Maria T.





What made you decide that a career in STEM was a good fit for you? What (or who) in particular influenced this?

I am asking this due to my curiosity about what causes individuals to pick their career paths. #college #engineering #science #technology #tech #stem #women-in-stem #women-in-tech

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This is a very tough question to answer. First of all you should have a goal in your mind what you would like to become? Most people usually have a goal in their mind, like they would like to become an electrical engineer, or computer scientist or engineer, doctor, aeronautical engineer, etc. Based on that decision and pickup a field. You should have an interest in a specific field. Having an interest in becoming something or landing in a specific career will help you boost energy and you will most probably put lot of efforts and hardwork during your coursework. I would also reiterate that some of the coursework in such fields are difficult or challenging. But your goals and interest will help your tackle such hurdles. In my opinion it does not matter if a field is STEM or not. If you like what you want to become most probably you will be successful. Do not force yourself to just be in a STEM field, instead look for what you want to become. I would also suggest you to also go through some websites like and have atleast an approximate idea about how much companies usually pay in a specific sector.
Good luck.

Last updated Mar 26 '17 at 23:56

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I'm a female who has been in STEM since kindergarten. I say that because I was never interested in the soft sciences or the arts in any way, I was pulling things apart as long as I can remember to see if I could figure out how they were made or how they worked. As a female I was lucky enough to have parents who (at least somewhat) encouraged that, instead of dolls and make up my birthday and Christmas presents were science kits, computers and microscopes. There were limits to their encouragement, usually when I started pulling apart things I wasn't supposed to.

I was also lucky enough to get the best group of science teachers through high school, Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics all believed that anyone who wanted to learn science should be encouraged, and didn't make anything at all of the fact I was female. I majored in Chemistry, got a job as a tech in an R&D lab for a few years, then discovered computers which I seemed to have a talent for which led to a career change. I love my job now as tech support/training since I get the people aspect and the STEM aspect in one career.

My advice, play to your strengths and figure out what you love about each subject, then find a career that fits with that. If you love the subject it tends to be easier to study it, which makes it easier to work in the field afterwards. The worst advice I ever got was from my career counsellor at high school who told me I'd be cutting off options if I went for all sciences, and encouraged me to take an arts subject to "round out my portfolio". I hated the subject, barely passed it, and it did affect my career options afterwards but from my point of view it was a negative effect not positive. I've stayed in STEM, and while I've turned a little more people oriented over the last few years, my passion is still getting people to see the beauty in the subjects that make up STEM - they are so versatile and so informative, plus they impact every aspects of your life whether you know it or not.

Last updated Apr 18 '17 at 20:22

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I had a very inspiring Biology Professor at the end of my College Sophomore year. That influenced me to major in Biology. During my Graduate years, I got interested in water resources. This led me to a career in Civil Engineering as a Hydrologist.

Last updated Mar 20 '17 at 19:21

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Hi Maria!

You asked a very important question.

Here is a great way to start to see how your interests, aptitudes, and personality match with people in various career areas:

Here are some more ways to learn more: - talk to your school counselor about becoming involved in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs which will allow you to learn what people do, how they got there, what advice they have, and how you feel about it - talk to the head of alumni relations at your school to arrange to talk to graduates of your school who are doing what you think that you want to do so you can learn from them - many people in these areas get their start a community college, so talk to the head of alumni relations at your local community college to arrange to talk to graduates who are doing what you think that you want to do so you can learn from them

Here are some sites that will help you to learn more:

Here are some tips on how to gain valuable information and create valuable relationships:

Let me know if and how this might help. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

Last updated Mar 12 '17 at 17:17

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