STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Do these topics appeal to you? Do they intimidate you? Have you ever considered a career in one of the STEMs? I happen to have a career in this field as a construction estimator/project manager.
I went to University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology. Then, because I felt I needed to have more education to accompany my BA, I went back to University and spent a year studying for an Applied Human Resource Management Certificate. I stumbled into my career in construction by being in the right place at the right time. Although my career isn’t what I went to school for, I’m really glad my path has taken this slight veer to the left. As it turns out, I’m good at my job, which is essentially a human calculator.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard at some point in your life, math is for men and English literature is for women? Yeah—I’ve heard it too. I’ve read it online and heard it in passing at school. If you look around a typical Intro to Engineering class you might find that the men outnumber the women. But why? Are women not interested in these careers, or have women been in a way deterred from these careers because of the heavy masculine presence?
My own experience in the construction industry has been positive. In my home city of Fredericton, I work with one other female project manager and the rest are all men. I’ve never once felt like a lesser employee, never once felt the need to prove myself more because of my gender and never once have I been intimidated by the career. It would be nice to have more women in this field—the estimator and project management career is a great choice for anyone who enjoys working with people and likes detail and fast paced environments. My workday is never the same: There’s always a new job to tackle and a new problem to solve, so it’s never dull.
Obviously within the STEM world there is a very broad range of careers that could include lab technicians, researchers, engineering, CET (Certified Engineering Technologist) or project manager/estimator to name a few—women looking for more information can click here, which gives a great over-view of careers available. There’s even a Women in STEM section which gives more details about colleges available.
The benefits of my personal STEM career are many. One that I really enjoy is the ability to get out of the office and interact with clients on job sites. I suit up in my steel toe boots and hardhat and head out to meet with clients. Sometimes I’m on job sites to troubleshoot problems and sometimes I’m there for an inspection. Interacting with clients is a great change of scenery and it’s nice to get out for a few hours each day. Other benefits include being a salaried employee, vacations and flexibility with hours.
Of course there’s health and dental as well as mileage paid for vehicle use, which are all positive benefits for anyone looking for a solid career with rewards. Opportunities for advancement are another benefit of my career. In larger companies, holding a position of Chief Estimator and leading a team or becoming a sales/branch manager are possible. For women looking for a good, stable career with opportunity for position and salary advancement, this is a good option.
For those looking for scholarships, I recommend using this web-site.
The STEM path is full of opportunity and filament. It’s a place where women will see growth and development. For anyone who has an interest in a STEM career, I encourage you to look onto it. If you’re not 100% sure, ask to job shadow someone you know for a week, or arrange a co-op through your school. Seeing someone in the role everyday will be a great way to familiarize yourself with the career and its daily tasks. I know in my career as a project manager/estimator I would love to see more women in the workplace.