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The importance of skills development in STEM subjects

Rapid changes in technology have created a global skills crisis, and this growth of complex technology has created a demand for workers with greater problem-solving skills.

In this episode of STEM Minds, we caught up with Ashley Morris, Founder and Director of Product Change to discuss the broad topic of STEM skills, including the importance of skills development and how to learn new skills to stand out.

Ashley studied electronic and electrical engineering and physics and Loughborough University. His passion for STEM comes from his early experience in the aerospace sector where he had difficulty getting hold of spare parts for an aircraft.

The mission of Product Change is to help students learn how to design world-beating products, such as concord. A big issue in engineering is structured problem solving and critical thinking, and a key way of looking at that is organising information. The aim of the website is to promote the development of skills that enables people to make simple system diagrams/ product break down diagrams.

“The reason I set the company up relates to my background as an aerospace engineer, followed by a period of time in the IT industry. I realised there were some critical skills missing in the area of data management and engineering design,” explained Ashley.

Having spent 10 years in the aerospace sector, Ashley decided that he needed to do further research studying to boost his career, leading him to his master’s degree in business management.

“The big shift that I see is that there is a need to change the culture of the education system so that people think there is a great emphasis placed on promoting systems thinking. And, that’s really in the context that with rapid growth in digital technology that’s connected by networks. We’re into an era of much more complex systems,” explained Ashley.

“Whilst we’ve had lots of new technology, we’re still working our way through many of the social challenges that will be made possible by that new technology. That includes new ideas about education, how education systems need to change, and the new types of educational technology that will be required,” he added.

Listen to the full episode (season 2, episode 1) wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Student Circuit: STEM Minds (simplecast.com)

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