Building a Career in STEM Education

women in stem

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education is all the rage these days. Everyone seems to be jumping on the STEM bandwagon, from schools to enrichment providers, with programs to encourage youngsters as young as preschool age to love STEM. While STEM has long been a part of our educational system, it hasn’t received much attention until recently. So, what’s the big deal about STEM these days?

But first, let’s define STEM.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is an interdisciplinary and applied learning approach to educating pupils in Singapore. STEM education blends these four courses into a holistic learning model centered on real-world applications, rather than teaching them as four separate subjects.

Is STEM really so vital, and why is it getting so much attention these days?

If you haven’t noticed, STEM is the lifeblood of the global economy, the engine of human development, the arc reactor that drives Ironman… you get the picture. STEM underpins everything we know, including modern conveniences like telecommunications and transportation, as well as basic requirements like food and clean water. And as we move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which, as its name implies, is the fourth major industrial age after the First Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, STEM will play an even bigger role. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to dramatically revolutionize the way people live, work, and relate to one another, just as the First Industrial Revolution radically changed how things were made using water and steam power. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, defined as the merger of cyber and physical systems by developing technologies that will alter disciplines, economies, and industries, will usher in widespread upheaval and disruption.

We can already see this happening: AI assistants on our smartphones assist us in managing our lives; homes and towns are becoming smarter; and, in the not-too-distant future, self-driving automobiles will cruise our highways. This means that as technology transforms countries, industries, and employment, traditional jobs will be replaced by higher-skilled jobs that require some STEM knowledge. Currently, there is a severe lack of STEM capabilities both internationally and in Singapore, and the need for STEM skills will only increase. STEM occupations grew substantially faster than non-STEM occupations in the United States over the last decade, according to 2017 data from the United States government. STEM occupations are expected to rise by 8.9% between 2014 and 2024, compared to 6.4 percent for non-STEM occupations.

STEM careers, on the other hand, aren’t exactly cool, are they?

If you believe a career in STEM entails spending all day in a lab or writing line after line of code, think again. Today’s STEM prospects extend far beyond typical STEM employment. Take, for example, the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) rely on EMS businesses to help them design, manufacture, test and distribute electronic components and products. EMS enterprises, which were once thought to be low-skilled, are now innovation-driven, digitized organizations at the cutting edge of technology.

So, how do I go about getting started?

Knowing whatever part of STEM you are interested in can assist you in charting a course to your ideal employment. You can begin by conducting basic web research to learn more about the sector, but speaking with someone who works in the field can provide valuable insight into the nature of the work and the prospects available. Look for career fairs and seminars, and chat with company representatives to learn more about the firm and industry.

Developing abilities in your field of interest can help you develop not only your domain knowledge but also your portfolio, which will help you advance to your ideal job. If the digital world and Artificial Intelligence pique your interest, you can attend related courses or interest groups to network with industry professionals and even learn a new skill.

Internships at companies that are relevant to your dream employment should also be considered. Even if you’re offered an internship that isn’t at the top of your list, remember that there’s always something to learn from them. It could also be a trip of discovery to find out what your true passion is. Maintain a positive work attitude and take advantage of the opportunity to learn and contribute. Many companies use internships to assess interns’ potential for permanent employment. Keep in mind that having an open mind and a positive attitude will lead to more opportunities.

STEM’s future holds a plethora of options. There’s never been a better moment to pursue a career in STEM, given the sector’s continued expansion and Singapore’s aim to become a Smart Nation.


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