When it comes to landing your dream STEM job, often a top-notch education isn’t enough. You’ve gotta get the gigs to support it, from research and internships to co-ops and summer placements.
Maximize your opportunities during the school year and the summer by applying to universities in cities and towns with stellar extracurricular opportunities. Here are our top six under-the-radar picks for education and resume-building possibilities. Looking for an internship now? Click here for our high school internship guide!
1. Cleveland, Ohio
Apply to… Case Western Reserve University
In the area: For those who had intergalactic dreams in their youth, NASA’s Glenn Research Center is located in the city. The healthcare-minded will find Cleveland Clinic leading the way, followed by University Hospitals of Cleveland, Medical Mutual of Ohio, and numerous biotech start-ups. Students will also find energy companies (Eco-Energy Global Biofuels, Flyers Energy, Sun Coast Resources), manufacturers (KSS, NACCO, Glidden, Eaton) and tech players (GoDaddy.com, GoPro, Tackk).
2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apply to… Marquette University or The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
In the area: Believe it or not, Milwaukee ranks fifth for American cities with the greatest density of Fortune 500 companies. While some favor certain sectors, Wisconsin’s largest metropolis is all about diversity. Find Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, Manpower, Rockwell Automation, Harley-Davidson and Joy Global—all Fortune 500s—here, as well as financial industry leader Robert W. Baird (a top 100 place to work), Briggs & Stratton, GE Healthcare, Brady Corporation and the Astronautics Corporation of America.
3. Austin, Texas
Apply to… The University of Texas at Austin
In the area: Food trucks and cultural institutions aside, you might be surprised to find some big names in tech newly moved into the area. Think: Apple, HP, Intel, Google, Nvidia, AMD, Blizzard, Electronic Arts and eBay, along with long-timer Dell. Eighty-five pharmaceutical and biotech companies have headquarters in Austin. Oh, and Whole Foods is here, as well, and has been since its inception.
4. Charleston, South Carolina
Apply to… College of Charleston
In the area: Students can find nationally ranked teaching hospital MUSC (the Medical University of South Carolina) just a few blocks down Calhoun Street, alongside private hospital Roper St. Francis. Internship opportunities are available at many of the entrepreneurial tech companies that call Silicon Harbor home. Every spring, the digital-focused conference DIG SOUTH is hosted at CoC.
5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Apply to… The University of Oklahoma
In the area: The heartland’s OC is actually booming in the health, information technology and energy industries. Not only is Sonic based here (yep, get ready for the late-night munchies now), but you’ll also find quite a few publicly traded energy companies (Chesapeake Energy, DEVON Energy, OGE Energy, SandRidge Energy), Dell, Boeing, UPS, American Fidelity Assurance, Farmers Insurance, Integris Health, AT&T and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.
6. Research Triangle, North Carolina
Apply to… North Carolina State University at Raleigh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University
In the area: What’s not in the area might be a better question. Those interested in healthcare will find Bayer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, GlaxoSmithKline, LabCorp, Pfizer and a slew of local hospitals. Engineers will be interested in Eaton, IBM, Lenovo, Dupont, Cisco, Toyota and the SAS Institute, while financial degree candidates might find opportunities with Credit Suisse and Fidelity. Phew.
Know before you go! Click here to see what 10 things one STEM-er wishes she knew before she got her dream job.