26 Feb 2024

Do You Need to Study STEM to Work in STEM?


STEM is at the forefront of innovation, progress, and economic growth in the modern world. With the rapid advancement of technology, the demand for skilled professionals in STEM-related roles has soared, leading many to believe that a formal STEM education is the only pathway to success in this domain. Yet, the truth is far more nuanced. In this article, we will explore the question: “Do you need to study STEM to work in STEM?”


The Traditional Route

Traditionally, a degree in STEM subjects was the most common pathway to STEM careers. Doing a degree in a STEM field, such as computer science, biology, or physics, gives you in-depth knowledge and specialized skills. These skills are required for roles like software engineers, data scientists, and researchers. A degree opens doors to many rewarding opportunities.


Transferable Skills

While a STEM degree is one way into STEM, it is not the only way. More and more professionals in STEM have diverse backgrounds. Whether it is arts, business, social sciences, or other unrelated disciplines. The truth is that there are so many transferable skills from non-STEM fields that are valued in the STEM world. These skills include:

  • Problem-Solving. The ability to identify and solve complex problems is a crucial skill in STEM.
  • Communication. Communication is vital in STEM fields. It helps you to translate complex concepts into understandable language for others. Your communication skills can bridge the gap between experts and those who want to learn.
  • Creativity. Innovation and creativity drive progress in STEM fields. People from diverse backgrounds bring new perspectives. This means we can solve problems in innovative ways.
  • Analytical Thinking. Analyzing data and drawing insights from it is important in many STEM fields. Analytical thinkers can thrive in STEM environments, no matter their educational qualifications.
  • Teamwork. Collaboration is fundamental in most STEM projects. Team players who collaborate and contribute to projects are sought after in STEM.


Upskilling and Reskilling

STEM moves fast, and that means continuous learning and adapting. Whether this means keeping skills up-to-date or learning new ones, a love for learning is a must. Even if you’re from a non-STEM background, you can take online courses, workshops, boot camps and more to get to your STEM role. A lot of companies will invest in training you, too.



While a formal STEM education can be useful to kickstart your STEM career, it is not the only route to success. If you have transferable skills, a love of learning and a passion for STEM can be just as useful for STEM-related careers. Embracing diverse educational backgrounds in STEM promotes innovation, creativity, and problem-solving.


This article was written by Stemettes Work Experience Sophie K.

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