The STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) have long since been one of the most powerful areas to build a career. One can consider each of these fields to be the building blocks of modern civilization.
Countries that have a well-developed educational system and are able to train their citizens in these fields often reap the benefits that come with having a population of highly skilled workers.
Given the high standards that are expected from STEM graduates, young students about to join colleges for a degree in one of these fields can often feel unprepared and worried if they will be able to keep up.
Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to help prepare such students for the journey that lies ahead of them. Let’s explore some of them today.
#1. Ensure You Have a Strong Foundation in Key Subjects
Virtually every area of the STEM field involves a good deal of math and science. If you are someone who didn’t pay too much attention in science and math class in high school, it would be wise to freshen up your memory and master the foundations once more.
Things are only going to get more complicated in college, and the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed.
With Math, you want to ensure that your foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus is all solid. They are used quite a lot in STEM fields, and your course is likely to require you to build on top of your existing knowledge rapidly as well.
In subjects like Physics, you want to ensure your understanding of the principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, and optics is strong. Chemistry will need you to be thorough with atomic structure, chemical bonding, and reaction mechanisms. You should also get in touch with a professor or alumni who can guide you on which areas will be most important for you.
Statistics and data science are also going to be incredibly helpful as most STEM degrees and even work require a good bit of research, where data analysis and interpretation will be used a lot.
#2. Use Technology and Online Resources
In a world where it is possible to access the wealth of human knowledge from one’s fingertips, it is imperative that you take advantage of the different online resources available to you.
With just a little bit of effort, you can find resources such as free online courses, e-books, and communities filled with like-minded students.
With technology, there are now websites where that will answer any STEM question for you by having online tutors provide you with video tutorials for your questions. Such tools can be invaluable if you are more of a visual learner.
Proprep is a service that does just that and aims to help STEM students “improve their understanding of challenging materials.” Considering their catalog of over 50,000 currently existing videos, it isn’t surprising to see how helpful services like theirs are to students. Testimonials from students praise Proprep for being one of the most effective study tools to exist.
#3. Seek Mentorship and Guidance
Regardless of how much solo preparation you do, there are going to be a number of aspects when it comes to STEM field life that you will be unprepared for. Finding a mentor is one of the most important tasks that can help you find a sense of belonging in what can often be a stressful and overwhelming field.
A lot of professors are eager and willing to mentor students who show a keen interest and desire to learn. You can also network and contact alumni from the college you are hoping to study at and seek their help as well.
Mentors can provide a ton of useful advice and offer guidance on the best ways to deal with the coursework, research opportunities, internships, and potential career paths, as well as provide you with valuable feedback on your skills and abilities.
The STEM field doesn’t have a reputation for being easy. New students have to put in considerable hard work to really make the best of their time in college. Moreover, this is a discipline that is quite competitive, and only the best are able to secure one of the more desirable positions once they graduate.
Students are aware of this, and it can add a lot of stress to their lives. For this reason, in addition to building a solid foundation, finding mentorship, and using online resources, it can be a good idea to also train your mind with techniques for time and stress management, along with developing stellar organization skills.
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