Because the E in STEM is kind of a big deal
You might be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the term STEM. For those less familiar, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and is something we all need to get used to hearing, especially when it comes to hiring and job searching.
STEM is the future of our workforce, and the next generation is already being trained to fill the gaps. You can see this based on the moves Generation Z is making as they enter the job market.
Generation Z consists of 18-to-22-year olds and is known best for being the generation with fantastic multi-tasking abilities. This makes sense in an engineering field, considering how it’s evolved to more than just numbers and calculations. Engineers must also have the ability to maneuver open-ended problems and design challenges while learning how to work best in groups.
As the job description for an engineer has changed over the years, so has the technology surrounding the workforce. Recently, Bloomberg’s CTO spoke to students at the School of Engineering and Applied Science during their Class Day and communicated these thoughts to them, sharing that engineering today is a foundational skill necessary for advancement in nearly every discipline.
Think about what it takes to be an engineer in 2019.
You need to be someone who is addicted to that feeling you get after figuring something out. Whether you’re talking about a math calculation, back-end coding, or how Bryce Harper can consistently hit a 500-foot homerun, engineers want to know the why behind it all.
You probably had a friend who took apart their family’s VCR (if you’re familiar with that ancient tool), engineers like to know the science behind how things work, which is why they are so sought after today.
So if you are a company looking to bring on the new STEM-infused generation, you’ll need to position yourself as a technology-based group because 75% percent of high school students have indicated an interest in STEM fields, and 60% of 18-to-22-year olds say they won’t use an app or website if it’s too slow.
On the other side of the job fence, if you are an aspiring engineer, remember that it’s going to take more than just your knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem to find your way in the field, you will need to meet the industry where it is when communication and creativity are concerned.
Think about when you would play the game telephone in school, passing a message from one person to the next, almost always having it become distorted by the end of the chain. Imagine this happening in an engineering environment, especially during a time where technology makes it so easy to communicate with one another. Even the slightest miscommunication can lead to serious complications or disasters in engineering.
As far as creativity is concerned, if engineers weren’t creative, new things would never be invented. An engineer always needs to look for things you don’t understand and ask why it is the way it is. This is how new ideas come to be, and we evolve as a society.
One last reminder for aspiring engineers, read the manual. This might sound way too basic, but this practice is all about learning how to work a new tool when it’s given to you. Don’t become the person who would rather drive around for two hours than ask for directions – nobody needs that.
Prospective engineers, the job market is calling for you, as recruiters, we see it every day. Put your technology-driven, number-crunching, creative self into the mix, and who knows, maybe we will connect during your job search.