Making a Switch to a STEM Field
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As you progress through your career, your wants and needs will likely change. Maybe the long hours and a lot of traveling that you relished early in your career are now taking their toll. Maybe you feel as if the skills you’ve developed would be better utilized elsewhere, like in the growing STEM market. After all, many of today’s fastest growing jobs are in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Because it’s never too late to start a new career path, here are three tips for making the switch to a STEM field:

Consider Where You Fit In

Unfortunately, accounting experience probably won’t help you make the jump to being a microbiologist, nor will working in marketing allow you to be a natural in the world of volcanology (or vice versa). With that being said, there are plenty of STEM-related jobs, that with a little vocational and on-the-job training, you can make the jump to. Consider the types of jobs that would make sense for you to go into given your skills, experience, and where you are in your career. It is important not to discount the idea of looking for non-STEM jobs within STEM companies. A company that specializes in wind turbines still needs an accounts receivable department and you may find that the booming success of their industry means better pay and benefits.   

Be Open to Relocation

Be open to embracing the full wave of change when switching to a new job. If there isn’t a wealth of STEM jobs in your area, consider relocating to a place where they are plentiful. According to Forbes, top cities with the most STEM job listings include San Jose, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Do your research and discover what areas would be right for you and for your career. While change may be scary, a recent survey conducted by the Impact Group found that 55% of employees believe that they are on a better career path due to their relocation, and 71% said that it also gave them the opportunity to enjoy new experiences, both inside and outside the office.

Don’t Underestimate Your Experience

It is important that you take time to consider how you can best brand yourself in today’s ever-growing world of STEM. Although you may not have a STEM degree, there are many skills and experiences that are easily transferable, such as communication, organization, and technology literacy. Assess your strengths and think about how they can be applied and marketed to various STEM fields. Although you may still have to undergo basic on-the-job training, there is a lot that your past experiences and skills can make up for. Be open to learning, yet know that you do have a lot to offer.

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