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What are Stem Careers and Why is Stem Important

why is stem important
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What are Stem Careers and Why is Stem Important

The push is on to encourage existing workers and our youth to move into STEM Careers as economies around the world are acknowledging the need to have these STEM skills and knowledge for their growth into the future.

First, let’s define what STEM is.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Science has a basic role in understanding our natural world, for example why certain virus mutations happen or simply why chocolate changes texture upon being heated, Engineering seeks to create everything that is not created by nature, Technologists seek to innovate, implement and change for the betterment of human needs and Mathematics is the common language across all these disciplines. When you think about it, STEM affects our existence as a human race.

But why the push for STEM Careers right now? Careers in Science, Engineering, Mathematics have been around for many years, but we are experiencing a fundamental shift in our approach to solving 21st-century problems and advancing the human condition. We are now requiring all workers to possess STEM skills at some level. STEM Careers have always required the skills of critical thinking, innovation, analysis and complex problem solving. These STEM skills are the new literacy of the 21st century working world and are being required of all of us regardless of whether you are part of the STEM Career group or not.

Organisations are competing in a globalised environment to solve your problems and sell you cutting edge goods and services. To do this, they need to be more innovative, think creatively and collaborate across many disciplines to bring the best product or service to market. So therefore if you bring the STEM thinking and STEM skill set to the interview room, your hired!

This is a challenge if you are a mature aged worker with a fixed mindset that you don’t want to engage in any more learning. The reality is, make a choice not to learn some of these skills, endangers your ability to earn a living in this current global work environment. It is however not enough to just have the skills, you need to demonstrate to potential employers how you have used these skills in the current workplace.

Educators who understand this are empowering students in our schools to learn not just how to do a maths problem but how to predict possible outcomes, collaborate in teams and use the latest software which may help to solve problems for a client that may reside in another country and speak another language.

While on the surface, we will hear about STEM Careers, it fundamentally is a shift towards STEM thinking for all of us whether you are a small business owner/entrepreneur or employee to survive, adapt and better our world.