How can parents/guardians help girls find information about STEM careers and career pathways?
There are an infinite number of pathways to STEM careers. Girls who have a sense of what types of careers interest them have a head start in getting launched and finding appropriate role models and mentors who can help them navigate the training they need to succeed. There are some excellent websites, such as Career Girls, listed below for learning more about careers in a wide range of fields and how to prepare for them. The links below offer inspiration and information about what STEM careers are out there and how to pursue them.
Tips for Parents Seeking Information about STEM Careers
Start exploring career options and opportunities when your daughter is young. It’s never too early to learn about different types of jobs. Help your daughter realize that:
- Girls can better keep their options open by taking STEM classes—even if they aren’t sure whether or not they want to pursue a STEM career.
- Many jobs—in all types of fields—now use STEM tools and knowledge, so a strong STEM background is likely to come in handy no matter what job a woman ends up doing.
- Many STEM career pathways require prerequisite courses that can take more effort to fulfill later on in life, so taking them when young is often easier.
Girls sometimes shy away from taking classes that they think will be “hard.” Embolden your daughter to take appropriately challenging classes and to try new types of STEM activities so she develops STEM skills and learns about STEM career opportunities. Help your girl understand how the choices she makes in middle and high school may impact what options are available to her in the future. Taking advanced STEM classes will enable her to keep more options open. Guidance counselors and teachers are excellent resources for figuring out what classes make the most sense for a particular girl.
- Career Girls—interactive exploration of a wide variety of careers, including STEM careers, with tools like a career quiz to determine areas of interest
- Engineer Girl—guidance on engineering careers including how to get there
- Career Cornerstone Center—information on more than 185 STEM degree fields
- You Can Be Anything!—motivational video from from Center for Women and Information Technology at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
- Technolochicas—designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology
- Go Girl! Engineering a Bright Future for Today’s Girls—Project Lead the Way on girls’ careers in STEM
- Try Engineering—info on engineering, computing, and technology fields
- Career Resource Center–entry-level jobs for those with a college STEM degree
- Why Consider a Career in Computing and Information Technology—career options in technology and how students can prepare for them
- Scholarships for Women—college scholarships specifically for young women
- Navigating College as a Woman in STEM—advice on challenges and strategies
- Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection—inspiring TED Talk on coding as a way to teach girls to take risks and stop avoiding failure.