STEM Skills in the Workforce: What do employers want?
May 5, 2023
When it comes to employment, be it a STEM field or otherwise, employers are looking for individuals who can think critically and solve problems using the latest technologies. But what exactly do employers want and why do STEM skills come into play for a non-STEM job? Let's take a look!
- Critical Thinking Skills: Employers prioritize employees who can think critically and solve complex problems. This means that they need employees who can analyze data, assess risks, and make decisions independently. In order to develop these skills, children should be encouraged to participate in critical thinking exercises that challenge them to think outside of the box. STEM activities promote critical thinking due to the nature of the tasks students are involved in. These range from real-world environmental issues to small-scale engineering flaws.
- Technical Proficiency: Employers want candidates with technical proficiency in the core areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A person with proficient STEM skills are capable of higher order thinking and logical processing when it comes to unprecedented tasks. Therefore, they are more likely to be making the right choices and provide mentorship to others.
- Soft Skills: In addition to technical proficiency and critical thinking skills, employers also value soft skills such as communication, collaboration, leadership, creativity, and adaptability. Soft skills are important because they help employees work well with others or have better people management abilities. Students should practice their soft skills by participating in group projects or taking on leadership roles within their schools. Alternatively, a STEM activity will allow them to build soft skills within the project, giving them plenty of opportunites to lead, persuade and adapt to the situation.
The demand for individuals with strong STEM skills is only increasing as technology advances at a rapid pace. Whether your child intends to seek a STEM job in the future, getting their hands dirty in plenty of STEM activites and projects now while they are in school is the best choice they can make. It’s important to start early and be involved in group activities that foster teamwork. By doing so they will be better prepared for the job market and have an edge over other applicants when applying for any position of their choosing.