5 Career Mistakes Black Millennials Make in STEM Fields

Its Raining Money

Focusing on The Money

Like most industries, when you’re just starting out in your career, the money is scarce. A career in the STEM fields offers plenty of financial and economic opportunities, but sometimes you won’t see the payoff until you’ve completed at least a master’s degree or even a Ph.D.

Joseph Francisco, a Black chemistry professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a previous president of the American Chemical Society, told the Huffington Post in 2011 that undergrad students were constantly telling him, “I’ve got to think about a job.” Says Francisco, “With first-generation college students, there is enormous pressure. Without a mentor who can tell you about what to expect beyond undergrad, who can explain what are the opportunities after a post-graduate degree, they just stop at a bachelor’s degree.”

Depending on their background, some people need to start making money right away and can’t wait until they become professors or the head of research labs. Money, or lack thereof, in the early stages of STEM careers is one of the many reasons for the low numbers of Blacks in science and technology fields. Turning your focus to the long-haul and the payout that a STEM career offers will take your mind off the “right now” and assure you that you’ll have the success you want in the future. 

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