Faculty representation at McMaster Equitable representation on campus plays a role in career opportunities

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By: Jordan Graber

There tends to be a certain amount of stereotyped differences between the two programs, which seem to exist in the shadow of science, technology, engineering and math programs. This creates issues with equal representation for programs at McMaster and career opportunities for students’ experiential development. STEM faculties seem to gather more attention and interest than their artistic counterparts.

As a humanities student, whenever I get the question, “What kind of job can you get with that?”, it is upsetting to have to repeat the same response. This question might be a product of the perceived levels of difficulty within different programs which seems to define the kinds of people who might reside in each program. However, it is this exact perception that creates minimal representation for students who are not STEM majors.

Humanities programs are often perceived to be “easier” than STEM programs and are given less respect in terms of faculty representation on campus.

In no way am I trying to discriminate against the STEM faculties, as these programs lead to important careers that will create a change in society. However, other faculties deserve to be commended for their dedication to careers that are not valued as much as others.

Ultimately, it is not for others to decide which faculty or program will define one’s personal enjoyment or success. Discrimination amongst majors is a growing problem and needs to be addressed, as it essentially degrades one’s expectations of the future.

This is an issue in many universities and this trope has been adopted somewhat unanimously. While the STEM programs are extremely important to the progression of society, there is also equal importance in the majors associated with the arts. Despite this knowledge, there continues to be the association that one is inferior to the other. This assumption makes things more difficult for students in humanities, social science or related faculties, especially considering that we are just starting out and have a fraction of a clue of what we’re doing.

Ultimately, it is not for others to decide which faculty or program will define one’s personal enjoyment or success. 

The stereotype that discusses the differences between faculties does tend to be displayed through college and university events such as career fairs, as shown in the one that was held last week. On Feb. 1, Mac participated in another career fair for students looking to find opportunities to gain career-oriented experience. The fair was meant to provide opportunities for all interest and all needs, including internships, co-ops, summer positions, part-time positions and even full-time opportunities. This was meant to give students insight to where their degrees would take them in the future, as well as open doors to finding career related work experience in Hamilton. However, upon attendance, it seemed that most of the companies that attended were STEM-related, unless you are a post-grad who is looking to teach in Taiwan. As a student in humanities, I find that the lack of equitable faculty representation to be rather unfair.

As one of the main outlets to find jobs during the summer break, it should be ensured that these career events hold a diverse number of options for all faculties to ensure that students are proud of whatever program they choose to represent.

As this career fair was not a faculty specific one as some faculties have, equitable representation and opportunities were expected. Though the Student Success Centre attempts to provide work-related opportunities for all students, McMaster needs to do better in making all programs feel equipped for the future and valued as students.

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