Student Voice


January 28, 2023

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Success in future should not be seen as exclusive to STEM majors

April 8, 2016

It seems apparent that, when it comes to education and careers, a bias exists against those who choose to focus both toward blue collar jobs and attend technical colleges focusing on vocational education, as well as students who delve into fields such as the humanities in college which fall outside of the STEM “elite.”

Among the Student Voice staff, there was discussion on how high school prepared us for our future after graduation, and overwhelmingly, these high schools mostly or entirely stressed the importance of going to a 4-year university to seek out a bachelor’s degree. The problem here is that, when bachelor’s degrees are stressed, the alternatives start to seem much less viable when they are equally sound as options.

The prevailing opinion that is heard all over is that to be truly successful, one should go to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in a strong STEM field, possibly moving on towards a master’s degree and beyond. And in contrast, those who focus on seemingly anything outside these subjects have much poorer prospects -- especially those who go into the arts.

People should not be discouraged over their ideal major. Every field grants different possibilities and none are more or less valid in any way to STEM subjects.

Meanwhile, just about everyone is familiar with the stereotypical image of the fat, sweaty maintenance man, or plumber. It must be very discouraging to see such portrayals when that sort of field is what interests a person. Even suggesting that these sorts of jobs are of interest to some people can easily come across as very strange.

On a macro level, this can also be an issue. A country needs strong infrastructure to thrive, and these blue collar workers are the ones who keep everything together. There should be no shame in maintaining and being proud of a job that keeps the country going.

The important thing to take away from this is that, while we are all here -- hopefully -- of our own volition, going to university and getting a bachelor’s degree in a STEM subject does not instantly make you successful, nor do those who don’t get their degree have no hope for their future. Success can be achieved without going to college and, for those who do go to college, any field of study can lead to a bright, lucrative future and happiness.