STEM courses – keep away

9 Aug

STEM fields or STEM education is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States. 

There is a clamor from the industry and the politicians to encourage students to take STEM courses; especially there is a huge movement to have more women doing these courses.  I am an engineering graduate myself working for software development in the telecom industry for a long time now (15+ years).  Take my advise and keep away from these courses and these careers unless you are a die hard geek.  Plenty of reasons –

1.  Atleast in India as soon as an youngster graduates approximately at 21, he lands a job with a handsome salary.  The youngster and his parents and everybody else thinks that he has “arrived”.  Mark my words for 90% of the people this is the only success you will taste.  The work is mostly slavery; the first few years will have some increment/promotions.  But by 30 you will be burned out and by 40 you will be aged out and by 50 if you still have a job you will be considered lucky.

2.  There is nothing like training.  You are expected to keep current in your field in your time and in your expense.  If you fall behind for any reason like becoming a parent then you are out.

3.  The industry is extremely ageist – if you are old then nobody wants to hire you.  You may be willing to do a job that somebody 10 years younger is capable of doing ofcourse for similar salary – but no employer will be willing to consider you.

4.  If you change jobs you are a job hopper so no good; if you stay at the same company for long then you are unable to find employment elsewhere hence you are no good.

5. If you work long (really long) hours and get your deliverable done with good quality then you may get some lip-service and peanuts as hikes.  But you will surely get a lot of back stabbing, jealousy, etc.

6.  If you are a woman and if you compete equally with men then you are a shrew; if you are nice then you are incapable.  Either way you cannot succeed.

7.  Do you see the success stories around you – well they make up <5% of the top guys.  The probability is 0.95 that you will not be like them.  The average ones are the ones who keep the cogs moving for nothing.

8.  Once you are 30 you will realize that everybody doctors, accountants, everybody makes more money than you.  Business men make exponentially more money.

9.  Networking is more important than competence.  Your success depends on how well you can run your mouth and not on how well you can perform at work.  People who let their work talk rather than talk about their work fail!

10.  The employers after extracting long hours, work during vacations, every possible pound of flesh do not think twice about canning teams / products / projects (not performance based).  There is no reward for hard work / loyalty.  And once you do not have a job it is doubly difficult to get a job.

I can go on but let me stop at 10.

What do you say – let me know.


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