By Erin Fox
As you begin to investigate what major you should pursue, you might find yourself drawn to a STEM major. STEM majors are diverse, challenging, and offer a wide array of opportunities. From to biochemists to ocean engineers and meteorologists to applied mathematicians, colleges are preparing students in these programs for future work in exciting careers.
There are many reasons to choose a STEM major.
- Graduates have flexibility within their profession to pursue multiple career paths
- Average starting compensation outpaces careers in other fields
- High level of personal and job satisfaction
- Graduates make a positive contribution to society. Most importantly? Once students have finished their education, career opportunities abound.
Graduates can look forward to:
- Future Opportunities
Pursuing a STEM major will allow you a wide variety of future opportunities after graduation. For example, pursuing an engineering major opens many doors; a graduate can seek a career in such diverse fields as chemical engineering, computer science, or environmental science. A meteorology major can seek work in a variety of venues – graduates may work in a research capacity for a private company, such as Boeing, while others may pursue work for a government entity, such as NASA or NOAA. Some may choose to work in television broadcasting.
There are many different areas of specialization within any STEM major. When a student graduates with a strong undergraduate degree, she is preparing herself for any future changes in her chosen field. It is impossible to predict what the future holds. Consider Aerospace Engineering – from day one, students are immersed in hands-on opportunities, such as thermal energy, mechatronics, and rocket propulsion. These experiences not only prepare students for the current workforce but also give them the tools and skills necessary to help evolve their field of study far into the future.
STEM careers are among the highest in initial compensation for recent graduates. According to the American Engineering Association, these graduates earn 87 percent more than the average salary of a non-STEM graduate. Specifically, the average starting salary for mechanical engineering graduates is $58,392 and computer scientists start, on average, at $61,205.
- Job and Personal Satisfaction
Career Cast, an online employment site dedicated to targeted job information, published a list of the Top 10 Best Jobs based on job satisfaction. Based on their research, 8 of the top 10 jobs were within STEM fields. Included in this list are software engineer, mathematician, statistician, computer systems analyst, meteorologist, and biologist.
- Societal Impact
Everyday life is constantly affected by professionals from STEM programs. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play a role in everything from creating new ways to promote aquaculture to the design of a bridge by a civil engineer. Being on the cusp of modern technology and using a STEM education benefits the world and has an important impact on both local, national, and global matters.
Many universities are proud of their world class education offered in all of their STEM programs. These programs have been developed to not only properly educate but also strategically prepare graduates for the future workforce. Considering an undergraduate degree in a STEM area of study not only meets a student’s current educational needs but will also help shape his future career and contributions.