Last year, there were two-and-a-half times as many entry-level STEM related jobs than there were STEM graduates, according to a study conducted by Burning Glass Technologies. Aptitude and interest over the past decade has grown around 4 percent for these jobs, while their number has grown to about 20. To make matters worse, according to the Arizona Technology Council, about three quarters of companies report it is “somewhat” or “very difficult” to attract qualified tech workers. This is the classic definition of a skills gap. However, many of the skills these companies are looking for aren’t necessarily the things a student learns in a computer science or engineering classroom. Soft skills, such as communication, creativity, flexibility, the capacity to learn, adaptability, and leadership are highly sought after in this field; while there are many candidates with degrees that make them appear qualified, their lack of soft skills disqualifies them. It is important for individuals looking into STEM fields to start fostering problem-solving skills at an early age—not just learning to code to solve one specific problem, but how coding principles can be applied to a multitude of problems.