STEM vs Arts
I recently read a very interesting opinion piece in the University Times out of Ireland by Ciannait Khan.
Among the interesting points of which I took note of is whether we are well served by placing in opposition STEM subjects versus other Arts subjects. Certainly, Arts graduates are needed in STEM companies. And STEM graduates are needed in other industries besides tech companies.
From my perspective, there are 2 additional points that I would make.
- As high school students progress, they make choices in terms of course options. The earlier that choices are made to stream away from STEM, the more difficult it becomes for those students to re-enter the STEM stream later. (Of course, it is possible – but it becomes increasingly difficult as time passes)
- As educators, we need to do a better job of linking the possibilities of STEM in other applications and industries. Thus, if someone is interested in being creative or pursuing a career in fashion, for example, then how can continuing a STEM education be applicable to such a career. If we can communicate this effectively, we will have students making more informed decisions and with greater motivation about career options.