STEM Training Alone Doesn’t Make for a Successful Business Environment

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Whenever there are discussions about the state of public education in America these days, the focus inevitably shifts toward the scores that American children get in math and science, and how there is a risk of them lagging behind other developed nations. We are constantly hearing about new ways that companies, schools and organizations expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, and how some politicians have begun to discourage people from getting degrees in liberal arts or have even underfunded liberal arts majors.

A recent editorial column in The Washington Post examined the phenomenon of America’s “obsession with STEM education.” One of the key examples that the author of the column, Fareed Zakaria, mentions is that of Apple, a company known for a combination of technology and innovation.

STEM Training Alone Doesn’t Make for a Successful Business Environment

“The most valuable skills will be the ones that are uniquely human, that computers cannot quite figure out — yet. And for those jobs, and that life, you could not do better than to follow your passion, engage with a breadth of material in both science and the humanities, and perhaps above all, study the human condition.” ~ Fareed Zakaria

Where would Apple be today were it not for its ability to constantly re-imagine how humans and technology interact, and what sorts of new innovations could help make our lives easier? Apple has become more than a technology company, especially over the past decade and a half. It’s become a thought leader. Today, companies look to Apple for examples of how to be leaders in innovation in their market spaces, and a big part of that is the company’s ability to effectively combine outstanding STEM training with critical thought.

The emphasis on STEM is a rather recent trend, too. For most of the history of the United States, we’ve had an educational system that was extremely well-rounded. Technologists argue that the world today isn’t changing as quickly as in past decades and that technology plays a bigger role in our lives than ever before.

But nobody argues the importance of technology in today’s world. What is concerning is not that there is such a focus on STEM training in today’s society, but that that focus comes at the expense of other important academic areas that teach people how to be creative, how to think critically and how to be leaders in thought and business.

Any successful entrepreneur will be able to tell you that their success came from a combination of technical excellence and innovation. STEM is absolutely, incredibly important in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean that other schools of thought and learning should be left by the wayside. Just having one or the other isn’t good enough. But that seems to be lost on many people today.

Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC

by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer

thomas von ahn viral solutions

Watch out elephants! This slayer of business challenges comes with 30 years of record breaking sales, marketing, operations, training and leadership experience . He has worked face-to-face with 100’s of small business owners as well as large firms. His love of creating, communicating, developing and executing results for clients shines with each project, publication and training event. His entrepreneurial spirit, passion, industry experience, education, problem-solving prowess, charismatic personality and been-there-done that attitude leads his client focused approach.

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About Thomas von Ahn

With more than 30 years of experience in B2B sales across various industries, Thomas has unique insight into both the offline and online sales sphere. It was during his time in the trenches that Thomas noticed a recurring theme: Though business owners are knowledgeable about their craft or trade, they often struggle to market and sell to their prospects. This realization is what prompted Thomas and his now business partner, Christine, to bring Viral Solutions to life. Since starting the company, Thomas has been able to assist countless business owners in developing a solid marketing plan based upon sound marketing strategy, then assigning the marketing tactics to a team of talented employees, and, finally, watching those actions unfold—his true passion.

Though Viral Solutions is on Thomas’ mind 24/7, he does occasionally take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and enjoy his adopted home of Wisconsin. Much of his family also works at Viral Solutions, and this closeness with family and employees is the cornerstone of the Viral Solutions culture.