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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 June 04, 2016 by

Top 10 degrees that positively impact the world

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Most young people are college-bound and want to change the world. Here are the top 10  degrees that will help you have a positive impact on the world.

1. English

BA’s in English get a lot of flak for being one of the “useless” college degrees, but as many hiring managers should be able to tell you, English majors are equipped with critical thinking and communication skills that are useful in nearly every profession. Who knows? You might write a novel that brings to light and makes people think about a serious societal issue.

2. Business

This one will only have a positive impact on the world if students don’t allow themselves to become indoctrinated into the system. The business world needs innovators who will adapt to a changing world, keep ethics in mind, and care about people as much as their profit margins.

3. History

History majors are educated to be well-rounded thinkers, researchers, observers, writers, and, best of all, they understand the implications of history and how to apply the lessons it teaches us about the modern world.

4. Environmental Studies

It is no secret that environmental issues are one of the greatest challenges of our time. If you choose to major in environmental studies, you can embark on a path that will lay one or more of these issues to rest.

5. Psychology

Psychologists save lives, literally, by listening and helping others though the most trying times of their lives.

6. Film Studies

Like many other artistic pursuits, filmmakers have the ability to reach the general public and present them with new and challenging ideas.

7. Education

Many students cite a favorite teacher as the sole reason for pursuing a certain profession because that teacher inspired them.

8. Nursing

Nurses have more hands-on experience in saving people’s lives than most other professions.

9. Economics and Mathematics

The people who know how to handle and keep track of money truly run the world. Whether you help keep a good company in the black or help people with their investments, the impact of smartly-managed money can be enormous.

10. Civil Engineering

Whether you’re designing a bridge or a skyscraper, our society would not have gotten very far without good infrastructure. Civil engineering programs prepare students to build the societies of the future.

So when choosing what you want to major in and which degrees to pursue, remember that college is not necessarily about job training. It’s about allowing students to discover their talents and themselves.

Lizzie Weakley, freelance writer

Lizzie Weakley, freelance writer

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio, who went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. Follow Lizzie on Twitter @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.

 

Posted March 28, 2015 by

College Recruiting Bootcamp: How to Hire Diverse STEM Students and Grads

Verizon headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJIs your organization struggling with its efforts to recruit and retain diverse, college and university recent graduates and students for your science, technology, engineering, and math roles? Almost every organization struggles to recruit and retain these highly sought after STEM candidates yet many of these same organizations are seeing real success in a number of areas.

Join your fellow university relations, talent acquisition, and other human resource leaders from corporate, non-profit, and government organizations the afternoon of Monday, May 18th at the headquarters of Verizon for a highly interactive, collegial, and informative moderator-led discussion on the best practices for recruiting and retaining diverse STEM candidates from colleges and universities. (more…)

Posted January 26, 2015 by

Parents, Are You Giving Homework Help to Your Children?

According to the US educational system, if parents want their child to succeed at school, they are to help their kids with homework. The case is, students spend 70% of their waking time out of school.
Many parents face loads of troubles on the ground of this issue. Some of them are too busy because of their work, some are just surprised with the level of the difficulty of the materials their kids get at school. Homework-Desk.com decided to find out the exact numbers and statistics from this field.
Really interesting is the fact that parents studying-activity frequently depends on their age and gender. We also managed to differentiate the most popular subjects parents help their kids with. Parents’ being interested in the studying life of their kids increases children’s interest in school and makes them enjoy studying more.
There are some rules and guidelines that can help parents deal with studies, such as there should be a definite time for doing homework, as well as, a definite place. Kids shouldn’t be distracted while dealing with their home assignments. All the materials needed should be provided for the child, so that he/she won’t waste time on unnecessary researches. (more…)

Posted November 14, 2014 by

Employers Plan to Hire 8.3% More College Grads Than Last Year

NACE logoA number of our employer clients have told me that they’re finding it harder to recruit well qualified recent graduates and students from one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities as well as graduate schools. I recently saw a study that explains why.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2015 report indicated that employers plan to hire 8.3 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2015 for their U.S. operations than they did from the Class of 2014. There was also substantial growth reported for non-USA positions, although not quite as substantial: non-USA hiring of recent grads and students was expected to increase by 3.2 percent. The overall reported increase was 7.5 percent. (more…)

Posted October 06, 2014 by

A State by State Look at Education in the United States

Even though education in the United States tends to be looked at on the whole, it is probably more fair to break it down by location to get a better idea of how students are doing in different parts of the country.  As a result, it may be easier to find answers to improve the quality of education students receive.  Here is a state by state look at education in the U.S. from the following infographic. (more…)

Posted September 26, 2014 by

Can the United States Improve Education Based on Personality?

Some people may believe that education is broken, so why is this the case and what can be done to change this notion?  Most, if not all, teachers probably have students with different personalities.  Perhaps education in the United States could improve if we considered that students’ personalities cause them to learn differently.  Not being a good test taker on paper does not mean that someone isn’t smart, it just means the method of learning is not conducive for them to process information.  The following post features an infographic that will hopefully help teachers take steps to get better results in the classroom by considering the affect of personality. (more…)

Posted September 12, 2014 by

Recruiters, Want to Help Find New Talent and Ideas for Employers? What You Can Do

For recruiters who want to help employers find new talent and ideas, perhaps they can find the answer in the following post.

On this week’s Women of Washington radio show, Anne Altman, head of IBM Federal, joins hosts Gigi Schumm and Aileen Black to discuss how successful companies bring new talent into their organizations.

Read the article:

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Posted April 08, 2014 by

Not every medical career needs math!

Female counselor ready to take notes

Female counselor ready to take notes. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jobs in healthcare are predicted to keep growing over the next 20 years. People who are looking to start a new career know that field of medicine is wide open but many pass up a career in medicine because they think it is beyond their reach. Why? Well, it’s because we think of a pre-med major in college and immediately conjure up images of a geeky looking kid that can memorize and do math. Most people don’t see themselves as “smart” in that way. The point I want to make is that we associate medicine with mathematics but the truth is entirely different. In reality, there are many medical careers that don’t require math and if you’re looking to start a new career, give the healthcare industry some consideration. Think over this: (more…)