Breaking It Down: STEM

STEMWe talk a lot about STEM on the blog (or even STEAM, depending on what camp you’re in). A common question from those who aren’t familiar with STEM is regarding just this: are science, technology, engineering, and math, all really in the same camp? Do they require the same skills? And does this type of education lead to exactly the same jobs?

Well, if you think of the issue in terms of the binary of curricula: on one hand, you have STEM (encompassing everything from biology to coding) and on the other hand, you have the humanities and Fine Arts (think everything from musical theatre to anthropology or English literature). There are certainly areas in the middle that walk both lines, like social sciences and sociology, but it is commonly accepted that those who enjoy science will most likely enjoy, or have an aptitude for, technology, engineering, and math or vice versa.

The bottom line is that what you enjoy doing, or think you could enjoy doing in a career, is entirely unique to you. There is no individual recipe for a human that clearly delineates who will be interested in what, and chances are that you could absolutely love a subject– you’ve just never been exposed to it before. Who we are, and what we like, is a constant process of discovery for students, adults, and even teachers. However, there are certainly guidelines that are applicable for qualities that could be helpful in a number of these STEM related careers and classes. They are not all exactly the same, but in general, this is what you’ll find in those who excel at these positions, according to iSeek Careers:

  • Analytical skills to research a topic, develop a project plan and timeline, and draw conclusions from research results.
  • Science skills to break down a complex scientific system into smaller parts, recognize cause and effect relationships, and defend opinions using facts.
  • Mathematic skills for calculations and measurements.
  • Attention to detail to follow a standard blueprint, record data accurately, or write instructions.

And according to Forbes, “Math and science professionals have been shown to have strong pay growth over their careers, because a lot of the things they take from their early careers into private industry can translate to salary growth as they gain more experience.” And if you look at the top paying jobs in STEM careers, including drilling engineer, petroleum engineer, mining engineer, and technology analyst, all with entry level career pay at $67,500, or more, it shows that having a healthy interest in STEM skills can certainly pay off financially later on.

Questions? Comments? Want to learn more about any of the aforementioned fields? Leave us a comment in the section below, or send us a tweet anytime!

photo credit: Discover Science & Engineering via photopin cc