Almost all modern day pioneers of technology and innovation have thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. These broad disciplines are collectively called STEM and don’t refer to a single curriculum or subject. This means any student who majors in a subjects from the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics from K12 through college can be said to be a STEM student. Apart from the love of the subjects, the primary reason to get an education in STEM is the ease of securing a job.
STEM graduates have a higher probability to secure a high paying job. This is primarily because every major industry in America requires a healthy number of STEM workforce. This results in a high demand for STEM graduates. To top it all off only 6 percent of the current workforce in America have a STEM major. This is why most STEM majors easily secure a high paying job compared to the rest. STEM is a very broad term which consists of thousands of specialized fields from food science to aerospace engineering giving students a lot of freedom to choose the subjects they wish to pursue. The following are the 10 best STEM majors that offer great opportunities and earning potential.
1) Petroleum Engineering
Petroleum engineering is high paying career. The job of a petroleum engineer involves finding new sources of oil and examining and experimenting with oil samples. It can also involve developing new gadgets for extraction and processing of oil. Average pay of a newly appointed petroleum engineer is around $98,000 a year, making it one of the highest paid professions in this list.
2) Computer Science
People interested in developing new software to solve problems should definitely think of pursuing a degree in computer science. Apart from developing software a computer science graduate is also expected to solve computing problems and develop new computing methods to address industry based challenges. An average computer science graduate gets a starting salary of $63,000.
3) Applied Mathematics
Applied mathematics is the science of applying mathematics to solve industry based problems. This study focuses on practical application of mathematics that can be utilized in the fields of science, business, and engineering. A newly appointed applied mathematician can take home $50,800 per year.
4) Informational Technology
Information technology is one of the most commonly studied fields. This is also one of the most misunderstood fields. Some people think people who pass information technology have a future in working for BPOs. However, IT is the application of computer technology and communication devices to store, receive, and edit data. IT specialists can work for any medium to large sized business enterprise. An information technology graduate gets around $49,700 per year.
5) Aerospace Engineering
Student interested to be part of the development teams that build spacecrafts and aircrafts has to have a degree of aerospace engineering. There are two types of aerospace engineers ones that develop aircrafts who are called aeronautical engineers and ones that develop spacecrafts who are known as astronautical engineers. An Aerospace engineer gets a starting salary of $62,000. However, the thrill of creating vehicles that venture into space is much more than the excitement of money.
6) Actuarial Mathematics
Students with a knack in mathematics and problem solving can choose a degree in actuarial mathematics. In layman’s terms actuarial mathematics is used to assess risk for insurance and finance sectors using mathematics. These professionals help financial institutions to form new policies and provide risk assessment for the future. With an average starting salary of $56,000, a newly appointed actuarial mathematician usually gets paid more than an applied mathematician.
The study of using technology to communicate over a distance is called telecommunications studies. Several universities offer courses and degrees on the subject. A telecommunication graduate takes home around $41,000 per year.
If a student is interested in studying micro organisms and disease causing microbes using a microscope then he or she should definitely pursue microbiology. From finding possible cures and developing vaccines to studying newly discovered microbes, the job role of a microbiologist varies according to industry. A starting level microbiologist takes home around $39,000.
9) Food Science
One of newer studies is the study of food. Food scientists use modern day gadgets and equipments to study the safety and nutritive quality of different food items. They also device new methods of processing and preserving food items to ensure the quality of consumed food. Food scientists are also responsible for developing new food items and choosing packing materials to keep them fresh for an extended period of time. A newly appointed food scientist typically takes home $44,000 for a year of their service.
10) Software Engineering
The job role of a programmer and a software engineer is quite similar as both of these professionals develop new software. However, a software engineer uses an engineering approach to solve and develop programs. Anyone interested in developing new software should take an in depth look at software engineering degrees. Software engineers are highly sought after and typically get $60,000 a year as their starting salary.
These are the top 10 STEM majors going through 2014 and into 2015 according to their earning potential and career outlook.