STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Soft Skills and STEM
STEM has been the center of attention in education and training in the academic and business worlds. With the need for a technically and technologically driven staff, the business world is demanding these hard skills.
Pursuing a degree or position in the STEM field requires technical skills and knowledge. Schools are focusing on checking off boxes for technical skills. But schools, businesses, and community leaders are now identifying the missing piece. People with outstanding technical skills may be able to deliver in a siloed environment, but they rarely flourish and get ahead in the new collaborative world we live in. Whether they are trying to move up or are required to be on a cross-functional team, soft skills are needed by every professional including STEM professionals.
It’s often much easier to list out the specific technical or hard skills. But soft skills are harder to list, recruit, and especially harder to train.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are the interpersonal or ‘people’ skills. Soft skills can include many different areas including communication skills, listening skills, empathy, leadership, teamwork, time management, creative problem solving and more.
In a quote by the Chief Technology Officer of Boeing, he said “We’re looking for people who have a good grasp of the basic sciences, but we also look people who have the soft skills as well: people who have the ability to team…the ability to persuade,” Those abilities, he said, “are just as important as the fundamentals of engineering.”
If the Chief Technology Officer of a STEM-focused company like Boeing recognizes the need for soft skills, we know it needs to be on the forefront for all companies.
Do you have a plan or training in place to help technically focused and technically savvy team members or employees?
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