Want more insights in your inbox?

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


* indicates required

Thank you for signing up for Cadent Insight's monthly recap. Please let us know if you'd like additional information about Cadent.

By clicking subscribe you are agreeing to receive Cadent's email newsletter plus additional marketing emails if selected above. Our newsletter will be sent no more than once per week. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website: https://cadent.tv/website

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

According to the Census Bureau, there were +10.8 million workers in STEM occupations in 2019 – this means these professions account for nearly 7% of all workers in the U.S. STEM workers play a critical role in driving innovation as they include engineers, medical scientists, and informational security analysts. Yet despite making up almost half of the overall workforce, women are still significantly underrepresented in these fields.  

National STEM Day takes place each year on November 8th to encourage kids to explore their interests in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (abbreviated to STEM or STEAM). To celebrate, Cadent spoke to several people in our Engineering and Data Analytics teams to learn more about their professional experiences and what advice they would offer to others interested in pursuing a career in STEM.  

Darius Guillory, an Analytics Engineer, is responsible for developing cloud analytics solutions that are leveraged by our business to help develop innovative product offerings for our clients.  

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?    

To be honest, I didn’t know that I wanted to work in a STEM-related role until after I graduated from college in 2014. I originally wanted to be an accountant… but that quickly changed when I became a financial auditor. Eventually, I left that job to enroll in a Master of Science program at Villanova University (Go Cats!). From there I learned various programming languages such as Python, Java, and R. I also learned Database Design, Data Modeling, and other technology-related concepts. The graduate program was challenging and fun, so I knew that STEM was the industry for me – I’m incredibly happy I made the switch!  

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

I love community resources such as Stack Overflow and GitHub. I also read a lot of AWS documentation on their various cloud services. YouTube is another great resource when it comes to tutorial videos. I will have to say my favorite resources in building my career are my fellow colleagues! I have received so much help and guidance, from my peers and mentors, that has allowed me to succeed in my career. 

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM?   

I will say that for the people who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM to have a researcher’s mindset. What I mean by that is to ask questions, never stop learning and to not be afraid to experiment and innovate. 

Melissa Flores, an Associate Frontend Engineer, and former Cadent Intern, helps to build, enhance, and improve the user interface of Cadent’s platform applications. 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?  

I didn’t – I began my college career majoring in business. However, I soon realized that this field was not the right fit for me and started to explore other career paths. During this moment of my life, I felt lost and didn’t know what direction I would be headed. I only knew two things — that I loved creativity and innovation. From there, I spent days and nights exploring other potential professions, researching, and watching videos. That’s when I stumbled upon software engineering, and more specifically, frontend development. I was immediately captivated by this role’s combination of creativity and technology. Soon after, I declared my major in Computer Science and a minor in Graphic Design. My knowledge and education in these two areas helped me land a role in the STEM field.  

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Some resources I found valuable are websites like Udemy, FreeCodeCamp, Stack Overflow and roadmap.sh – a website that provides roadmaps for a specific field, guiding new developers on what path to take. I also like to explore the internet to read blogs about recent tech developments and people sharing their firsthand experiences.  

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

Pursuing a career in STEM takes passion and grit. It’s important that you project these passions into learning new technologies, building or designing new projects. The journey to a career in STEM consists of many moments of doubt and struggle but having a dedicated support system will help you through. Build a strong network of people who will empower and lead you in the right direction is particularly important, especially if you are a woman in this male-dominant field. In terms of looking for jobs, go where you are valued and identify your mentors and role models. Lastly, recognize that failure is a step forward, not backwards! It is a necessary part of the journey, helping you improve and become better at your craft. And while you apply these tips, don’t forget to take care and be kind to yourself! At the end of the day, your wellbeing is what matters the most. Trust in yourself and your desire to make a difference in this world. 

Stephen DeFusco, a Data Architect, works on a team that focuses on solving big data and big data processing problems in the cloud. In his previous role at Cadent, Stephen was a software engineer, building software and databases still used throughout the organization today. 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role? 

In high school, physics and mathematics were by far my best subjects, and teachers encouraged me to take computer programming courses. It took two programming courses in basic and visual basic (in 1999, mind you) for me to decide that a career in computer science was for me! I appreciated the fact that there were many ways to solve programming problems and that there was a bit of an art to it. I was genuinely interested in understanding how things worked, much like someone taking apart an electronic device to see what’s inside or building a computer from scratch. 

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Experience in solving real world problems was a major factor in my growth as a programmer. For younger people, I would highly recommend things like coding camps or robotics camps. For those entering college, having an internship or co-op where you apply the theories you’re learning in school was most valuable for me. Other helpful resources were websites sharing knowledge and techniques about programming patterns like codeproject.com. 

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

Do as much research as you can about a career you think you might be interested in. Then, do your best to find a friend, family member, or acquaintance currently in that career who can talk to you about their job. Try to understand their day to day, the tools they use, the problems they solve, and simply get a feel for it. Try and work in your field while in school whenever you can – like I mentioned before, internships and co-ops are great experiences, but pet projects can broaden your understanding, too. Fully dedicate yourself to school and learn as much as possible while you’re there. It can be a competitive field, so aim to separate yourself from the pack. 

Tien Nguyen, a Software Engineer, supports front-end development for our Unified Creative team. Tien is a former intern that has been with Cadent full-time for over a year and was recently promoted! 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?    

I always knew that I wanted to do something within STEM, just didn’t know what. When I took a CS course in High school, that was when I was confident that I wanted to pursue CS. 

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Some resources that I found valuable were just networking with people who worked in this field. It was helpful to hear about the experiences of those already in the industry. Also take advantage of the school career fairs. There are a bunch of companies looking for interns or new hires – that is how I got my start at Cadent!

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM?   

Having a career in STEM can be rewarding, but it can easily lead to burn out. To avoid this, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.