STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is an academic discipline known for establishing core competencies for engineers, scientists, astronauts, architects, technicians, and analysts. Wilfrid Laurier University’s online Master of Computer Science program recognizes that STEM skills are essential in fields beyond technology. While understanding STEM principles is crucial for those aiming for advanced technical positions, these skills benefit individuals in other competitive industries, such as business.
In today’s article, we’ve compiled a STEM skills list and will explore how these skills can benefit business professionals.
Teamwork and Collaboration
One skill derived from STEM is teamwork. Just like different mechanical components need to work in sync to run a machine, a company’s success depends on the “togetherness” of its employees. Teamwork and collaboration skills not only broaden your perspective but impacts your team’s ability to work cohesively towards a shared goal.
STEM teaches us the significance of establishing steps and procedures for each member on the team to follow. For instance, in the business world, a marketing department may be focused on determining ways to better reach a targeted audience. STEM stresses the importance of each member working together towards an intended outcome, as well as developing a process to streamline efforts. Some members on the marketing team may be responsible for research, some for content creation, and others for measuring results. Each role plays a specific part, paving the way for teamwork and collaboration.
Mathematics sharpens your critical-thinking abilities. Calculus or trigonometry may not be related directly to your field, but they teach you problem-solving skills, which are important in the business world. Interpreting information, identifying contributing factors, and developing a strategy helps you overcome challenges.
In a business setting, the need for problem-solving is endless, ranging from managing the financial aspects of a company to addressing the intricacies of human resources. Analyzing a specific issue and determining best practices is a complex process. STEM helps cultivate these skills, equipping you to navigate setbacks and improves decision-making.
Simplify Complex Tasks into Achievable Wins
In software development, programs are often broken down into smaller modules to make them more manageable and help reduce compile time. Similarly in business, breaking down goals into smaller tasks helps you achieve desired outcomes. This is one of the most important STEM skills in business, allowing you to solve complex problems and be prepared for difficult scenarios.
STEM education validates the need to simplify processes whenever possible and applying alternate routes to improve efficiency. For instance, an independent business owner may dream of becoming the next Apple or Microsoft, but no one attains success overnight. Start small and execute a plan. Making a series of strategic moves helps you as a business professional foster growth over time.
Statistical analysis involves the use of data to draw conclusions or establish relationships between different entities. Statistics have been a crucial part of STEM education and is helpful for those who need to draw valuable insights from past or current trends. For businesses, this could mean understanding where the target audience lies, the significance behind buying patterns, or how marketing campaigns have performed -- all of which can help you with advanced decision-making and risk mitigation.
According to PwC Global Data and Analytics Survey, highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvements in their decision-making process. This concept follows the famous saying from American poet Maya Angelou, “if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going.”
Any STEM skills list is incomplete without the reasoning ability. STEM education promotes reasoning as one of its primary disciplines and this skill also benefits business professionals. For instance, those managing teams cannot make high-level decisions based on a gut feeling, or develop a strategy that “just feels right.” Establishing evidence to support the reason behind major decisions is essential. Reasoning helps you observe and analyze trends, incorporate feedback, and draw conclusions based on these insights. It helps you justify your actions based on the facts gathered.
Reasoning skills are also necessary to establish workplace rules and procedures. Without the ability to reason, businesses would fall into chaos and projects would be difficult to meet.
Applying STEM skills in business boosts your growth as a professional. STEM skills emphasize logical and informed decision-making, which are significant in virtually any profession. Laurier’s online Master of Computer Science program not only helps professionals advance careers in the IT fields but fosters the development of STEM skills. Contact us to speak to an online advisor and discuss your career goals.
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PwC's Global Data and Analytics Survey, Global, “Big Decisions™,” base: 1,135 senior executives