STEM Skills

Preparing for the future of healthcare

Science, technology, engineering and math are know collectively as STEM skills. STEM skills are important to many healthcare careers, although the skill level needed varies widely with each career.

For entry-level healthcare jobs, basic skills in math and science are enough to help you do your day-to-day work, but often advancement in a career requires much more advanced coursework in order to get a college degree in your field.

If you are still in high school or are thinking about college, the following classes will be helpful to you in almost any healthcare career path:

  • Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer technology


If you are looking to go into medicine, nursing, or a similar field and you don’t think you are strong in science or math, you should know that there are alternatives. Advanced science and math is required in nursing, medicine and a number of other career paths.

But you can still help people and work in a respected profession even without strong STEM skills. The following careers do not have the same STEM academic requirements as fields like nursing, but provide much of the same career satisfaction if you are looking to make a difference:


Or use some self-assessment tools to help you find a career that is perfect for your needs and strengths.


Employers Say...

“If you are planning a career in healthcare, make sure that you focus on basic math, science, reading and writing skills early. Plus being comfortable with learning new technologies definitely helps. Technology in our organization is always changing and advancing, so you have to be able to adapt.”

“Not all healthcare is nursing, and I think that is important for people to realize. Becoming a nurse is not for everyone. You can make a difference as a community health worker if you are not strong in math and science, or behind the scenes in a lab if you aren’t a people person.”

Jobs are going unfilled because people don't have the skills they need.
Question 1 Explanation: 
True. In 2007, only 32 percent of Massachusetts workers had the education and training required to fill "middle skill" positions. (Middle skills jobs are those that require more than a HS diploma, but not a four-year degree).