This is a companion blog to my unfinished book Educating for Nature - On Love, Home and Learning:A Personal Journey through Schooling.

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STEM, not, or STEM plus

"No student should be prevented from majoring in an area they love based on a false idea of what they need to succeed. Broad learning skills are the key to long-term, satisfying, productive careers. What helps you thrive in a changing world isn't rocket science. It may just well be social science, and, yes, even the humanities and the arts that contribute to making you not just workforce ready but world ready," conclusion from this article on Google employment.

Applying a bit of thought there is nothing new in this, because business has always liked to believe stuff like this. What is your CV? A general letter describing what skills you bring - not relating to your academic subject. And a description of academic abilities. I would argue they want "STEM plus".

My first job was as a statistician/programmer based on a year's postgraduate study in stats (following a maths degree). I got the job because I answered a statistical question with a level of understanding that was not academic, I got the interview because of my academic achievements - STEM plus understanding plus non-academic.

I failed at the job because I could not buy into the business ethos - 40 years ago; no different now. Buying into the business ethos meant that I was not willing to sell my soul for the business, and then do the 7 non-STEM things "The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one's colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas." You have never got on in business if all you are is academic. You have never got on in business if you want to bury yourself in academia. You will get on in business if you accept the business ethos which means "soft skills" and don't question - STEM assumed.

If you cannot do the bread and butter work in a job, soft skills won't make you a plumber, you don't get the job. If you can only do the bread and butter work, you don't rise up the ladder. Whatever analysis is carried out in a job-creation department this doesn't change. What does change is the latest version of B-S that they here call 'soft skills', you have to know what they want to hear in interview - or when you are climbing the ladder. It doesn't take intelligence or ability to know this B-S, the B-S just has to matter to you.

In my view the people who rise to the top of Google, buy into the latest fashion of Google B-S. They get through the door with STEM, know sufficient B-S for the job interview, and waft up the ladder on the hot air of B-S that is soup of the day for the next 20 years.

To be successful learn the B-S of the day. For Google interview, read the soft skills analysis and work out how you can tailor yourself to fit into it.

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Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education. Blogs:- Zandtao, Mandtao.