The top 5 skills for women looking to get into STEM careers

10 February 2021 | Careers Advice | Guest Author

On February 11th, the United Nations will mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This awareness day aims to get more women and girls engaged in science and the related fields of technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). If you’re therefore thinking of making a career move to something within these disciplines, here’s some useful skills to focus on courtesy of the workforce training comparison website CoursesOnline.

1. Critical Thinking
The ability to analyse a situation and make a judgment based on that is vital to most STEM sectors. The most successful candidates in these roles tend to be critical thinkers with strong analytical skills. For example, should you take a role within scientific research, you will need to analyse the data that you are given and draw logical conclusions from it. Needless to say, there are plenty of ways that you can enhance your critical thinking skills. Should you choose to study science or technology-based courses, you will likely cover modules on critical thinking, data analytics, and research. However, you can also bolster this trait in your free time. You may choose to do logic puzzles or learn to question things.

2. Adaptability
The wondrous thing about the STEM sector is that it’s ever-changing. As we make new discoveries and technology advances, roles in these industries are set to change. That’s good news if you’re an intelligent and adaptable worker. One of the main skills that you will need should you want to excel in these roles is the ability to adapt to continuous change. That also means learning new skills and researching advancements in your industry.

3. Clear Communication - Are you a pro communicator?
There are two parts to every career path. First of all, you need to understand your role and the work that you do. However, you will also need to communicate your findings and pass information onto other colleagues or even the public. For the latter, you need to ensure that you have a clear, precise communication style. Regardless of the STEM role you land, you will need to communicate well with others. For example, should you work in a lab with other experts, you will need to share information with them throughout the day. Equally, you may have to write clear reports that distil your findings in plain English. That means cutting the jargon and sticking to the facts.

4. Maths and Science Skills
To excel within the STEM industries, you need an understanding of both maths and science. These two subjects are at the heart of all science, technology, engineering, and maths-based roles. When you’re undertaking your A-Levels or choosing a degree course, you should keep this in mind. You may choose to complete a degree within these subjects, for example, so that you will have a strong foundation on which to build your career. As you enter the working world, there is likely to be a great many opportunities for further training. That means that you will be able to hone your skill set and develop your knowledge of these topics. For instance, many companies offer dedicated training courses covering all sorts of subjects as part of their staff benefits. When you land your first role, be sure to ask about these options.

5. Creativity is at the centre of any STEM industry role.
Whether you’re looking for an innovative technological solution or a new way to analyse data, you will need to put your imaginative mind to work in these fields. If you already have a flair for creativity and can couple that with logic and problem-solving skills, you’re a cut above the rest. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of ways to flex your creative muscles.

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