Creativity is used daily in most STEM careers.

By Alexandria McCuien  (Sr. Specialist-Applications Developer, AT&T)

What I love about creative thinking is that it allows people to solve problems in so many different ways. After all, each person is unique. It only makes sense for there to be multiple views and opinions. How boring would it be if we all had the same ideas?

Most companies are looking for employees that can problem solve, collaborate creatively and communicate new ideas. We want to make sure that we start exposing students to these skills while in elementary school. For example, participate in science fairs and create an adventurous or exploratory project.

Creative thinking involves digging deep within yourself to see what new ideas you can come up with. What I admire about creative thinkers is how they see what they can improve in their lives to make things move faster or perform more efficiently. Faster, better, stronger, right? We’d be doing things the same way we’ve always done them if it weren’t for creative thinking. It’s a vital component of innovation.

Innovation leads to inspiration. Creative thinkers are normally inspired by others and, in turn, inspire even more people with their new ideas. Web designers have to know what graphics can be used on the web, what colors are associated with each other and so much more.

Graphic designers have to understand the color wheel and create images that stand out every day. As you can see, creativity is used daily in most STEM careers. We want students to follow a certain number of steps to get an outcome. The students have to be creative to come up with ways to test those steps to make sure they work.

Here are five reasons why I think creative thinkers should consider a STEM career:

1. Creative thinkers need to ask questions, continue to learn and set goals

STEM careers are collaborative and require a variety of skills to drive innovation. You’re constantly learning and growing, which keeps your job interesting and fresh.

2. Creative thinkers need to test, validate, implement and execute ideas

You could be the person to dream up the next big thing in STEM. There are no limits or ‘bad’ ideas. Creativity is a powerful thing.

3. Creative thinkers need to share their expertise

Your input is invaluable! For example, software engineers use creative thinking to make software that stands out in the market.

4. Creative thinkers need variety

Fashion, video games, music, food, sports and more all involve elements of creative thinking and all offer good STEM jobs. Point is, you can tailor STEM to your interests to design a career you love.

5. Creative thinkers need to build and create

Bridges, buildings and more allow you to apply scale and implement the practices of engineering to make structures stand up and become reality.

And who knows, the creativity you use today in school, at home or wherever you do your best thinking could one day lead to a dream job and a big payday in a STEM field!

About the guest blogger: Alexandria McCuien is a Sr. Specialist-Applications Developer at AT&T. She works in a high-performance environment that consists of highly skilled IT professionals who execute project-based work on behalf of IT clients. She recently received the 2015 Women of Color STEM Conference Technology Rising Star Award.