In his State of the Union Address in January, President Barack Obama stressed the need for a larger workforce in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, otherwise known as STEM. And judging from the number of tables at the Career Fair last year, it looks like STEM careers are where it’s at.
But then again … maybe not.
After surveying 1,000 young adults last year, experts at Lemelson-MIT found that fewer students between the ages of 16 and 25 are pursuing careers in STEM, in spite of Obama’s plea.
William Jones, the associate director of the Career Center, disagrees with these findings. He noted that 60 percent of the companies at Wednesday’s Career fair were looking for technical majors, which primarily includes engineering, science and business.
“The top three majors present are engineers, business and behavioral and social science majors,” he said.
Senior government and politics major Lianne Berne said the findings seemed to make sense.
“I know, in my high school, there was less emphasis on the sciences, so it starts before college,” Berne said.
Several students saw a great variety of tables for both technical and nontechnical majors, the latter of which primarily refers to English, history or language majors.
Jones noted the fair featured 212 technical companies and 201 technical companies.
However, some students did notice an age gap in the opportunities available.
“There was definitely more opportunities for juniors and seniors,” Kozel said. “But most of the stuff was just available online, so I kind of didn’t have to go.”
And freshman fire protection and engineering major Raquel Hakes said the age gap was more noticeable at the STEM tables.
“The nontechnical companies were more willing or nice about talking to freshman or looking at their resumes,” she said.
— Neha Sastry