You may have heard of STEM degrees. What are these, though? If you’re curious to find out, then you’ve come to the right place!
STEM degrees are programs where you can study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Let’s take a closer look at STEM degrees and why they’re excellent options to begin your studies. We’ll discuss the education costs and salaries you can expect in each field.
The Facts and Figures of STEM degrees
STEM programs take a hands-on approach to help prepare you for top careers. You’ll learn research and analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
There’s a significant demand for professionals within these fields. Plus, STEM careers are also popular due to their high-paying roles.
There are many reasons to consider a STEM career, so let’s examine each area.
The subject of science covers an extensive range of rewarding fields, from physics to chemistry and health to biology. If you have a curious mind and love getting involved with research, a science degree might be the best choice for you.
The science field splits into four central departments: mathematics, biology, physical sciences, and social sciences.
As a science student, you’ll cover various fields. Depending on your major, these range from biology to chemistry, physics, and environmental sciences. Below is a list of some majors and topics you’ll cover.
- Nursing: Foundations in nursing, pathophysiology, medication calculations, and pharmacology.
- Biology: Biology, chemistry, calculus, ethics, and environmental issues.
- Chemistry: Biostatistics, calculus, biochemistry, and physical chemistry.
- Health sciences: Chemistry, biology, ethics, and psychology.
When it comes to tuition, you can expect to pay between $24,000 and $100,000 for a four-year program.
Careers and Salaries
Jobs available in the sciences are trending upwards. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests a steady increase in job availability with a growth of 8% until 2030.
Depending on your chosen degree, there are many jobs you can pursue. You could pursue a health professional, biological technician, or climate scientist career.
With a science degree, you’ll be equipped to uncover the facts and figures that can make the world a better place. Climate change, vaccines, energy, and infrastructure have become popular research topics.
Choosing a science path can open many doors, depending on your specialization. Career opportunities and average annual salaries include:
- Epidemiologist: $83,035
- Geologist: $72,190
- Environmental scientist: $71,205
- Microbiologist: $63,591
- Ecologist: $75,848
- Hydrologist: $81,270
- Medical scientist: $98,529
- Pharmacist: $106,600
As technology advances, so does the need for professionals in the tech industry. Technology is everywhere! Whether you’re interested in coding solutions or designing user interfaces, a technology degree might be a great option.
A technology degree will prepare you for a career in data and technology management, software development, or computer science. Technology may be your ultimate choice if you are interested in helping to advance computer technology.
You’ll develop practical skills in using, designing, and managing operating systems. You’ll also cover human-computer interaction, internet technology, and ethical and security considerations.
Some of the bachelor’s degree majors that you can choose from include:
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Information science
- Computer and information systems security
Depending on your chosen school, you can expect to pay tuition fees from $40,000 to $70,000 annually.
Careers and Salaries
Skilled workers with a background in technology are in demand. Some tech jobs don’t require a degree, but many employers seek employees through college recruitment programs.
The tech industry has some of the fastest-growing jobs. Having a technology degree can open doors to companies that offer work-from-home opportunities.
A few careers that you can get with a tech degree include:
- Systems analyst: $82,239
- Data scientist: $101,460
- Web developer: $67,752
- User interface: $85,388
- Network engineer: $90,148
- IT manager: $87,879
- Database engineer: $116,502
- Software engineer: $93,809
Engineers cover a wide range of fields. Engineers design and build machines, buildings, engines, roads, and more. If you have a creative yet technical mind, engineering may be the right path. It can also be very hands-on and practical!
As a student in the engineering field, you can expect to cover subjects such as chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
You can choose from various majors, including:
- Mechanical engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Civil engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Computer engineering
The average cost for an engineering program can range between $40,000 to $90,000 per year.
Careers and Salaries
As an engineer, you can find careers in many industries. You could work on projects in the field of aerospace or tackle environmental sustainability. You can expect to work on (or oversee) research projects and travel to different sites.
Some of the more popular careers include:
- Computer engineer: $80,729
- Chemical engineer: $81,068
- Biomedical engineer: $81,492
- Aeronautical engineer: $84,273
- Electrical engineer: $87,028
- Nuclear engineer: $81,677
- Petroleum engineer: $82,020
- Engineer technician: $58,309
Mathematics is a fascinating field of study. You probably know about numbers and complex calculations, but do you know that math is used to predict and solve real-world problems?
If you love mathematics and the science of numbers, we recommend trying a mathematics degree.
You’re likely to cover mathematics in all STEM majors in one form or another. However, specializing in mathematics will give you the skills to analyze mathematical models and interpret and communicate the results.
A few majors to choose from include:
The average tuition cost for a degree in mathematics is $26,873 per year.
Careers and Salaries
Math skills have a significant impact on many industries. You can start a career in many quantitatively-based fields with a mathematics degree. From finance to technology, the world is your oyster.
When combined with other majors, such as economics or finance, a math degree can set you up for a great career!
If this sounds like you, you may also be interested in starting your career in business management.
Take a look at the careers you could follow below:
- Math teacher: $48,371
- Accountant: $73,560
- Financial analyst: $71,421
- Mathematician: $94,754
- Actuary: $116,366
- Insurance underwriter: $127,647
- Financial manager: $134,180
Are STEM Degrees Worth The Hype?
STEM degrees can be excellent choices depending on what you’re looking for in a degree. If you’re looking for a financially stable career that can impact the world, STEM degrees are great opportunities.
Skilled STEM graduates are in high demand in many industries. Science, tech, engineering, and mathematics degrees can provide an excellent foundation for your career after studying. You’ll be equipped with excellent quantitative skills, as well as communication and critical thinking skills.
What do STEM Graduates Have To Say?
STEM graduates agree that having a STEM degree makes all the difference in your salary.
One graduate, who holds a degree in biology, has experienced an increase of $5 per hour in her earning power due to her degree.
Other graduates on Reddit agree that choosing to study for a STEM degree is an excellent idea. There are more opportunities with an increased salary.
STEM degrees are excellent choices for people looking into tertiary education. They will equip you with invaluable knowledge and skills to make a significant impact on the world and set you up for a financially stable future.
STEM degrees can be enriching. If you love the idea of studying something in the field of science, tech, engineering, and mathematics – a STEM degree might be your best fit!
Catherine Ulrich is a forever student. Having two bachelor’s degrees, and a professional diploma under her belt, she’s always looking for new things to master.