What Skills do STEM Employers Look For?

Mar 26, 2024 Careers Advice 3 minutes read

The employers we work with at STEM Women are forward-thinking and focussed on diversity and inclusion in STEM. Many are reviewing and refining their hiring processes to attract the top talent in engineering and technology fields. So let’s look at some of the key traits that STEM employers are looking for.

Technical Skills

There is a definite move toward skills-based hiring (which is great news for recent graduates or those who may not have years of experience on their CV just yet). In light of rapid changes in technology, employers are increasingly seeking candidates with advanced technical skills tailored to their specific industry needs. Whether it’s proficiency in programming languages, expertise in data analysis, or knowledge of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain, developing specialised technical skills can set job seekers apart in a competitive market.

Adaptability and Agility

Core skills (sometimes referred to as ‘soft skills’) are just as important as technical skills. Employers value candidates who demonstrate adaptability and agility to keep up with the unprecedented rate of change. The ability to quickly learn new tools, frameworks, or methodologies, and a willingness to embrace change could help jobseekers to stand out in today’s fast-paced STEM environments.

Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Abilities

In an era of complex problem-solving, employers emphasise the importance of collaborative and interdisciplinary skills. STEM professionals who can effectively communicate across diverse teams and integrate insights from various disciplines are highly valued.

Communication and Leadership

Strong communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities are increasingly sought after alongside technical competencies. Leadership doesn’t always mean people-management so don’t worry if you are early in your career and haven’t been able to demonstrate this yet – consider other ways you’ve influenced others, negotiated, or dealt with conflict, as those are all leadership skills too.

Take an Interest in Emerging Technologies

As industries embrace digital transformation, emerging technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and Augmented Reality (AR) are reshaping job requirements. Employers won’t expect you to be an expert on every recent development, but they will be looking for genuine enthusiasm and curiosity. Candidates who not only have a solid foundation in a STEM discipline, but can also demonstrate knowledge or expertise in new technologies position themselves as valuable assets to prospective employers.


The landscape of STEM hiring is continually evolving, driven by technological advancements and shifting industry demands. Job seekers can enhance their competitiveness by presenting their technical skills, core skills, and a genuine interest and curiosity alongside a willingness to learn. By staying informed about emerging technologies, STEM professionals can navigate the evolving job market with confidence and uncover new opportunities in science, engineering and technology fields.

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