Students took advantage of a career fair held by the STEM program on April 14 on East Campus. The fair, held in the Harvin Center, gave employers a chance to interact with STEM students and discuss possible employment or internships.
The STEM program consists of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree plans at Del Mar College that are geared toward helping students pursue careers in those fields.
“The increase in technology is increasing the need for STEM students,” Career Specialist Cecilia Gambia said. “The industry is always advancing and students in these fields are always in demand.”
According to Title V Director Victor Davila, the purpose of the STEM program is to enhance STEM activity on campus, such as student advising, tutoring and mentoring.
“I don’t see anything outside of STEM except for the medical field,” geology major Margarita Willhelm said on her career plans. “I decided to get involved with the STEM program because it seemed interesting, and the future looked brighter than if I were majoring in something other than STEM.”
Organizations including the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, the Corpus Christi Police Department, Workforce Solutions for the Costal Bend, Corpus Christi Army Depot and more were featured in the Harvin Center.
“Today is now a STEM environment, and soon everybody will be a digital native,” Corpus Christi Army Depot recruiter Israel Talamantez said. “Our goal is to hire interns and to have Del Mar train them to our standards, and in turn, will result in permanent positions with our program.”
Jobs involving STEM average $12 to $29 per hour for those with a one- or two-year associate degree, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“We have had previous success with STEM students at Del Mar, so we are hoping to continue that success and relationship with the students,” said Erin Quinn, recruiting manager at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. “We are looking for people who are eager, energetic and in need for many training opportunities.”
According to Davila, the STEM program is used to help students have a better understanding about the process of being a first-year student all the way to graduation day.
“Most jobs are now moving and will become more technological based, so finding a job in the science industry will become easier as technology is advanced,” said Nancy Bonilla, special projects manager at Workforce Solutions for the Coastal Bend. “We are hoping to decrease outsourcing and create a need for people to become a part of the local workforce.”
With the job market being competitive for students graduating from college, the need for the upper hand is getting even more important, so students are turning toward the STEM program.
“The workforce has to keep up with the increase of technology and the students involved in STEM have the upper hand on those who are not,” Talamantez said. “Everything is touched by STEM and those students will have a better opportunity becoming more necessary as technology increases in the workforce.”