There’s been a lot of discussion on social media about STEM skill, that is, proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Most of the chatter focuses on curriculum in secondary school and college-level courses for students pursuing careers in those fields.
But we wonder: could STEM skill improve the career prospects of talent in direct and interactive marketing fields? We posed the question to direct/interactive marketing professionals we know and the answers we got suggest that STEM skill is indeed very important–and advantageous–to have.
Here’s a sampling of the response to our inquiry:
Julia: “All marketers who work in a field where they have to convey scientific information should have STEM skill.”
Chris: “I don’t think it could hurt. It’s almost required to know what you’re selling or marketing anyway, right?”
Robin: “I’ve spent significant number of years in two scientific agencies. It helps when everyone, no matter the position, has a basic clue about the work being done and that’s at a minimum. Can someone in another area do a great job without STEM skill? Sure, most likely. Would they be more apt to do a BETTER job with some STEM skill or a fair bit of STEM skill? Absolutely. So, yes, I agree with Chris here. (Besides, it’s always helpful to be scientifically literate IMHO.)”
Chris: “That’s something I forgot to say. Some form of cross training between departments has worked well for a lot of businesses. I’m sure it would help in organizations that have a scientific and marketing department.”
Jennifer: “Yes. I have an MBA in the Management of Science, Technology & Innovation, with a focus in Marketing. Why did I specifically choose that odd focus? Because science/tech/engineering-driven organizations are not marketing-driven. That’s why they need oddballs [like me] who can help them.”
Phil: “Lately there’s the hybrid acronym STEAM–which adds art (and design)–in order to humanize technology.”
So there you have it. STEM–or STEAM–skill is mission-critical to the success of today’s marketers. If you have an opinion on this subject, do post your comment below.