Individuals interested in going to college always face a conundrum: they don’t know for sure what they want to do. These individuals may have a list of interests or an implausible dream. No matter the situation, they need guidance. One helpful suggestion would be to at least consider earning a degree in one of the STEM fields. STEM degrees may allow a person to do what they love while also securing a job once they graduate.
What is a STEM degree?
A STEM degree is a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math. They are degrees in fields with a particularly high demand. These degrees are somewhat different from many of the other degrees offered at colleges. They do not exist at a number of small liberal arts colleges. These degrees also often exist at land grant colleges and colleges with large research wings. An individual who earns one of these degrees may work in a lab for at least one semester. They may be responsible for writing a research paper or working on an otherwise applicable project. The basic outline of a STEM degree is similar to any other degree.
An individual still has to take the same prerequisites as a history or philosophy major. They still have to attend all four years and complete a senior project if one is required by their school. In addition, there is still an opportunity for graduate school. Individuals can receive masters’ or doctorate degrees for any of the STEM fields at many schools. But these degrees, especially the doctorate, are only necessary for a limited number of positions that a graduate may eventually be interested in. Most individuals do not require one of these advanced degrees in order to get a job.
STEM skills in demand
A degree in STEM helps to cultivate many of the skills that are in demand in the current economy. This economy in the United States is an advanced, flexible one. It is based off of technology and the medical field at its highest levels. The main drivers of the current economy are computers. People who are able and willing to manipulate computers will, in many instances, be able to secure top-level jobs. STEM degrees are well-suited for all of these possible positions. Science degrees teach students the formulas, materials, and theories that they need to succeed in any field that requires chemistry, geology, biology, or physics.
Students can use biology and chemistry degrees to gain well-paying jobs in the medical field. Medical jobs are one of the largest growing sectors in today’s economy. There are many other possible job applications for this field as well. A geology degree may be helpful for individuals wanting to work in the fossil fuels industry. Biology helps individuals work with genetics, perform genetics research, and use computers to analyze genes for multiple purposes. Physics can be helpful in design, testing, and anything having to do with forces or energy. People with these degrees all have the potential to pursue advanced versions through a bevy of potential research jobs.
Engineering jobs help individuals build and maintain complex systems in every sector of the economy. Engineers can help with construction, development, manufacturing, or health care. Many of these jobs involve complex calculations and an understanding of several different fields. As a result, they are some of the most lucrative in the contemporary economy. Math degrees can support all of these other fields. An individual can receive a math degree that allows them to write software and program panels that govern business operations. Statistics degrees can be applicable in fields as diverse as manufacturing and finance. Math helps open graduates up to a vast multitude of different jobs in all sectors.
How STEM graduates get jobs
STEM degrees help individuals build early connections with businesses. Many people who graduate college do not have a job lined up. These individuals are so focused on doing the work it takes to graduate that they spend little time looking for a job while they are taking classes. As a result, they may spend weeks or months sending out resumes and hoping that a company will respond. These individuals may have to take one or multiple jobs outside of their particular field. Many people with STEM degrees do not have to take such steps. They are in a fundamentally different position. In many cases, companies will come calling to them.
There will be job fairs where companies will be searching for individuals to fill badly needed positions. People with STEM degrees can attend those job fairs and secure a well-paying job before they even graduate. Sometimes, instructors and professors recommend students to companies that come to a college eager for new employees. These students may receive a job without even having to go to a fair. This effort takes a considerable amount of stress off of the recent graduate.
Paying for school
This demand for STEM degrees can often help individuals pay for schooling. Schools are often hungry for as many new STEM students as possible. They want to try and cultivate relationships with companies in a number of different sectors. The school will serve as an initial training ground for many of these companies when they choose to grow or need to fill their ranks. As a result, they will sponsor scholarships that bring in individuals from a number of different fields. They will especially focus on bring more women and people of color into the STEM field.
Whatever the reason for the scholarship, individuals may be able to secure funding for their entire time in college from one of these scholarships. Scholarships may pay for housing and expenses as well as tuition. Such funding will be incredibly helpful. It will prevent an individual from having to take out massive student loans. This avoidance of loans is especially true for anyone interested in pursuing a STEM field at a private or out-of-state college. These colleges may have massive tuition payments with little support from the college itself.
What to do
Individuals who are interested in pursuing STEM degrees should consider talking to their counselors or advisers at their schools. These individuals will have lists of the multiple fields that fall under the STEM designation. An adviser or counselor can help in the process of picking a field and then pursuing that field through to a degree. Individuals who may want to pursue a STEM field should decide on a field that they are interested in. This may be a field that they perform particularly well in through their classes or one that they have always been curious about. They do not want to struggle and work as hard as they can for a field that does not interest them or poses significant struggles.
Then, they may be able to help their position in a STEM field depending on where they are in college or high school. If they start early enough, they may be able to take Advanced Placement courses that might help them gain a familiarity with one of the STEM fields. Many high schools offer advanced calculus, chemistry, and physics courses. These advanced courses may help individuals become familiar with the work they will be frequently doing when they reach a STEM field.
Stem Degree List
Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Animal Sciences Agricultural Animal Breeding Animal Health Animal Nutrition Dairy Science Livestock Management Poultry Science Animal Sciences Food Science Food Technology and Processing Food Science and Technology Plant Sciences Agronomy and Crop Science Horticultural Science Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management Range Science and Management Plant Sciences Soil Science and Agronomy Soil Chemistry and Physics Soil Microbiology Soil Sciences Natural Resources/Conservation Environmental Studies Environmental Science Natural Resources Conservation and Research Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management Forest Sciences and Biology Urban Forestry Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects Computer and Information Sciences Artificial Intelligence Information Technology Informatics Computer and Information Sciences Computer Programming/Programmer Computer Programming, Specific Applications Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification Computer Programming Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician Information Science/Studies Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst Computer Science Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration Computer Graphics Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation Computer Software and Media Applications Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Network and System Administration/Administrator System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster Information Technology Project Management11 111006 Computer Support Specialist Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management Educational/Instructional Technology Educational Evaluation and Research Educational Statistics and Research Methods Engineering Pre-Engineering Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering Agricultural Engineering Architectural Engineering Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Ceramic Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Structural Engineering Transportation and Highway Engineering Water Resources Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Engineering Computer Hardware Engineering Computer Software Engineering Computer Engineering Electrical and Electronics Engineering Laser and Optical Engineering Telecommunications Engineering Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering Engineering Mechanics Engineering Physics/Applied Physics Engineering Science14 141401 Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Materials Engineering Mechanical Engineering Metallurgical Engineering Mining and Mineral Engineering Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Nuclear Engineering Ocean Engineering Petroleum Engineering Systems Engineering Textile Sciences and Engineering Polymer/Plastics Engineering Construction Engineering Forest Engineering Industrial Engineering Manufacturing Engineering Operations Research Surveying Engineering Geological/Geophysical Engineering Paper Science and Engineering Electromechanical Engineering Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Biochemical Engineering Engineering Chemistry Biological/Biosystems Engineering Engineering Engineering Technology Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician Civil Engineering Technology/Technician Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Laser and Optical Technology/Technician Telecommunications Integrated Circuit Design Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians Biomedical Technology/Technician Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Instrumentation Technology/Technician Robotics Technology/Technician Automation Engineer Technology/Technician Electromechanical and Instrumentation and Maintenance Technologies/Technicians Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician Solar Energy Technology/Technician Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician Metallurgical Technology/Technician Industrial Technology/Technician Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician Welding Engineering Technology/Technician Chemical Engineering Technology/Technician Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician Quality Control Technology/Technician Industrial Safety Technology/Technician Hazardous Materials Information Systems Technology/Technician Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians Aeronautical/Aerospace Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians Mining Technology/Technician Petroleum Technology/Technician Mining and Petroleum Technologies/Technicians Construction Engineering Technology/Technician Surveying Technology/Surveying Hydraulics and Fluid Power Technology/Technician Computer Engineering Technology/Technician Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology Computer Hardware Technology/Technician Computer Software Technology/Technician Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians Drafting and Design Technology/Technician CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD Electrical/Electronics Drafting and Electrical/Electronics CAD/CADD Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians Nuclear Engineering Technology/Technician Engineering/Industrial Management Engineering Design Packaging Science Engineering-Related Fields Nanotechnology Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields Biology/Biological Sciences Biomedical Sciences26 260202 Biochemistry Biophysics Molecular Biology Molecular Biochemistry Molecular Biophysics Structural Biology Photobiology Radiation Biology/Radiobiology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Botany/Plant Biology Plant Pathology/Phytopathology Plant Physiology Plant Molecular Biology Botany/Plant Biology Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology Anatomy Developmental Biology and Embryology Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology Cell Biology and Anatomy Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences Microbiology Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology Virology Parasitology Mycology Immunology Microbiology and Immunology Microbiological Sciences and Immunology Zoology/Animal Biology Entomology Animal Physiology Animal Behavior and Ethology Wildlife Biology Zoology/Animal Biology Genetics Molecular Genetics Microbial and Eukaryotic Genetics Animal Genetics Plant Genetics Human/Medical Genetics Genome Sciences/Genomics Genetics Physiology Molecular Physiology Cell Physiology Endocrinology Reproductive Biology Cardiovascular Science Exercise Physiology Vision Science/Physiological Optics Pathology/Experimental Pathology Oncology and Cancer Biology Aerospace Physiology and Medicine Physiology, Pathology, and Related Sciences Pharmacology Molecular Pharmacology Neuropharmacology Toxicology Molecular Toxicology Environmental Toxicology Pharmacology and Toxicology Pharmacology and Toxicology Biometry/Biometrics26 261102 Biostatistics Bioinformatics Computational Biology Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Biotechnology Ecology Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography Evolutionary Biology Aquatic Biology/Limnology Environmental Biology Population Biology Conservation Biology Systematic Biology/Biological Systematics Epidemiology Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology Molecular Medicine Neuroscience Neuroanatomy Neurobiology and Anatomy Neurobiology and Behavior Neurobiology and Neurosciences Biological and Biomedical Sciences Mathematics Algebra and Number Theory Analysis and Functional Analysis Geometry/Geometric Analysis Topology and Foundations Mathematics Applied Mathematics Computational Mathematics Computational and Applied Mathematics27 270305 Financial Mathematics Mathematical Biology Applied Mathematics Statistics Mathematical Statistics and Probability Mathematics and Statistics Statistics Mathematics and Statistics Air Science/Airpower Studies Air and Space Operational Art and Science Naval Science and Operational Studies Intelligence Strategic Intelligence Signal/Geospatial Intelligence Command & Control (C3, C4I) Systems and Operations Information Operations/Joint Information Operations Information/Psychological Warfare and Military Media Relations Cyber/Electronic Operations and Warfare ntelligence, Command Control and Information Operations Combat Systems Engineering Directed Energy Systems Engineering Acoustics Low-Observables and Stealth Technology Space Systems Operations Operational Oceanography Undersea Warfare Military Applied Sciences Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology Air and Space Operations Technology Aircraft Armament Systems Technology Explosive Ordinance/Bomb Disposal Joint Command/Task Force (C3, C4I) Systems Military Information Systems Technology Missile and Space Systems Technology Munitions Systems/Ordinance Technology Radar Communications and Systems Technology Military Systems and Maintenance Technology Military Technologies and Applied Sciences Biological and Physical Sciences Systems Science and Theory Mathematics and Computer Science Biopsychology Behavioral Sciences Natural Sciences Nutrition Sciences Cognitive Science Human Biology Computational Science Human Computer Interaction Marine Sciences Sustainability Studies Physical Sciences Astronomy Astrophysics Planetary Astronomy and Science Astronomy and Astrophysics Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology Atmospheric Chemistry and Climatology Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics Meteorology Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Organic Chemistry Physical Chemistry Polymer Chemistry Chemical Physics Environmental Chemistry Forensic Chemistry Theoretical Chemistry Chemistry Geology/Earth Science Geochemistry Geophysics and Seismology Paleontology Hydrology and Water Resources Science Geochemistry and Petrology Oceanography, Chemical and Physical Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences Physics Atomic/Molecular Physics Elementary Particle Physics Plasma and High-Temperature Physics Nuclear Physics Optics/Optical Sciences Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Acoustics Theoretical and Mathematical Physics Physics Materials Science Materials Chemistry Materials Sciences Physical Sciences Science Technologies/Technicians Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Industrial Radiologic Technology/Technician Nuclear/Nuclear Power Technology/Technician Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies/Technicians Chemical Technology/Technician Chemical Process Technology Physical Science Technologies/Technicians Science Technologies/Technicians Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics Comparative Psychology Developmental and Child Psychology Experimental Psychology Personality Psychology Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology Social Psychology Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology Psychopharmacology Research and Experimental Psychology Forensic Science and Technology Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism Archeology Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Geographic Information Science and Cartography Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist Medical Scientist Pharmaceutics and Drug Design Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Clinical and Industrial Drug Development Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmaceutical Economics Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences51 Pharmaceutical Sciences Environmental Health Health/Medical Physics Veterinary Anatomy Veterinary Physiology Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology Veterinary Preventive Medicine Epidemiology and Public Health Veterinary Infectious Diseases Medical Informatics Management Science Business Statistics Actuarial Science Management Science and Quantitative Methods
Anybody interested in a STEM job should be prepared for years of hard work. They will have to understand complicated mathematical and scientific concepts. However, after all of that work they will be able to perform the tasks that help drive the modern economy. The possibility of a STEM job should, therefore, be front and center for every American graduating from high school.