Do You Have STEM Skills? Here’s How to Show Them Off

Do You Have STEM Skills? Here’s How to Show Them Off
Photo by Michelle Gigante/Air Force

Where should industry turn for leaders with science, technology, engineering, and math know-how? The same place it can turn for countless other skills: to military officers.

A recent piece at Forbes.com highlights a recent study of the educational background of top CEOs that points to the stellar STEM experience held by four-star military officers. The key takeaway: Military leaders, on average, have a stellar STEM background compared with leaders in other fields.

Why? First, about a third of the four-star leaders featured held undergraduate degrees in STEM fields. Second, many of those who didn’t attended service academies for their undergraduate education, meaning they were required to take more STEM courses than most leaders-to-be at other institutions.

What does this have to do with you and your career path? Consider these quick points:

  • Don’t skimp on STEM. Employers want fundamental STEM skills, even in jobs where those skills aren’t the primary day-to-day focus. Not every applicant has those skills: If your time in uniform, at a service academy or in another setting, has helped you to acquire this knowledge, be sure to highlight it as part of your application materials.
  • Know your whole skill set. It’s not just STEM classes that may go unnoticed as you prepare your résumé. Chances are you’ve overlooked some leadership course or other training that highlights knowledge a prospective employer might appreciate. Go over your records to jog your memory, if needed.
  • Get some help. Not sure what STEM skills or other materials belong on your résumé? MOAA’s experts can help. Click here to learn more about MOAA Career Center member benefits, including career consulting and résumé critiques for Premium and Life members. You’ll also find plenty of guidance in MOAA’s Marketing Yourself for a Second Career

Looking to engage with recruiters and talent acquisition professionals in STEM fields? Register now to attend MOAA’s 2019 Military and Veteran Networking Forum and Hiring Event, set for Sept. 19 at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Military spouse? We have you covered at the forum, too! Come out and meet representatives from the Society of Military Spouses in STEM. Get more information here

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley

Kevin Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org.