In our previous blog, we looked at the challenges women working and studying in STEM face everyday but what does it take for someone to pursue a career in this field? Many people believe that working in this field is reserved for those who are younger and have the opportunity to attend prestigious universities and can choose STEM programmes, there are many institutions that offer support to those who desire a change of career later in life no matter the age.
Making the transition into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career can be challenging, but it is definitely possible. Here are a few tips to help you make the switch:
Develop the necessary skills: The first step in transitioning into a STEM career is to develop the skills that are required for the field. For example, if you are interested in a career in software development, you will need to learn programming languages such as Java or Python. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to gain the skills you need. One of the biggest sources of free training is Youtube, it is actually possible to learn how to become a software developer from others who share tutorials and information on how to break into the field.
Network: Networking is key when it comes to finding a job in STEM. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people working in the field you are interested in. The more connections you make, the more likely you are to hear about job openings and opportunities.
Get experience: Gaining experience in a STEM field is crucial when it comes to making the transition. Consider taking on an internship or a volunteer position to gain hands-on experience. This will not only help you develop the skills you need, but it will also give you a sense of what it’s like to work in a STEM field.
Be flexible: Be open to different types of roles and industries. While you may have a specific career path in mind, be open to other opportunities that may come your way.
Consider obtaining a certification: It is not necessary to obtain a degree, however it is encouraged to get a certification in a STEM field. Many universities offer flexible programs for working adults, and there are many methods to obtain a certification that can verify the skills you have learned. The most popular platforms to obtain a certification are grow.google.com, Coursera and learn.microsoft.com, there are many more platforms that give the opportunity for anybody to careers and in turn change their lives.
Making the transition into a STEM career can be challenging, but it is definitely worth it. With the right skills, experience, and network, you can find a job that you love in a field that is in high demand.