Talent

STEM Premier Spotlight: New York

shutterstock_111189209.jpg

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 5,100+
  • Top College Interests: Cornell University, Stony Brook University, New York University, Columbia University, SUNY at Binghamton
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Bioengineering, Computer Science

Our next state spotlight take us to the Empire State for a closer look at STEM Premier students in New York. Powered by the immense hub of human activity that is New York City, New York possesses the third-largest economy in the U.S., behind only California and Texas. It’s economy is as diverse as it is large, with strong representation in healthcare, education, construction, hospitality, retail services, tourism, banking, and legal services.

New York’s largest population of STEM Premier students is concentrated - of course - in New York City, home to one of STEM Premier's newest collegiate partners - The Cooper Union. Other hubs of students exist in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and Binghamton. However, students can indeed be found in every corner of the state, including as far north as Massena and Plattsburgh.

ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on New York shows that overall STEM interest has grown significantly from 46% of students in 2012 to 50% in 2016. Most states have exhibited only modest increases (or even decreases) during that span. 50% student interest in New York now outpaces the national average of 48%. This rise seems primarily driven by growing student interest in engineering, mathematics, and computer science fields.

STEM Premier’s own data reflects this shift. Among STEM Premier’s New York students, three of the most popular career interests include computer programming, mechanical engineering, and computer science.

Learn more about STEM in New York by checking out ACT's full report.

New Report Identifies Vital Skills for the Future of the Workforce

student+profile_new.png

As the world’s economy continues to evolve, the skills and practices necessary to keep pace are evolving with it. STEM Premier has been there every step of the way offering students, job-seekers, and organizations a new and better way to engage each other. 

What's the evidence?  Recently, the California-based think tank Institute for the Future teamed up with the talent-management software company Cornerstone OnDemand to identify a short list of skills which will be vital for tomorrow’s professionals.

Two specific skills stood out in the joint report. They stood out because, not only are they important for students and young professionals to understand, but also for the schools and businesses who seek to attract them to their organizations and institutions.  

They are also exactly what STEM Premier was designed for. 

Make yourself known

“Brands aren’t for celebrities anymore,” the report notes. Hard copy resumes are making their last stand in a ever-evolving digital environment. Online professional platforms are quickly becoming the new standard. The reasons are obvious. Digital formats are easier to work with and share. They allow for greater flexibility and are much more dynamic. They allow applicants and job seekers the opportunity to uniquely express themselves and show off their talents by uploading videos, attaching documents, and more. These online profiles also allow schools and employers to find exactly the type of candidates they are looking for, and can truly get to know the person they are accepting or hiring. Simply put, everyone wins.

STEM Premier allows everyone - including organizations - to tailor their profile in order to make them stand out. 

Build your tribe

Industries and institutions can change rapidly, but the practice of building and maintaining personal networks will always be critical. Online platforms allow organizations to cut straight through traditional barriers - such as geography - to find and connect with the talent they need. As online platforms become the norm, the barriers which have prevented talented individuals from being noticed will crumble. The end result will be an environment in which the most qualified applicants are found and engaged every day around the globe.

STEM Premier provides a way for organizations and individuals to reach out and connect with each other. Forget jobs and college fairs; take your talent search directly to the prospects you are most interested in!

 

STEM Premier is proud to be part of the vanguard of this revolution. The future is coming. Is your organization ready?

Connecting America's Rural Students with Higher Education

Student being messaged by PSU.png

As debate intensifies over the future of higher education in the U.S., much of the focus has centered around the issue of racial and ethnic diversity. However, there is substantial constituency of America’s K-12 students who are going largely ignored: students from the country’s rural areas.

A recent NPR piece - based on findings from The Hechinger Report - highlights this glaring issue. It is highlighted by an alarming statistic. Despite the fact that rural students graduate from high school at a greater rate than the national average, they attend college at lower rates than their urban and suburban peers.

There have been many causes attributed to this phenomenon. Mining, farming, and manufacturing jobs which used to be a hallmark of rural economies have either moved away, become automated, or shut down entirely. The result is that there are simply less opportunities in the communities these students grow up in. Paradoxically, instead of seeking out opportunities in larger cities, most rural students find themselves as products of their environment and lose hope that opportunity awaits them. Like all good sons and daughters, they also want to stay close to home. 

Acknowledging this issue "is critical to our future, not just for employment but for civil discourse and kids feeling like they can contribute and achieve and not feeling lost and ignored," says Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, a nonprofit group which encourages students in Kentucky’s coal-mining southeast corner to go to college.

As we’ve noted before in a previous blog post, STEM Premier understands this challenge, and is one of our foremost priorities towards achieving educational equality in the U.S. for all students.

STEM Premier provides that crucial “missing link” for colleges to recruit in rural areas. Oftentimes, college recruiters are pressured to maximize their scarce time and resources. As as result, they typically visit more highly-populated areas where they can interact with the highest number of students. Rural students become “landlocked” and isolated from these opportunities. Some of America’s brightest students are going unnoticed.

Using our platform, colleges and universities can eliminate geographic boundaries and engage these rural students in an online ecosystem. Not only does this save educational institutions time and money, but it meets these young digital natives where they are: on their mobile devices which have become ubiquitous regardless of where they reside.  

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Visual and Performing Arts

shutterstock_505601602.jpg

In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the visual and performing arts industry.

In the modern U.S. economy, much ado is being made about technological skills and STEM proficiency. But it seems like almost nobody is talking about occupations and careers in the arts. According to the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production contributed over $700 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013; a 32.5% increase over 1998. During that same 15-year span, consumer spending on the arts increased annually by 10%. It’s safe to say that society will always appreciate art, music, and entertainment, so this industry will always have occupations requiring new talent. In fact, many of these occupations require proficiency in STEM disciplines (such as math and computer-aided design)!

Here’s just a few examples of the visual and performing arts occupations which have captured the attention of STEM Premier students:

  • Art Directors
  • Choreographers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Musicians
  • Photographers

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

Learning From The Pros: Taking it Slow

The regular season of the NCAA’s college football FBS division has drawn to a close, meaning that bowl season and the highly anticipated four-team playoff is just around the corner.

It’s no coincidence that the four teams in contention for the national championship - Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington - all are led by coaches with reputations for being excellent recruiters. What most people - even avid fans - may not know is that there is more than one way to run a great recruiting program.

Today, we’re taking a look at University of Washington head coach Chris Petersen’s approach to building a competitive program.

Petersen’s resume speaks for itself. A two-time winner of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, he compiled an incredible 92-12 record at Boise State University and sent multiple players to the NFL. He took over a middling Washington football program in 2014, and has summarily placed the Huskies in serious national title contention for the first time since 1991.

When it comes to recruiting, Petersen takes a more unorthodox approach.

In an article for USA Today Sports, Petersen mused that "the whole recruiting thing is going down a really bad path. Recruiting's becoming such a bunch of hype and a bunch of stuff that makes it harder on everybody to do an honest, good job and find the best fit for both sides. And that's what it's all about."

Opposed to the flurry of scholarship offers which most programs push out to any prospect who seems promising, Petersen prefers a slower and more methodical approach. It’s even been described as “a snail’s pace.”

The philosophy behind the approach, which Petersen honed at Boise State - where landing top prospects is difficult - is that they don’t want to simply find good players. They want to find players who buy into their message. This means Washington’s coaches don’t just rely on watching highlight tapes. They also get to know their prospects and their personalities.

"It's easy to put the tape on and see a good player,” said Petersen to USA Today, “but the reason we did so well at Boise and had so many of those guys get drafted and be NFL players was because we got the right guys who bought into our message. We were able to develop them. Plus, we liked coaching them, they liked being coached by us."

In today’s professional hiring environment, not enough organizations place emphasis on methodically building a stable pipeline of talented prospects who are not only interested, but are also a good fit for the organization.

STEM Premier’s platform is built around the ability to build personal relationships with users, whether they are potential students, potential scholarship recipients, or potential colleagues. Our messaging system facilitates communication with both individuals and groups, and our ManageOpps™ feature allows organizations to post scholarship offers, events, and other opportunities for talent to become engaged with them.  

Now you know Chris Petersen’s recruiting strategy. What’s yours?

What History Can Teach Us About Job Searches

In the study of history, documents and artifacts which were produced during the period of time being studied are called “primary sources.”

Primary sources are considered crucial evidence for historians in regards to forming conclusions in their research. In fact, they are virtually mandatory. This is because primary sources shed light on exactly how people thought and lived. For example, when examining an 18th-century explorer’s journal, we know it’s not a matter of opinion where the explorer traveled, because he tells us himself. In short, primary sources eliminate guesswork and provide a clear picture of something that may have happened hundreds - or even thousands - of years ago.

When it comes to standing out in the crowd of aspiring professionals, too few job applicants - and employers as well - fail to recognize the benefit of utilizing “primary sources” as they dive headlong into the hiring process.  

Published articles, art portfolios, dance recital footage, websites created. All of these are potential primary sources which accurately document a job applicant’s talent and proficiency. As a student or job seeker, if you are not showing off your work, you may not be putting your best foot forward. As an employer or educational institution, if you are not reviewing - or even asking for - past work, you may not be ultimately choosing the best applicants for your organization.

But isn’t that what resumes are for?

Not anymore.  

Resumes are an excellent way of summarizing education, qualifications, and professional experience in an easily digestible format. But resumes will always be a matter of an applicant’s opinion of themselves. To borrow another term from historical research, they are “secondary sources.” It’s easy to embellish and exaggerate your qualifications on a resume. It’s much harder to do on camera or on a canvas.

Times have changed. The digital age and high-speed internet allows for the quick uploading of digital files which can then be easily disseminated, downloaded, and viewed. Those who are not taking advantage of this technology are failing to examine the primary sources. Remember, primary sources are mandatory for historians. Why shouldn’t they be for educational institutions and employers?

STEM Premier’s “Student Files” feature allows students to upload a wide variety of digital files to their profile. From PowerPoint presentations to PDFs, users can choose the documents and work which best shows off their talents. They can even choose files directly from their Dropbox or Google Drive accounts.

Talents and skills which are best captured as video can be uploaded with the “Videos” feature located near the top of every STEM Premier student’s profile.

Let’s keep revolutionizing the way we find talent. The world is too big for just resumes.

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Social Services

In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the area of community and social services.

Designed to serve individuals in their educational, family, and healthcare environments, community and social services is a career area projected to grow 10 percent by 2024 and adding about 257,700 jobs, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This projected growth is faster than the average for all occupations. Most new positions in this occupational group will be in the healthcare and social assistance industry due to the country’s aging population. Similar job growth is occurring in the healthcare and healthcare support fields.

Millennials and their younger generational peers seemingly place more professional value on service and social responsibility, which is good news for educational institutions and organizations seeking talent in this field. To get a better idea of how STEM Premier can help tap into this talent, you can see a few samples below of specific social service careers that STEM Premier students are interested in:

  • Addiction counselors
  • Social workers
  • Health educators
  • Mental health counselors
  • Marriage and family therapists

STEM Premier students are even interested in religious vocations such as priests, rabbis, and ministers.

Is your organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

Best STEM High Schools Spotlight: #8 International Community School

In April, we talked about U.S. News and World Report’s recently released list of the best STEM high schools in the country.

We’re checking out some of the top schools which made the list. This week’s spotlight takes us out to the Pacific Northwest for a closer look at #8: International Community School in Kirkland, Washington.

Quick Facts:

  • Grade Levels: 6-12
  • Total Enrollment: 427
  • Students on STEM Premier?: YES

With a foreign-born student body of nearly 20%, International Community School (ICS) definitely lives up to its name. ICS is a “choice school” in its district, meaning that any student throughout the district can apply for acceptance.

ICS’ mission is to provide a “classical education with global applications.” Particular emphasis is placed on depth of understanding and interconnected learning, with classroom discussion and group projects serving as primary drivers of the educational experience.

The school’s curriculum focuses on six core content areas: international studies, humanities, world languages, the arts, science, and math. Most courses beginning with grade 10 are either honors or advanced placement.

As its name would imply, ICS offers a robust foreign language program. Students are required to take a foreign language as one of their core courses for the entirety of their six-year matriculation. This typically results in strong proficiency by the time students graduate.

The faculty of ICS are the envy of schools across the country. They boast an average of 18 years teaching experience among them, and 90% of them hold advanced degrees. As if that is not impressive enough, 45% are bilingual and 40% have international teaching experience. All faculty are required to participate in continuing learning in specific content areas.

In addition to their #8 Best STEM High School ranking, ICS is a Blue Ribbon School and was ranked the #3 school in Washington by U.S. in 2015.

Congratulations ICS! Go Phoenixes!
    

Learning From The Pros: Building Your Brand

University athletic programs - at all levels -  dedicate significant resources towards getting the best players possible on their team’s rosters. The reason is simple: people are an organization’s most important resource. The more talented the people are, the more successful the organization will be.

When it comes to collegiate athletics, the average fan only sees the end-product of this work; the games, matches, and meets.

But only the coaches and staff along with players and their families are knowledgeable of the entire process which is necessary to achieve that end-product.

The work starts early. It’s a process which spans multiple years, oftentimes beginning before athletes have begun their junior year of high school. In terms of results, it should come as no surprise that the athletic programs which work the hardest and longest on the recruiting trail are the same ones who tend to field the most competitive teams.

Where does it all begin?

There are an estimated 8 million high school athletes in the U.S., and only 480,000 of them will compete at the collegiate level. Even less than that will earn an athletic scholarship. So how do coaches wade through the nationwide ocean of athletes to find the dozen or so they want to recruit?

Interestingly enough, it is often the athlete who first reaches out to the university. There are strict rules about when and how often coaches can contact athletes, but none exist for when athletes initiate the contact. The most common practice is for an athlete or their coach to send game film for the university to evaluate. Sort of like how an interested job candidate would send a business their resume. 

That’s why having a strong brand and open channels of communication are critical for any strong program. Teams who don’t have a strong presence and reputation will find a distinct lack of interest in their programs. And programs which do not have reliable methods of receiving communication from athletes interested in their programs will soon find those athletes moving onto other programs who will pay them more attention. 

Similarly, by neglecting these concepts, educational institutions and businesses may be missing out on interested talent. STEM Premier solves this problem. By joining STEM Premier, these organizations ensure themselves of an online presence which students can find and feel comfortable approaching. Our platform also allows organizations to tailor their presence with video, information, links, and more so as to maximize their efforts via a comprehensive profile. They can also message talent directly to establish a connection and build a relationship with students who fit their needs in higher education and the workforce.   

Not every organization can be as dominant as the University of Alabama is on the gridiron, but STEM Premier will help them tap into a new source of hidden talent and level the playing field.