A STEM career is a difficult one, especially judging by the fast advancements we have made in these fields lately.
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. This field involves high qualifications regarding knowledge of a certain topic, critical thinking, and a high drive for innovation and discovery.
What does STEM indeed involve?
STEM is an umbrella term used for jobs that fall under the above-mentioned categories, which in more depth include all forms of engineering, anything to do with mathematics, computer sciences, electronics, life sciences such as biology or physics, and even medicine on some occasions.
Some debated additions to STEM include psychology, architecture, social sciences, and pharmaceuticals. The reason these aren’t fully accepted by definition is due to some of their qualitative nature, though science is already a broad term. Women are in a majority when looking at statistics on psychologists, though the same can’t be said for STEM in general. If you are having difficulty, you can find jobs for women through Lensa or other job-search websites.
Where can you get into STEM?
The beginning of becoming engulfed in such fields starts at university. Picking a STEM major means you are setting up for a straining couple of years of academia. Each college tends to have a different definition of what counts as STEM, so make sure to do your research before applying.
Why STEM is important
Today’s society is extremely fast-paced and unforgiving, constantly hungry for innovation and discovery. This has been a fact since the dawn of time but has been sped up due to the aforementioned nature of our society.
Thanks to STEM, we can advance in all fields related to science and technology like never before. There is high demand for these jobs, and not rough people to fill them. The priority from the government side is to fund STEM education enough for it to become more popular amongst students with incentives. This is also where the topic of gender arises.
When to consider joining STEM
There are a few factors to consider about yourself before joining STEM since not everyone is built for this line of work. The first is your skills and enjoyment of math. If you are able to complete high-level mathematics with ease and have a certain level of passion for the subject, continuing in STEM might be for you.
If you have a strong drive for innovation and inventing, you should also consider this career path since the priorities when working in STEM align with those above. If you prefer working in front of computers, then STEM is also a solid decision for your career path. Working in it involves less socializing and barely any physical demands.
Working in any of the STEM fields also involves high salaries after years of schooling of course. If you find your drive in materiality rather than purely passion, or if you are science-savvy, choosing STEM is your best option for success.
Gendered influences on career
The question of gender and its influences on quality of life, personal perception, and others’ perception of oneself has always been at the forefront for those professionals who observe social sciences. Questions such as women’s health, reproductive rights, wage gaps, and so on remain existing yet answered.
Being a woman in the workforce is taxing in and of itself, with norms appointing women to also take care of household chores the majority of the time. These gender norms enforce certain stereotypes aimed toward women who work and focus on their careers.
Certain careers are male-dominated, STEM being one of them due to its scientific nature and history of science being for men. Nowadays, all jobs are said to be for women, yet stigmas still exist.
The reason being a woman is still more difficult is due to the seeded sexism that they encounter in their day-to-day lives. The core issue as to why women aren’t joining STEM is due to their education being redirected away from sciences. Statistically, only 28% of people working in STEM are women.
The largest issue worth mentioning is the exclusionary nature of male-dominated fields, especially when taking wage gaps into account. The male-dominated cultures found in science can only be changed through new ways of education for younger generations so that girls can become more confident right from the start and women in science can become popularized.