READY FOR THE FUTURE…
You’re almost there. You have studied hard, set your goals, and you know what you want out of life.
The programs in this section will help you achieve your goals while providing you with opportunities to meet leaders in STEM fields, network with your peers and take another critical step on your road to success.
EXPLORING CAREERS AND MAJORS
There are many exciting careers in STEM, and you can learn more about your options by visiting sites like Collegeboard.org, MyPlan.com, and STEM-works.com. Websites like Collegeboard.org provide career overviews as well as advice on college majors that relate to particular careers. Another great resource are the many STEM professionals in the community. Chat with people you know in STEM fields to find out more about what they do and what classes they took in school. Take as many classes as you can in high school and college to determine which industry appeals most to you.
CHOOSING A SCHOOL
Once you have explored STEM careers and college majors, you are ready to start deciding on the degree type you want to pursue, and where to get it. There are STEM careers available for all educational levels, and the colleges and universities in the northeastern Maryland region offer programs for certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. All of these degree types are meant to prepare you for a successful career in STEM.
GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS
College professors are a great resource while in school and even after graduation. Unfortunately for students, many professors deal with hundreds of students a semester, and it is nearly impossible for them to get to know each student individually. A student must make an effort in order to get on their professor’s radar. This can be done by simply dropping them an email containing your name, your academic or career interests, and informing them that you are looking forward to their class. Additionally, by meeting with your professor during his or her office hours to ask questions about class material, homework, etc., you will have a better chance of him or her remembering you.
Having your professors know who you are on an individual basis will be important if you decide to ask him or her for a letter of recommendation, something essential for many scholarship and graduate programs.
Getting to know your professors goes beyond the occasional need for a letter of recommendation. Your professors have knowledge about careers, research opportunities, and how to succeed in college. He or she just might be your stepping stone into the research position you always wanted or even your dream job.
College is a time for experiencing things beyond the classroom as well as a time for learning leadership and networking skills. Colleges and universities have a plethora of clubs and extra curricular activities to participate in. Joining these groups allow you to hone your socializing skills, build lasting relationships and get hands-on experience. Taking a leadership role in an extra curricular group can also expand your future opportunities and look great on your resume.
Additionally, almost all majors have research opportunities. Check a college’s website or contact their career center to find out what types of research are happening on and off campus.
Internships, co-ops and summer programs are also a great way to get hands-on experience that will get you ahead in any STEM career. Check out our links above for more information on internships & co-ops in the Northeastern Maryland area.
TAKE A VARIETY OF COLLEGE COURSES
Taking courses in a variety of subjects will help you explore your interests and introduce you to new topics. Employers like to see candidates that are well rounded, and many STEM careers benefit from individuals who have interdisciplinary backgrounds. All it takes is looking outside your major for classes that will expand your knowledge.