Myths vs. Facts: The Truth About Landing a Job in STEM

Myths vs. Facts! Breaking down the common misconceptions, urban legends, and false facts around landing a job in STEM fields!

MYTH #1: There are only Engineering jobs for Computer Science majors.

Fact: Two of the fastest-growing engineering fields, industrial engineering and petroleum engineering, staff two of the largest proportions of older workers. In both, 25% of currently employed workers are 55 years or older. Industrial engineers are vital to many manufacturing firms that struggle to find the right technically oriented talent, so the aging workforce is a threat. Petroleum engineering, meanwhile, has had a noticeable undersupply of graduates coming into the marketplace in the last few years. So, among many other fields, these two fastest-growing engineering fields are looking to hire recent graduates. To help you find jobs within your major, the Wasserman Center hosts several networking opportunities with employers looking to hire students majoring in a variety of fields including Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Civil Engineering. Make sure to check NYU CareerNet for any upcoming opportunities.

MYTH #2: Engineering students can’t join professional clubs or work during school.

Fact: Engineering students study most of the time, but not ALL of the time. The number of hours recommended for study and revision in engineering is similar to any other degree: 10 hours per course. So unless you’re doing a conjoint or accelerated pathway, you would be taking four courses per semester, hence committing to a total of 40 hours of study per week, including your lecture times. So join a professional organization or club, work some exercise in, network with employers through On Campus Recruitment; but most of all, enjoy your time in college and develop some transferrable skills.

MYTH #3: There is no variety of study or concentration in Engineering.

Fact: Branches of engineering include aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, forensic, genetic, mechanical, military, nuclear, reverse, software, and structural. 

MYTH #4: There are no examples of women in Engineering who have created something cool and innovative.

Fact: The first computer program was predicted by Ada Lovelace in a paper she published in 1843. Ada suggested the plan for calculating Bernoulli numbers with a new calculating engine called the “Analytical Engine”. Between 1842 and 1843, she translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes of her own, simply called Notes. These notes contain what many consider to be the first computer program—that is, an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine. Lovelace’s notes are important in the early history of computers. If you’re interested in meeting and speaking with an all-women panel of professionals and alumnae within STEM careers, check out the upcoming Women in STEM Career Panel on March 4th, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Learn more about the Engineering/Technology/Computer Science/Info Systems/Construction Management/Entrepreneurship industries by attending these events:

Making It In: Tech, February 17th, 12:00pm-1:30pm

IBM Watson Day at NYU School of Engineering, February 19th, 9:30am-6:00pm

Corporate Presentation: Vitech Systems Group, Inc., February 19th, 4:00pm-5:15pm