How Asian Students Leverage their STEM Strengths to Excel in University Education and Career Development



Asian students may often show introverted behaviour in a Western learning environment because of language barriers and cultural differences, but their strong proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects can be seen as strong transferrable skills to enter today's dynamic global market.  


Nowadays, mathematics and science are seen as adaptable across industries, and fundamental to innovation from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to healthcare and finance.   These are not only subject-specific skills but also foster logical thinking and problem-solving skills essential across sectors.  


The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) consistently shows Asian students leading in mathematics and science scores.   According to the PISA 2018 results, the top five performing markets in mathematics and science were all located in Asia, including Singapore, Japan, China (Shanghai in particular), Macau and Hong Kong.  Also, McKinsey Global Institute highlights how STEM is seen as one of the high-skill jobs nowadays with more job growth than the others.   


In Asia, the National University of Singapore offers interdisciplinary programs, which combine mathematics with science in real-world applications, prepping students for versatile careers.   In the US, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is renowned for its fostering of innovation.  In Europe, ETH Zurich focuses on research-intensive learning, promoting deep science skills along with critical thinking.   


These degree programs integrate hard mathematics and science skills with soft, transferrable skills.  For example, students who study quantum physics or complex algebra will also hone their problem-solving and logical thinking skills.  


Computational Linguistics and Environmental Science are two profound examples of combining STEM and soft transferrable skills. These fields empower Asian students to leverage their inherent academic strength in today’s burgeoning global job market.   When choosing a university program, Asian students should consider their interests and innate talents and how they can be nurtured into transferrable skills as a benchmark to align with their high school academic performance. 


Asian students can leverage their strengths in STEM fields in several ways. They can take the initiative in group projects or laboratory work to demonstrate their skills and build confidence.  In their senior years, students can offer to tutor peers in STEM subjects as to foster social connections and practice language skills simultaneously.   Additionally, pursuing internships, research opportunities and networking within STEM fields - such as attending seminars, workshops and conferences are highly valued.  


Bearing Academy’s Strong Interest Inventory Assessment® (SII) helps students identify their true interests and potential so as to choose a rewarding undergraduate degree and career path. 



Photo 158909326 © Mauriceschuckart |

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