There has never been a better time for women to enter into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career. As Houston and the Gulf Coast region attract more STEM-based corporations, the demand for qualified workers continues to grow.
Community colleges have been supplying the training and education to meet those needs for five decades, and we have hundreds of program areas in which students can begin successful careers. Many of them are in STEM-related fields, but all can be used as a stepping stone for career advancement.
From manufacturing technologists to chemical engineers, and from computer technicians to nurses, the STEM fields are more open to women than ever. And, companies in the various industries are readily hiring women when qualified candidates apply.
Students can begin their careers in the medical and dental fields by attending classes at many of the local community colleges. Others interested in STEM can choose degrees, certifications and short-term training programs in such areas as drafting and design engineering, instrumentation and controls, logistics and global supply, and process technology.
According to seek.org, 37% of database engineers, 78% of clinical laboratory technologists, and 91% of registered nurses are women. In the higher-level technical industry positions, there is still a lot of room for women to increase their presence. Forbes estimates that 83% of chemical engineers and 78% of environmental scientists are men.
STEM students in Houston and the Gulf Coast area have opportunities to get hands-on experience in a real world setting through internships set up with major companies and organizations such as Dow Chemical and NASA. Additionally, faculty and staff are committed to providing students with quality education and information on scholarships to help students pay for their educations.
Tammy Hendrix-Doucette, a recipient of the T-STEM Challenge Scholarship from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said, “This scholarship has positioned me to be eligible to be part of a research grant fellowship. I am on a research team for thermal chemical bio-mass projects and will work on a presentation for the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. It has literally changed my life for the better.”
Information about scholarships, grants and financial aid are available at each community college in the Texas Gulf Coast area.