Why Choose a STEM Degree?

Anyone looking into options to further their education, or interested in a higher paying career has probably come across the recommendations to consider a STEM field. There’s a good reason for that. With an average salary of $87,570, STEM jobs tower over non-STEM careers which average only $45,700 yearly salary. That is a very compelling reason to consider the wide range of STEM careers that are out there.

The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As you might imagine, those areas cover wide ranging fields of academic study which include everything from healthcare to rocket science to statistical analysis. If you’ve thought that nothing within the STEM umbrella could possibly be for you because you were not good at math or science in high school, you may want to look through the career options available. It might be that some of them will greatly appeal to you.

STEM fields aren’t only known for higher wages. Growth within STEM industries tends to be robust and jobs plentiful. Employment in STEM jobs showed 10.5% growth from 2009-2015. This is a particularly important point to consider if lack of job security in your present industry is part of your motivation for considering a new career.

Education is generally the best way to enter any STEM field with 73% of STEM careers requiring a four year degree. Online degree programs are plentiful and many are very specifically tailored to prepare students for specific STEM specializations through coursework and, if needed, any required work experience or internships.

Computer and software development represent some of the most persistent job growth outlooks within STEM fields and online two and four year degree programs are diverse and plentiful offering opportunities to train for specific markets like software or app development. There are several exciting new fields with online programs as well, such as animation and game design degrees. When researching different college or university programs, consider looking at current job listings to see exactly which degrees are preferred for certain positions to make sure you’re as prepared to work in your desired industry as possible.

Healthcare is another STEM area well represented in online degree courses. Everything from nursing to medical diagnostic programs are available to students. Growth in healthcare industries is also strong, and job outlooks for most fields are positive well into the future.

There has never been a better time to consider a STEM career. If you’ve been considering going back to school, or going to school for the first time, it’s worth looking at the opportunities—and salaries—available when you hold a STEM degree.