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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

You never know where your interests, personal network, and perseverance will lead you in the STEM fields. This couldn’t be more true for Gareth Halladay, a present graduate student in Colorado State University’s Computer Science program. “In my undergrad I had a passion for anatomy and physiology and majored in biological sciences. Now, I look back and I am shocked because I never thought I would be in my current position where I am on the cutting edge of science and helping make new discoveries”.

Read more of Gareth’s interview to find out how she is making a difference by pairing her interests with her computer science skills to draw novel discoveries from hundreds of data sets.

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Julia has always had a passion for animals. “I had three Golden Retrievers growing up – all of which died of cancer. Needless to say, I’m extremely passionate about the work I do.” However, discerning her career path wasn’t always clear and easy. “If you are interested in science and math, don’t feel like you need to go down a cookie-cutter path. If you find a subject you love, keep exploring it—talk to people with a variety of jobs to help shape your career ideals and hone your interests. It is amazing how many opportunities are out there!” Read more to of Julia’s interview to discover how she shaped her own career niche as a veterinary cancer researcher.

Dr. Anne Avery and DVM/PhD student Julia Bromberek examine "Maggie" as part of their research into cancer in golden retreivers. May 14, 2015

Dr. Anne Avery and DVM/PhD student Julia Bromberek examine “Maggie” as part of their research into cancer in golden retreivers. May 14, 2015. Photo Credit: John Eisele

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No need to feel discouraged if you’re an aspiring scientist like Adam Heck once was. Even today Adam reminds himself, “In research you’re are going to fail… a lot. Roughly 80% of your experiments won’t make it past being a passage in your lab notebook. That does not mean those experiments were not important or that you are a bad scientist. Turn the page, and keep trying.”

Read more of his interview for tips on how you too can find your way to a successful, fulfilling career as a scientist.

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It’s almost impossible to turn on the television without hearing news or advertisements about the United States’ upcoming election. It is certainly a privilege to live in a society where there is an effort to build a government “for the people”. With this privilege also comes responsibility.

Read Arthur Camins article “Why Science Education is Essential for Democracy” to consider the ways STEM education influences important political decisions that impact humanity. Let’s create education systems that promote positive change in and for this world.

What are possible research and career paths if you are a student interested in STEM? Not surprisingly, the opportunities are endless and ever-changing. Read Hailey’s story to identify with a scientist who followed their passion for biology and is now thriving in her research on genetic diseases. There are many diverse paths you can take to find a career you love; hearing personal stories from scientists is one way you can begin to find your way!

Colorado State University cell and molecular biology Ph.D. student Hailey Conover does research on DNA repair using yeast as a model in Environmental and Radiological Science assistant professor Lucas Argueso's lab, December 17, 2015.

Colorado State University cell and molecular biology Ph.D. student Hailey Conover does research on DNA repair using yeast as a model in Environmental and Radiological Science assistant professor Lucas Argueso’s lab, December 17, 2015.

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Did you know that women are just as biased against female STEM students as men? This bias can even be communicated implicitly through language used in letters of recommendation. Read this simple this info-graphic to learn more about how you can better support your students in their vocational pursuits by providing them with bias-free letters of recommendation that accurately showcase their accomplishments. With simple tips like staying away from stereotyped language and emphasizing accomplishments instead of effort, you can begin to accurately articulate your student’s capacity for a successful STEM career.

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Reading a scientific paper is incredibly different from many other forms of writing – and can often feel like a daunting task. However, there are several ways to become an effective article reader without becoming overwhelmed by unfamiliar terms and concepts. Check out this article from Science Magazine to learn how you can further develop your scientific reading skills. You won’t regret taking the time to learn these tricks now, so that you can read and write in Science stress-free!

According to U.S. News, vacancies in STEM jobs are continuing to go unfilled in large numbers. This is a key piece of knowledge relevant for students undergoing career decision processes, as well as for parents/counselors who are responsible for helping individuals navigate important career decisions. The fact is, with STEM job availability being more than twice the national average, students in STEM majors are more likely to be employed out of college and are some of the highest paid employees in the nation.

If you have the ability and interest, think twice when you are making – or advising – major career decisions. The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are highly diverse; requiring many different skillsets and interests. Take time to explore these careers to see if one is a good fit for you!