biomedical Engineering Society
- National Science Education Leadership Association
Joining these organizations not only gives you a chance to meet people in your field who may help you get a job down the road, but it adds validity to your resume and shows your commitment to STEM fields.
If the organization has an activity or seminar, attend it and reach out to new contacts. Networking is an extremely important part of getting a job, and the people you meet give real life insight into the job or field you’re considering.
Utilize Online Resume Creation Tools
As you browse through STEM jobs to find the right one for you, it may be hard to organize all the information into a coherent resume. Take advantage of resume templates and aids like jobseeker.com to ensure your resume has the right keywords, format and content to get through applicant tracking systems and catch the eye of the right people.
Resume and cover letter templates allow you to create a document that focuses on the right education, qualifications and skills needed for STEM fields. As you prepare your resume, you may even learn more about an individual field and determine if it’s for you.
Search Online Content for Communities
Blogs, discussion forums and websites provide a sense of community and valuable information about STEM fields. They also provide a way for you to connect with others in STEM fields. Many of these platforms offer career advice, educational materials and networking opportunities. This is a quick, easy way to learn more about the industry you’re considering and determine if it’s something you want to pursue. It also gives you a chance to consider fields you might not be aware of.
Consider Industry, Mentorship and Advocacy Programs
As the STEM field tries to diversify and include more underrepresented communities, advocacy and mentorship programs grow. These groups include but are not limited to the Million Women Mentors, the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, the Brookhaven Women in Science, Argonne’s Women in Science and Technology and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Lighting the Way Pathway Program.
These programs are designed to help those interested in STEM find jobs, get the right education and place them in areas where they can expand their research and education. They also help elevate anyone who wants to enter a STEM field by improving their knowledge and skills.
Take Online Classes
STEM is an area where you can never stop learning. Because these fields rely so heavily on technology, the field is constantly evolving. Whether you are searching for the right STEM job or just started in the industry, continuing your education makes you a knowledgeable, valuable resource for any company. Even if you have a college degree in a STEM field, continue your studies to stay up to date on the most recent trends, research and updates in STEM.
Utilize Online Quizzes
A variety of online quizzes are available to help you determine which STEM field you fit in best. Some quizzes are free while others require a small investment. Universities and colleges often offer more rigorous quizzes to gain more information about your interests and talents.
The Benefits of STEM Careers
Whether you are starting your education or looking for a job in a STEM field, there are several important benefits to pursuing these careers.
STEM careers often offer higher initial salaries than other jobs. Chemical engineers and computer science majors are two examples of high paying entry level jobs. Studies show that STEM graduates earn more than non-STEM graduates by 87%.
Expanding technology ensures that STEM jobs are constantly available. These are some of the fastest growing fields throughout the world and STEM graduates are in high demand. Medical science and aerospace engineering are two fields that have seen significant growth over the last decade, ensuring that jobs are plentiful for those who invest in STEM degrees.
STEM graduates are more satisfied with their jobs. Mathematics majors reported being 80% satisfied with their jobs, while only 70% of English majors reported the same.
STEM careers offer opportunities to positively impact society. These jobs often lead to changes in medicine, engineering, robotics, design and computer technology. If you choose a STEM job, you could be a part of large advances in these fields.
Those with STEM degrees often have more flexibility. Those with a degree in biological sciences can work for a pharmaceutical company, study in a research lab or teach biology at the high school or college level. An engineering major can pursue a career in environmental science, computer science or chemical engineering, to name a few. STEM skills are often transferable from one job to another. A strong foundation in problem-solving, mathematics and research methods makes you more marketable to a variety of fields.
Research shows that STEM careers are some of the country’s most ethnically diverse jobs and options. If you are interested in diversity and in working with those with a different background, a STEM career may be a good idea for you.
A Fulfilling Career in STEM
From college advisors to online networking, there are many ways to choose the right STEM field. With benefits like flexibility, diversity and higher pay, it is easy to see why STEM fields and jobs are expanding at higher rates than other industries. Employees in STEM fields lead the charge for change and advancement in so many industries. If you have a natural talent for math or science, a STEM career may be ideal for you.