Those working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are delivering world-changing solutions to the problems we face and are saving lives every day. Some of them do surgeries, some design airplanes and cars, others study the wildlife around us, and others create processes to facilitate the manufacturing of devices we use often. In order to do this, the engineers, scientists, doctors, and other professionals in STEM disciplines need to possess hard skills. Hard skills are often called technical skills and are measurable abilities and skills that are needed to perform tasks effectively. The tasks done share something in common: they are intended to improve the lives of those around us. Additional examples include the work done to protect us from nuclear threats, the research done during pandemics to find vaccines, and learning about animal in the ecosystem. While the hard skills are important and essential to have, paired with soft skills, we have a more powerful and stronger combination of skills. Soft skills are often called interpersonal skills or people skills. They are related to how we build relationships and interact effectively with others. They enhance our ability to do both technical and nontechnical work. If the work those in STEM disciplines do is intended to help individuals, society, and people, how can we do this effectively if we do not have strong people skills? How are we to improve the lives of individuals through the work we do in STEM if we cannot fully interact effectively with those individuals? This study will explore how participants from STEM disciplines at an educational and industry level rated themselves in their effective use of soft skills and provide suggestions based on their feedback on how we can improve our soft skills.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Kotnour, Timothy


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering & Management Systems



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date