21st Century Workforce – from STEM to ECOSYSTEM

You might have heard the term STEM. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are the skills that should help you succeed in modern knowledge-based economy. Indeed, it does not matter what your profession is – you are likely to be using technology in some form. But is it sufficient to master just STEM skills?

More and more people, and organisations now recognise that the success at work, even at purely STEM jobs, will rely also on the so-called soft skills. STEM gives you a good solid start but, using an analogy with nature, a stem alone does not make a garden. You will need to build an entire ecosystem. That is why STEM skills should be complimented with:

  • Empathy

Understanding of others’ feelings and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things

(D. Goleman)
  • Critical Thinking

While there are many definitions of critical thinking, its core concept is goal-directed thinking, which involves careful evaluation of facts, suspending judgement and following an algorithm to answer a question, as in this short video.

  • Originality

The ability to think independently and creatively

(Oxford Dictionary)
  • Social skills

These are the skills that help you interact and engage with others. A few examples of social skills are communication (verbal, written etc.), collaboration, cooperation and active listening.

  • Your self-knowledge

This is what you know and have learnt about your own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivations.

So, STEM have to become ECOSYSTEM.

Mastering ECOSYSTEM will enable you to work more effectively in teams, quickly adapt to fast changing work environment, become more resilient and not only withstand changes but embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow.

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