How does an identified need lead to a functional technical solution? How can creativity transform complex problems into captivating,real products? The answers can be found in the educational preparation of the STEM professionals who use their expertise to launch widely-used apps, engineer self-driving cars, and innovate better practices for scientific research, health systems, transportation, banking, and communications.
STEM graduates are at the forefront of innovation and change, bettering society with their discoveries. After all, the future of the world and its economies relies heavily on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — making professionals in the field well-deserving of the hefty salaries and wide variety of employment opportunities they command.
Becoming a STEM professional requires the right combination of education and experience. Now, envision an ideal educational institution that offers 24/7 access to state-of-the-art facilities, opportunities to gain industry experience, early exposure to project-based learning, individualised guidance from experts in small classrooms, and ample resources for post-graduation support.
At Grand Valley State University (GVSU) — there’s no need to imagine such a combination of resources for STEM students. The GVSU Seymour & Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing (PCEC) boasts all these offerings and more.
PCEC is home to a variety of undergraduate and graduate STEM programmes that develop world-changing, technical experts. PCEC graduates have established meaningful careers creating their own businesses, developing high-impact technologies, and leading multinational corporations.
Thomas Rudd is a perfect example of the successes experienced by PCEC graduates. After completing his BS in Information Systems, he spent 18 months on a project that improved data storage. His customers ended up being over 200,000 of Ford’s employees around the world. He even gave the multinational’s CEO a demo. Rudd’s next destination was Ford’s Cybersecurity Engineering team where he spent 10 months working on their Security Information & Event Management system. Today, he is thriving in Seattle, Washington as a Cloud Support Engineer in Amazon’s Intelligence Initiative Programme. Thomas credits his successes to his Grand Valley education which provided him with IT fundamentals and specialised knowledge in a range of areas.
Outcomes like these are common for those who apply their passions in the GVSU School of Computer and Information Systems. Here, undergraduate majors include Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Information Systems, Information Technology, and several minors that complete the experience. Those interested in graduate studies could choose to pursue Applied Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Health Informatics and Bioinformatics, or Data Science and Analytics.
For those looking to build the future, the GVSU School of Engineering provides an excellent launch pad. Undergraduates can opt to form connections between science, medical knowledge, mathematics and creativity by majoring in Biomedical Engineering; they could integrate electrical engineering with computer science to analyse and solve problems with Computer Engineering; or they could develop a wide range of electrical and electronic technologies through Electrical Engineering.
The college also hosts programmes in Interdisciplinary Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; as well as Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering (one of only a few such programs in the world). Those with a solid foundation could advance their career with a Master of Science in Engineering.
If you’re on a quest to begin an impactful career managing workplace health and safety, the college offers a BS in Occupational Safety and Health Management. This bachelor’s degree provides real-world experiences and countless opportunities to build a strong professional network though student organisations and/or conferences.
PCEC is committed to preparing highly qualified industry professionals. Individuals who wish to gain a competitive edge in their fields can do so with one of five Professional Science Master’s Degree programmes: Applied Statistics, Biostatistics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Data Science and Analytics, or Health Informatics and Bioinformatics.
Each path offers flexible class schedules and evening meetings which make it all the more accessible for students with existing responsibilities. The best part? Most end up sharing their newfound knowledge in reputable companies such as Priority Health, VanAndel Research Institute, Meijer, Spectrum Health, Integrated DNA Technologies, Cisco Systems, and NxGen MDx.
Regardless of your choice, every PCEC programme offers access to industry internships or co-op experiences. In fact, they’re integrated into all programmes at the undergraduate level. Since these are paid positions, those enrolled rack up a stellar ROI early on. Most opportunities even result in job offers — contributing to the college’s nearly 100% employment upon graduation rate. Don’t just take our word for it; listen to these PCEC students share their perspectives about Grand Valley State University.
STEM experts are in high demand in the United States and around the world. They are needed in every industry. In fact, the top 20 employers of PCEC graduates are in 19 different industries! According to the US Bureau of Labour and Statistics, employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow 8.8% by 2028, and healthcare-related occupations, such as Biomedical Engineering, Occupational Safety and Health Management, and Health Informatics, are projected to grow even more. Meanwhile, non-STEM occupations will only grow by 5%.
What’s more, the STEM field is becoming increasingly diverse. According to data from the US Census Bureau, more women are being represented in the field. In 1970, the US only recorded a mere 8% of female STEM workers — the number rose to 27% in 2019.
To fast-track to your dream STEM career in West Michigan — a state known for its beautiful great lakes, automotive innovations, and multinational corporation headquarters — and beyond, apply to the GVSU Padnos College of Engineering and Computing here.