stem and disruption

How STEM And Disruption Work Together

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One of the hardest parts of jumping into the technology scene is keeping up with the ‘tech talk.’ Like what is STEM? What does disruption mean these days? How do they work together? And, most importantly – why the heck should you care?

The answers are especially important to entrepreneurs in the startup marketplace. So, we put together this clever little cheat sheet to help you understand how disruptive technologies – and STEM – are working hand in hand these days. Like most things in the tech industry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

It STEMs from Here

You know STEM. (Yes, you do!) You’ve likely already declared your love – or hate – for it, too. STEM is just the hip way to say ‘science technology engineering and mathematics.’ (An acronym is way more convenient, right?) And if you grew up in the UK, you likely experienced a push towards STEM science technology in school.

That’s because the UK has been praising STEM education for years and has recognised, proven and applauded the effect it has on the economy. They’ve even created STEM schools and a National STEM Centre. And why wouldn’t they? Here’s a quick recap of the great things STEM accomplishes.

  • Jobs – STEM jobs are as abundant as ever and the UK is currently the sixth largest manufacturer in the world.
  • Money – UK’s engineering turnover is estimated at £800 million per year!

 

  • Innovation – While the UK only makes up 1% of the world’s population, it produces 10% of the world’s top scientific research!
  • Growth – STEM shows no signs of slowing down in the academic and professional marketplaces.

To STEM or Not to STEM

When you were younger, you probably had to choose between science and the arts. If your school was like most – playing with a guitar was cool but playing with a telescope, wasn’t.

Unfortunately for us cool guys – it’s those “nerds” that weren’t afraid to declare their love of STEM who are running today’s millionaire startups. Only now, they’re “techies.” (Really, really rich techies.)

In fact, some of us may even call those guys “Boss.” How did that happen, right? And why didn’t we see it coming? Perhaps we all would have paid a little more attention in our STEM classes had we known what the future would bring. But don’t feel too bad, the tech startup boom happened almost overnight.

Techies Take Over

There’s a reason why the UK was listed as the top financial centre in the world. And, it has everything to do with STEM-savvy followers and their quest for a place in the marketplace of technology. Look at any list of today’s top tech companies and you’ll find STEM firmly rooted there (pun intended).

Besides technology being 1 of the four cornerstones of STEM, the other 3 (science, engineering and mathematics) all co-exist in the best innovations – along with a big scoop of the creative arts to top them off!

That’s right, even those of us who chose the artsy side of life cannot escape the techie takeover now. Writers are penning ebooks, musicians record via software or directly online, artists have morphed into graphic designers – even dance moves have been incorporated into some of the most enjoyable video games.

Pardon the Disruption

Wow, when you think about, technology really has interfered in our everyday lives. Take Uber, for instance – they changed the transportation industry all across the world before cab drivers even knew what hit them!

How convenient… how inconvenient… how disruptive!

As commuters who often trek across the Waterloo Bridge, we can relish in Uber’s existence while some cab drivers are still reeling from the blow. And regardless of whether you see the app as a blessing or a curse, it’s the perfect example at how disruptive technology has bombarded the marketplace – for better or for worse.

Here are a few other disruptive technologies examples:

  • WhatsApp
  • Netflix
  • Skype
  • Shopify
  • Airbnb

The most important thing to know about disruptive technology: it’s here to stay. Sure, it can really meddle with your business – but only if you let it!

STEM for the Win – and When

It’s not a question of whether disruption will happen to your business – it’s a matter of when. Technology is moving too fast to slow down now and no business is immune. If you’re still utilising a business model that’s ten years old, and your staff is void of a CIO or a full-time IT professional, you’re treading thin ice.

Disruption is coming, but it doesn’t have to bruise your business. It’s not too late to familiarise yourself with the technology trends in your industry. Start there! Then prepare yourself for disruption by going back to the STEM foundations of your childhood.

What better way to catch up to the technology interrupting your business than by diving into the system that helped put it there? Because the UK is so fond of STEM education, many of the best resources are even found online for free!

Embrace the Race

Most of today’s digital disruptions are brilliant ideas with equally brilliant execution. Can you really be mad at that? Perhaps a better way to approach the dilemma is to embrace the evolving times, brush up on your STEM knowledge, and use the competition as fuel to inspire your own technology breakthroughs!

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