If you are observant, you would have come across the word STEM; be it on radio, TV or the internet. What exactly is it? Why is it everyone talking about it? Why is is so important for students? And how can they be successful at it.

Put simply, STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And the reason it has been much in the news much is because experts believe a STEM education is the key to providing the next generation of employees, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Hence, to be a relevant part of the workforce for the future and earn the best wages, you need to key into it now!

STEM career fields include health and medicine, engineering and architecture, the natural sciences such as chemistry, biology and physics, and the computer and technology industry. Just imagine some of the modern comforts we enjoy and take for granted today – social media, faster automobiles, better healthcare, smartphones, internet, home appliances, etc – are a product of STEM!

Yet, the change doesn’t appear to be slowing down; and new advances in each STEM field promises to bring about even more change in our lives in the foreseeable future. So, to become one of the experts of the future, you should do the following:

Solid Understanding of Mathematics

Mathematics provides you with the basic tools for measurement and calculation. It is also an important skill to possess if you want to be successful in STEM careers and jobs of the future. Beyond understanding key principles, you would also need to know how to apply them in real life situations. So, it is not enough to know how to solve simultaneous equation, balance a chemical equation, or solve a Physics problem, you must also know how to use them in solving challenging problems that we face.

Ability To Solve Problem

All of this constant change will lead to situations where the new problems can’t simply be solved by looking them up in a book. Instead, actual problem-solving skills will be necessary for both development of new technologies and new processes in the way we work and live. The abilities to identify and define a problem and then come up with the right creative solutions to these problems will be an important part of jobs of the future.

Reasoning and Communication Skills

Being able to clearly and correctly communicate information or new ideas is also very important. You must also have the ability to evaluate the quality of what you read, differentiate fact from opinion, and write a clear response on what you’ve learnt.

Just like reading, having great books on STEM is a good step, but don’t limit yourself to books and print media.  There are many great TV shows, films, educational websites and online videos about STEM, as well as channels that explain science in an interesting way.

This is the first in our STEM series and in subsequent ones, we will consider more information and how you can apply it to your benefit.