ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted October 20, 2016 by

Growing Your STEM Career

Love your science careerGuest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF

The STEM workforce is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, a global chemical company, examines ways that recent college grads can establish a strong foundation to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. The first post in this series examined the different education paths to consider when preparing for a STEM and the second post examined the STEM career opportunities available. 

STEM employment will increase rapidly: about 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM jobs will outgrow non-STEM jobs by almost two to one.

If you are planning a career in STEM, you should know which areas are expected to have the most job openings. For instance, the fastest-growing STEM undergraduate degrees in 2013 were statistics, computer information technology, administration and management, and environmental health engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Once you’ve landed your STEM job, how do you advance your career?

Forward-thinking companies recognize the importance of creating a strong internal talent pipeline in order to fill the skills gap, and seek to attract and retain employees with growth potential. Many businesses now provide unique opportunities for employees to design their career in a variety of ways and explore multiple job functions within a variety of disciplines, rather than limit professional development to a linear career ladder.

A great way to learn about other jobs is to immerse yourself in the company as a whole, and look for opportunities to participate in projects or interests that are outside of your job description. Some companies offer employees the chance to work with different groups and take on new responsibilities, exposing them to other roles from both an upward and lateral perspective. For example, BASF offers leadership development programs to help employees master new skills and discover additional talents. We organize these programs as rotational assignments, which provide entry-level hires with diverse working experiences. This is a good way to build their skills and professional network through cross-business training programs in areas such as marketing, engineering and supply chain management.

Get creative

Previous generations typically followed a linear career plan. However, today’s workforce seeks career experiences that are diverse, engaging and innovative. BASF offers unique non-linear career journeys, described as “career roadmaps” rather than “career paths.” For example, a manufacturing engineer working in plastics can use his or her product knowledge to switch over to a marketing position. Mid- or senior-level employees in the same field may have had very different career journeys that landed them in similar positions.

It’s important to take ownership of your career goals, rather than adhering to the conventional belief that you need to perform at a certain level to reach a certain role by a particular age. Businesses today are empowering employees to embrace the freedom to creatively pursue their career goals. Through formal mentoring programs along with advanced training and education opportunities, companies are helping employees shape their aspirations and continue to develop their skills both on and off the job.

It’s important to have regular conversations with your supervisor to set career goals for yourself and track your performance. If you discover a passion in an area outside your particular realm, see how you can work together to integrate new responsibilities into your role or transition into a new position.

The STEM industry offers great flexibility to explore new interests and opportunities on and off the job. If you are an entry-level employee, be sure to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. You may be surprised by where your career takes you.

luciana-amaroLuciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit.  In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.

Posted October 13, 2016 by

Exploring STEM Career Opportunities

1392453Guest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF

The STEM workforce–science, technology, engineering and mathematics–is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. Today’s STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than at any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, examines ways that college students and new grads can establish a strong foundation that equips them to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. Read the previous post about different paths to consider when preparing for a career in STEM.

Students entering the STEM industry today have more career opportunities than ever before. That’s because there will be an estimated shortfall of 2 million workers in manufacturing over the next decade, with six out of every 10 positions going unfilled due to a skills gap (Deloitte). Simply put: we don’t have enough STEM grads to meet the demand.

This shortfall has created fierce competition among companies seeking the best scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians. For example, if you are a petroleum engineer, your field will grow 10 percent by 2024 due to increased oil production in the U.S.

As a new STEM job candidate, where should you look?

Making an impact

Many truly game-changing positions that impact society require a degree in a STEM discipline. Feeding a hungry world, developing housing, improving transportation and creating innovative energy solutions all require a STEM education. Some of the exciting positions open today include:

  • Research and development scientists who are discovering alternative fuel options;
  • Software developers and industrial designers who are inventing the next smartphone or life-saving medical device; and
  • Structural and mechanical engineers who are improving infrastructure and building bridges.

With a breadth of jobs available, it is important to select a company that offers broad opportunities for innovation and advancement.

Landing the role

To land your dream job, begin building a professional network. One great way to do this is by joining a professional association such as the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) and NAM (National Association of Manufacturers). Associations offer a specialized network of professionals with similar values and goals, which can be incredibly helpful as you seek a mentor to help guide your career development. You can also join a group on LinkedIn such as STEM Educators & Researchers or MentorNet, where you can interact with other professionals to better understand their positions and solicit their advice.

Reaping the benefits  

Many careers in the STEM fields promote innovation and allow you to be at the forefront of emerging ideas. The myriad career options also allow you to explore different areas to uncover your passions. For instance, you may begin your career in plastics but later discover that agriculture is more interesting. Companies such as BASF provide young professionals the opportunity to discuss their career roadmap with their supervisor in order to determine their preference in becoming a generalist or a specialist in a particular area.

A STEM career can pay well. The starting salary for a petroleum engineer is $88,700 and a nuclear engineer is $62,900. Jobs in the STEM industry on average pay about 1.7 times the national average, according to the BLS.

While compensation is important, there are other considerations that you should take into account before selecting a role and employer. For example, at BASF we offer a rewards program that encourages work-life balance, professional development programs, and travel opportunities.

Read next week’s post in our series, “Growing Your Career in STEM.”

luciana-amaroLuciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit.  In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.

Posted July 13, 2015 by

3 Tips for College Graduates Entering the Workforce

Group of graduates will face the modern city

Group of graduates will face the modern city. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

A 2013 survey by Citi and Seventeen magazine found that 80 percent of college students work a part-time job, averaging 19 hours per week. But the survey also found that only 18 percent are responsible for paying tuition, room and board.

Working a job to pay for spring break getaways and Friday night happy hours is much different than being responsible for every aspect of your life. Playing hooky from work because you’re hungover is no longer an option since those hours may be the difference between paying rent or not.

College graduation means complete independence for the first time for hundreds of thousands of students. If you are in this situation, here are three tips to ensure you get off on the right foot: (more…)

Posted June 22, 2015 by

3 High-Paying Options for Healthcare Careers

Surgery assistant perfusionist working with artificial cardiac valve at operation in cardiology clinic

Surgery assistant perfusionist working with artificial cardiac valve at operation in cardiology clinic. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Technology and the way medicine is practiced has changed over the decades, which in turn has created many new career opportunities. Medical degrees and certificates are no longer limited to M.D., D.O. and others that take 10 years of college and residency to complete. Now, there are a variety of options for anyone who wants to help other people and make good money in the process. The following are just three examples of possible healthcare career opportunities: (more…)

Posted June 09, 2015 by

Finance Majors: You’re the Next Big Thing

Accountant calculating finances. Over the shoulder view

Accountant calculating finances. Over the shoulder view. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jobs in finance are on the rise, and finance majors can look forward to a career full of diverse challenges and options. By 2022, financial management careers are expected to grow by 14 percent, financial analyst careers by 23 percent and careers in financial advisement by 32 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why this field is one of the most exciting out there today. (more…)

Posted May 18, 2015 by

The Top 10 Best Blue Collar Careers of 2015

Senior man is getting his teeth checked and cleaned by the dental hygienist at his dentist's office

Senior man is getting his teeth checked and cleaned by the dental hygienist at his dentist’s office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Blue collar jobs are always in demand and some pay quite well. Here are the top ten best blue collar careers for 2015. Below are the wage statistics and descriptions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the best blue collar jobs.

1. Elevator Inspectors and Repairers: With an average annual salary of $76,490, elevator inspectors and repairers assemble, install, repair, and maintain electric or hydraulic passenger or freight elevators, dumbwaiters, and escalators. The top 10% make $109,450. (more…)

Posted April 13, 2015 by

How Can You Become a Commercial Pilot?

Portrait of a commercial airplane pilot smiling

Portrait of a commercial airplane pilot smiling. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Commercial pilots are licensed professionals who fly airplanes. They will often work for companies who take aerial photos or give aerial tours. They may also fly an aircraft charter for a single person or organization. Commercial pilots can also work for airlines transporting passengers and cargo on a specified schedule. Commercial pilots are required to have a high school diploma while most airline pilots need a bachelor degree. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the majority of commercial pilots earn $98,000 a year. (more…)

Posted March 30, 2015 by

Cloud Computing Skyrockets with Job Opportunities

Camile Sardina photo

Camile Sardina

Unemployment down 5.5 percent, tech industry a main reason

Heads that are high in the clouds about landing a job should look no further than cloud computing itself.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 295,500 U.S. jobs were added in February alone, bringing the unemployment rate down by 5.5 percent. Out of the 295,500 new jobs, 51,000 of them were in the professional and business service industry (second largest gain after food/beverage industry), tech consulting being at the top of the industry to land a job, with the majority of 7,000 out of the 51,000 career additions. (more…)

Posted March 20, 2015 by

To the Rookie Engineer: Tips for Success at Your First ‘Real’ Job

Senior and junior engineers discussing work together in office, senior man pointing at screen

Senior and junior engineers discussing work together in office, senior man pointing at screen. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’ve landed your first professional engineering job, and with dress shirt on and sleeves rolled up, you are ready to impress. Of course, everyone knows you’re the rookie — especially you — and you don’t want to sound totally clueless. Take a breath, shake off the doubt and remember these tips. (more…)

Posted February 23, 2015 by

Five Careers to Consider Before Going to Law School

Attorney at law sitting at desk holding pen with files with a card for Mediation

Attorney at law sitting at desk holding pen with files with a card for Mediation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Many students enter their college education with a plan for going to law school. The reasons for this decision vary, but many students intend to go to law school because they have a desire to help others and/or they like the salary prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers make around $113,000 a year. However, in a study reported by the Washington Post, only about 30% of lawyers are actually happy in their profession. While being a lawyer is a good career—and certainly a necessary one in our society—law practice is not a good fit for everyone. Here are some great ideas in the field that might be a better fit for you: (more…)