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STEM Geeks versus Business Buffs: Who Rules the World?

STEM Geeks versus Business Buffs: Who Rules the World

We all know that people who are good in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are highly in demand in the job market. Their skills are essential for innovation and technological advancement. But have you ever wondered why people with backgrounds in other fields, such as business or commerce, often have more power in government and leadership roles than people with STEM backgrounds?

It’s because governing a country or organisation isn’t just about understanding technology or science. There’s no doubt that STEM expertise is valuable, but good leadership requires a wider range of skills. Leadership, decision-making, policymaking, and understanding human behaviour are areas where people with non-STEM backgrounds often excel.

According to a research titled “Do STEM CEOs Outperform Non-STEM CEOs?” that was published in the Harvard Business Review, non-STEM CEOs performed better financially in the long run than their STEM counterparts. The study credited the non-STEM CEOs’ success to their superior teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities—skills essential for navigating the complex worlds of governance and business. So, it means, business education is more valuable than it has ever been in a STEM world.

One important thing to think about is the balance between scientific innovation and its impact on society and the economy. While STEM experts invent groundbreaking solutions, putting them into practice often requires a deep understanding of market forces, financial feasibility, and customer behaviour—areas where non-STEM professionals are strong. The ability to turn complex scientific advances into practical, sustainable, and marketable solutions is a skill that bridges the gap between theory and reality.

Moreover, effective governance is deeply connected to communication, diplomacy, and ethical considerations—areas where the broader education provided by business or commerce disciplines is helpful. Leadership in governance requires strong communication, negotiation, and consensus-building skills, which are often developed in non-STEM educational programmes.

Furthermore, the intersection of technology and society demands a comprehensive understanding of human-centred issues such as ethics, privacy, and inclusivity. The ability to deal with ethical dilemmas, anticipate societal implications, and make decisions that align with broader human values requires a balanced perspective that includes not only technical knowledge but also ethical and moral considerations—areas where non-STEM professionals are trained to navigate.

The Best of Both Worlds

So, the paradox of STEM-educated individuals being governed by non-STEM professionals is not just a matter of expertise but a recognition of the complementary nature of skill sets. Effective governance requires a synergy between the rigour of scientific thinking and the holistic approach offered by diverse educational backgrounds.

The future of leadership lies not in favouring one expertise over another but in promoting collaboration, mutual respect, and a synthesis of diverse knowledge bases. The combination of STEM expertise with the insights of non-STEM disciplines is the cornerstone for comprehensive, inclusive, and visionary governance—a paradigm that goes beyond the limitations of any single educational field.

The Bottom Line

In the pursuit of progress and effective governance, let us not prioritise one educational background over another but celebrate the synergy that arises when diverse expertise comes together for the greater good. If you think otherwise, reach out to immigration consultants in Gurgaon and share your thoughts.

About the Author

Manish Garg serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director, leveraging a diverse background in financial management cultivated in Bangalore. His expertise offers fresh insights into STEM and non-STEM domains. The views expressed in the article are purely personal reflections.

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