14 STEM Skills You Need to Know and How to Improve Them

Learn what STEM is, what skills fall under this umbrella and how you can develop them.

There are a variety of skills that are essential for success in STEM. These skills can be learned in the classroom, through extracurricular activities and through self-guided development opportunities. By understanding the skills that are important for STEM students, you can work to improve your own skills and set yourself up for a successful future.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make logical conclusions. It’s important for STEM students because it allows them to solve complex problems, which can be a large part of many careers in science and technology. Critical thinking also helps students learn how to apply their knowledge to new situations, which can help them advance in their field or find success in other areas.


Analysis is the ability to break down information into its component parts. This skill can be useful in STEM fields, where students may need to analyze data and determine how it affects their projects or experiments. For example, a student studying biology might use analysis skills when examining plant cells under a microscope. They would first identify what type of cell they were looking at and then examine the different parts of that cell to understand how it works.


Problem-solving is the ability to identify and solve issues. As a STEM student, you may need to use problem-solving skills in your classes or on the job. For example, if you’re working with technology, you might encounter an error that requires you to find a solution. Similarly, if you’re conducting research, you may run into obstacles that require you to think of ways to overcome them.

Mathematical Skills

Mathematical skills are important for STEM students to have because they can help them solve problems and understand complex formulas. For example, if a student wants to be an engineer, they may need to know how to calculate the right measurements for building structures or machines. Similarly, if a student wants to work in computer science, they may need to know how to program software that requires mathematical equations.

Scientific Method

Scientific method is the process by which scientists conduct experiments and gather data. It involves identifying a problem, forming a hypothesis, conducting an experiment to test your hypothesis, analyzing the results of the experiment and drawing conclusions based on those results. Students who understand scientific method can apply it when they work in STEM fields so they can design effective experiments that produce accurate data.

Technology Literacy

Technology literacy is the ability to use technology and software programs correctly. Students need this skill for their future careers in STEM fields, where it’s likely they’ll be using computers and other technology regularly. Technology literacy can also help students enter a job market that increasingly uses technology. For example, many engineering jobs require computer-aided design software, which requires knowledge of how to operate such software.

Engineering Principles

The engineering principles that STEM students learn can help them develop the skills they need to complete projects, inventions or other tasks. These principles may include knowledge of materials, geometry, physics and chemistry. Students who understand engineering principles can apply them to their work in science, technology, mathematics and other fields where engineering plays a role.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is the ability to examine data and interpret its meaning. As a STEM student, it’s important to have strong data analysis skills so you can evaluate scientific data related to your field of study. For example, if you’re studying biology, being able to analyze biological test results in order to understand what factors may be affecting the growth of an organism or the outcome of an experiment can help you become a successful scientist.

Computational Thinking

Computational thinking is the ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems, especially those related to computer science. As a STEM student, you may need computational thinking skills when creating programs or algorithms for software engineering projects. It’s also important to apply this skill in your research by analyzing data and making conclusions about how to improve your work.

Quantitative Analysis

Quantitative analysis involves the ability to analyze data and make inferences from it. This is a crucial skill for STEM students, who use quantitative analysis when conducting research on scientific topics. It’s also important in other fields like engineering or finance, where analyzing numbers can help students understand their work better.


Students in STEM fields often need to remember important information, such as formulas or equations. They also use their memory skills when they read technical documents and research materials. Strong memory skills can help students succeed in the classroom and on tests. To improve your memory, try using mnemonic devices, which are methods of remembering information through association.

Openness to feedback

Students in STEM fields often receive feedback from their professors and mentors to help them improve their skills. Being open to feedback means that you can accept constructive criticism, which can help you grow as a student and an employee. It also means that you can ask for guidance when you need it, which can help you advance your career or find success in new areas of study.

Research skills

Students in STEM fields often use research skills to find information about their studies, the latest technology and scientific discoveries. They also use research skills when conducting experiments or analyzing data from tests. For example, a biology student might conduct an experiment on plant growth and record the results. Then they might analyze the data by comparing it with other factors that may have affected the outcome of the test.


Curiosity is the desire to learn about new topics and understand how things work. When students are curious, they may ask questions when they don’t understand something or try to find answers on their own. Curiosity can help students in STEM fields because it often encourages them to research topics that interest them. This can help them develop skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, which are also important for success in STEM careers.

How to Improve Your STEM Skills

Consider these ways to improve your stem skills:

  • Join or attend a club related to STEM subjects: Joining or attending a club is a great way to meet like-minded people and learn more about the topic. You can find clubs at schools, libraries, community centers, and online.
  • Find a mentor: A mentor can help you learn more about a specific STEM subject or career path. They can also provide guidance and support as you pursue your interests in STEM.
  • Take online courses or watch video tutorials: There are many online courses and video tutorials available on various STEM subjects and for every level of learner. This is a great way to learn more about a topic that interests you, or to improve your understanding of complex STEM concepts.
  • Participate in science or engineering competitions: Competitions can be a great way to test your knowledge and skills in a fun and challenging environment. There are competitions for students of all ages in a variety of STEM disciplines.

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