The cost of obtaining an engineering degree from a four-year university can undoubtedly be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many different avenues you can take to lower your tuition bill. Aside from the financial aid package that you may receive from your school, you could take out student loans, which would put you in debt or you could apply for scholarships – which you wouldn’t have to pay back! Finding legitimate and reputable scholarships is key. Being able to spot a scam will be beneficial and because it’s not always clear, we wanted to help you find the good ones! Here are some resources to help you find engineering scholarships.
The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is probably the best place you could go for legitimate and targeted scholarships. These scholarships are specifically for engineering students. Here, you’ll find scholarships for graduate students, undergraduate students, and even high schoolers who plan to pursue an engineering degree in the future.
Fastweb is a huge resource for college students. Not only can you find targeted scholarships based on your strengths, interests, and skills, but you can also find help with FAFSA and financial aid, college searches, and finding a part-time job. Once you create a profile on Fastweb, the site will automatically match you with hundreds of third-party scholarships, and new ones are added every day. Fastweb’s massive database covers all types of scholarships like Merit-based, high school or college student, minority, state, grade level, and weird scholarships!
On collegescholarships.org, you can search for scholarships by engineering concentration and browse other categories like athletic, minority, degree level, student type, state, and more. The site curates scholarships from reputable companies and organizations like Siemens, NASA, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Naval Engineers, and more.
These are just a few of the top places to find engineering scholarships. Another great place to look for scholarships is at your school. Most universities have resources that will help you find scholarships and will help you with tips on how to apply and how to write your essays for a better chance of winning the scholarship.
If you’re from New Jersey and a current engineering student, NJSPE offers student memberships at no cost! As long as you’re enrolled in an ABET-accredited engineering or pre-engineering program, you are eligible to join NJSPE. Get your career and professional connections started early. Join NJSPE today.
Graduating from college and finding a job in the midst of COVID-19 is undoubtedly nerve-wracking. It makes you wonder if companies are still hiring and if you’ll receive a decent salary. Luckily for you engineering graduates, even in a global pandemic, companies across the country are continuing to hire fresh talent! After a little bit of research, you’ll be happy to find that there are still plenty of opportunities available. Since both recent graduates and recently laid-off workers are on the prowl for a job, the competition may be a little tighter than usual. Make sure you’re prepared for your job search and interviews with these tips:
Casting a wide net has never hurt anybody! Especially during COVID times, jumping on as many opportunities as possible will give you a much greater chance of hearing back. Don’t limit yourself to a certain type of company or one specific role. There are likely a dozen different job titles that require your skills. Do your research, connect with people on LinkedIn, ask questions, and be persistent yet thoughtful!
Now that you’re a college graduate, your ice cream scooper job from when you were 16 probably shouldn’t still be on your resume. Make sure you list any internships/on-campus jobs you had. If you took any certification courses or learned a new software program, add that! It’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Notice any keywords in the job posting and make sure your resume reflects a few of those keywords throughout.
You know the saying: You can take the student out of college but you can’t take college out of the student. You will forever be an alumnus of your school – use it to your advantage! Other alumni are an amazing source of potential job opportunities. You can find these groups usually on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. There’s no shame in asking for a little help! Through your connections, you’re likely to find valuable opportunities.
When you do hear back from a company requesting an interview, it will likely be held over Zoom to maintain social distancing. It’s not an ideal interview situation, but we must adapt! For Zoom calls, you’ll want to find a quiet, well-lit room that has a strong Wi-Fi connection. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can get out of dressing the part for the interview! Make sure you’re dressed professionally from head to toe (we don’t want a no-pants situation!) and be sure to use appropriate body language. Show that you’re listening to the interviewer and ask questions as if you were in the same room as them. Conveying personality and body language can be tough on a video call, just be yourself, be present, and good things will happen!
Need some more help preparing for your interviews? Check out NJSPE’s Career Center. Here, you’ll find resources to help you build and manage your career for maximum potential for success. Check it out >>
STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – has been a national topic of discussion since former President Barack Obama made it a priority during the beginning of his administration. Throughout the years, engineers, scientists, and other innovators across the country have helped secure our nation’s spot as a leader and trailblazer for technology and discovery, but is that position in jeopardy?
To keep the United States as a world leader in science, medicine and engineering, we need to work together to make STEM-related fields available and feasible for all races and genders. Beginning with New Jersey, we can create a movement where our schools provide equal opportunities for all students to get involved and enhance their skills in STEM areas of study.
Over the next 10 years, STEM jobs are projected to grow nine percent in New Jersey – nearly double the growth expected for all other careers. Engineering alone is expected to have more than 500,000 new jobs available in the United States. Computer and IT job growth will also be exponentially higher. With such growth expected, it should come as no surprise that New Jersey’s STEM unemployment rate is only 3.2 percent compared with non-STEM unemployment at 5.7 percent, making it a more stable career option than any other field.
In addition to job stability, STEM careers offer a higher salary right out of college with raises and bonuses only increasing that salary over time. On average, New Jersey workers in STEM careers make a median wage of $44 an hour, which is double the median wage of all other careers in the state. This trend isn’t only native to New Jersey – nationally, STEM workers earned 29 percent more. Couple the high wage with the number of job vacancies and it paints a clear picture of the stability and security of STEM occupations, and with the expected projections, demand for STEM jobs in New Jersey will remain high for at least a decade.
While there have been small strides to increase diversity in the STEM workforce, women and minorities are still severely underrepresented. Even in New Jersey, a state with a predominantly female and minority population, there are huge disparities. Only 20 percent of African American children in fourth and eighth grade are at or above proficient in math and only 14 percent are at or above proficient in science. Hispanic children are slightly higher, with 26 percent and 18.5 percent at or above proficient in math and science, respectively. With such undereducation in grade schools, the minority children in our state are not receiving the same opportunities to pursue STEM-related degrees as the Asian and white male populations.
Fast forward to college-age individuals and only 12 percent of minorities in New Jersey received engineering degrees or certificates in 2015. For women, there were only 665 computer science and 1,079 engineering degrees or certificates awarded. White men, however, received more than three times as many. By increasing the number of girls who get involved in math and science courses, we can close both the wage and gender gap in the STEM workforce.
Even though we have made strides as both a country and a state to increase awareness surrounding STEM education, we are still not where we need to be. There is not only a shortage in the number of students enrolled in high-level STEM classes and degrees but also a shortage in the teachers available to teach these classes. In New Jersey, educators, STEM workers and legislators alike need to work together to make STEM education a priority. Let’s fight the stigma that engineering, computer science and manufacturing are “old boys’ clubs. We need to ensure the girls and minorities in our schools understand that STEM courses and fields are welcoming of everyone – whether they want to have a STEM career or teach the next generation of STEM students.