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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

scientific leader

What a better way to learn about how to help kids reach their potential than to turn to scientific evidence that is 45-years in the making. The Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) is the longest-running longitudinal survey – consisting of over 5,000 participants whom have gone on to become high achieving scientists. Although over 400 papers and several books are published from this abundant resource, this article provides a great summary of some of the key insights into how to spot and develop individual’s talent for STEM careers.

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Women report feeling torn between having a career and staying home to take care of their children. Many describe a sense of guilt for leaving their children with childcare workers in order to work full-time. However, current research suggests that being a working mom poses several benefits for children. “Women whose moms worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibilities at those jobs, and earn high wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time”. Read more of Kathleen McGinn and colleagues’ research findings here.

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The results are in. Stack Overflow’s annual web developer survey found that 10% of the respondents identified as women. While this is still an incredibly low number, the percentage increased 3.4% in the last year. But what does this mean for you? If you’re a woman interested in entering the field of technology, the field looks to be moving toward greater equal representation. This is particularly evident in the statistic that out of all the women surveyed, the majority of women reported that they had been coding for less than a year, indicating that the pool of female developers is growing! So, don’t wait. It’s never too late to join the thousands of women learning to code!

Click here to view Stock Overflow’s annual developer survey.

NASA

Research highlights the presence of women role models as a potential predictor of women pursuing STEM careers. With fewer women employed in higher positions in science, technology, engineering, and math, it can be tricky for young girls to find role models with whom they identify with.

This webpage, “NASA Women of STEM” is an excellent resource for young women to hear stories from women employed in top-level careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Click on the photos of each woman to read about their personal story, and how they are making a meaningful difference solving some of our world’s most relevant issues. So why not shoot for the moon when determining your career path? If these powerful women of NASA got there, you can too!

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“The best ideas can happen when different views come together and all voices are heard and respected.” Deloitte, an industry leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services not only supports this value, but is currently enacting it in a real, practical way. Click here to learn about Deloitte’s partnership with the organization Girls Who Code to support women engaging in STEM careers and STEM activities. Join the movement. Watch this video to learn how you too can partner with this phenomenal organization to make a positive difference in, and for, your company.

“I would say one of the most important skills to learn in order to succeed in graduate school is self-directed learning,” explains Ian Mclean. As a biomedical engineer and researcher, Ian has had to gain expertise in many different STEM fields to be successful in his research that he hopes will “lead to more accurate drug-testing and personalized medicine for patients”. Ian states that if you’re a resourceful and independent individual, a career in scientific research may be a great fit for you! Read more of his interview to find out why…

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Reaching a fulfilling career often looks entirely different for different people; there is no perfectly developed step-by-step process to guarantee each person finds their success. The good news: you never know what person or experience will lead you closer to a meaningful career. For Jasmine, paying attention to her reactions abroad led her to her dream career creating low-cost medical devices that can be easily implemented in areas with limited access to medical resources. Read more of her interview to see how she discovered and is living out her purpose in the lab each day.

Paying attention to little hints are often what sparks movement towards crafting a fulfilling career. What is a time when you experienced a need in the world you wanted to better? What are some ways you can use your strengths to make a difference today?

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If you would have told undergraduate Zach that in 5 years he would be developing a field he never knew existed – he would have laughed at his unforeseeable future! Like many people, Zach’s career trajectory was not one defining moment where he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Instead, his path consisted of a series of small steps leading him towards his present research in computational biology.

Zach’s experience is not uncommon as this is how most professionals will report their career development – a series of exploring, welcoming opportunities, paying attention to clues, and taking action. Read Zach’s career story and see if you can identify the clues and experiences that played important roles in his evolving career course. What are some clues that you can spot in your own career development? After recognizing these clues in your own life, what actions can you take to further explore these possibilities?

Zach Fox

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