STEM studies — science, technology, engineering, and math — are often said to be the fields of study of the future. There has been and continues to be demand for people educated in these fields and these fields offer a broad range of possibilities. Students at the university where I currently work study ecology, biodiversity, chemical engineering, computer science, networking, and administration, forestry, physics, psychology, technical communication, nano-technology, packaging and marketing, pre-medicine/veterinarian, alternate fuels…the list is only as short as one’s imagination.
What kind of students study here? All kinds! We seem to particularly attract students who self-identify as being the ‘geeks and nerds’ of their high schools. These are students who may have several invisible disabilities at once, and who prefer opportunities to work hands-on while learning. Some are very shy, some belong to half a dozen organizations, a few know everyone on campus. Just like every campus, we have a range of personality types.
Who isn’t happy here? Usually if you would rather be doing something else than learning, then a STEM school is not a good fit for you.
If you want to kick back, sleep in, and quit listening, then a STEM education is not a good investment for you or your family. If you hate math too much to get through a calculus one class – which everyone has to take – then STEM education probably isn’t right for you, and you might not like college at all. If you can, however, work your way through one or two classes that you don’t love, in order to move on to the information that excites you, then you have the potential to be a STEM student.
I’m always happy to answer questions when people want more information about STEM education. I also encourage readers to post their own experience with studying STEM; what fields excite you?