STEM careers are in high demand today, and both male and female professionals in the fields classified under STEM are being employed worldwide.
It is essential to know the major fields listed in STEM. It helps you choose your career wisely, especially when you are about to step into college or university education.
So, is Finance a STEM major?
No, Finance is not a STEM major, though it requires some mathematic skills but doesn’t have science and tech elements.
The marked fields considered to be significant careers in STEM include; Natural sciences, Industrial engineering, operation research analysis, chemical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, Biomedical science and engineering, computer and Information systems, civil engineering, environmental engineering, Biochemical and biophysics, food science, health and safety, actuaries, surveyors, microbiologists, environmental sciences, industrial engineering, soil, and plant sciences.
There is still confusion about whether any social science profession qualifies to be categorized as a STEM professions since most social sciences don’t require foundational subjects like Biology, chemistry and physics.
What Is STEM, And What Are The Educational Paths And Foundations To STEM Careers?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The major careers in demand in many countries of the world today comprise these major fields. Fortunately for individuals who studied major STEM programs, there are high expectations of wages.
According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Occupational statistics about the median hourly wage of employees in STEM careers range from $23.48 and $70 depending on the occupation and demand for the skills.
STEM programs do have foundational courses, especially at the primary and high school educational levels.
Biology is one of the foundation subjects of STEM careers. Biology is a study of how the living world evolves and works. Advanced biology does involve nanobiology, Biophysics, and bioinformatics. Biology is a required foundation course for biotechnology, medical sciences, and pharmacology.
Chemistry is involved in most STEM programs or careers today, and it is a major foundation course. It comprises three broad areas, which are organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. Chemistry also involves some mathematics, physics, and statistics.
Chemistry students develop some essential skills to solve scientific problems, complete data analysis, and develop strong communication skills. Chemistry learners can work in most of the highly demanded careers and even take up positions in academia. Toxicologists, analytical chemists, and Pharmacologists do have high chemistry subject skills.
Like chemistry and biology, a wide range of STEM careers will require an understanding of computer science skills. Jobs like artificial intelligence, robotics, information systems management, and programming are highly demanded. Computer scientists also possess strong skills in network infrastructural management and data structure and algorithms. Web and internet developers are also computer scientists in STEM careers.
Electrical engineering is another STEM foundation course for installing, repairing and replacing electrical systems. Electrical engineers in STEM usually take courses in calculus, mathematics, and sustainable engineering fields. They also study advanced programs like electromagnetic waves materials, plus integrated circuit engineering.
With all these skills, one can pursue a career as a computer hardware engineer or a professional electrician.
Biotechnology is one of the fastest-growing fields in STEM careers. It is a career that explores biological procedures to address human and industrial demands. Biotechnology involves the exploitation of qualities of micro-organisms and plans to create beneficial products in the field of science.
For instance, biotechnologists can create hormones and antibiotics that improve health and cure diseases. Many professionals in the field of biotechnology go on to pursue careers as research scientists and especially in the pharmaceutical industries. You will need a minimum bachelor’s degree related to biology and chemistry to become a professional biotechnologist.
Civil engineering is a STEM profession that deals with building environment; these include bridges, machinery, and roads. Professionals in this field will also need a minimum of bachelor’s degree to become successful in their STEM career—a vast knowledge of physics and mathematics as the foundation in this engineering field. Students can pursue careers in structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and design engineering under the civil engineering professions.
Environmental science is a field or career in STEM that deals with all factors that affect the environment, and these factors could be biological, chemical, and physical. It is a field that blends meteorology, biology, and chemistry to study humans’ interaction with the environment.
The study and handling of environmental pollution, for instance, has been the major challenge of environmental scientists in the past few decades. With the world battling climate change and related challenges today, environmental scientists’ demand has increased dramatically.
Other Prominent Careers In STEM
Industrial engineering is a STEM field where the safety and health of industrial staff are of paramount interest. You will need a relevant bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position in this career.
Information systems is another STEM career that is essential in just any field of practice today. Information system experts are skilled in collecting an organization’s information, storage, sharing, and securing such vital information to facilitate productivity. Information systems experts become IT technicians, database administrators, IT consultants, and Information systems managers.
Mathematics is a foundation of all STEM fields, and without it, it can be challenging to pursue a career in any of such areas. Most STEM careers will require basic math skills, but professions like industrial chemists and engineering will require advanced mathematics skills.
Mechanical engineering is a STEM career that entails objects and systems in motion. Mechanical engineering is a broad field where professionals can work in diverse areas, including maintenance engineering and auto mechanics. You will need a bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in this field.
STEM Career- What Is The Future Outlook
Now that you are aware of the foundation requirements to step into the STEM world, you should also be mindful of some of the prominent STEM professions’ future outlook.
The outlook for careers in STEM degrees will differ depending on several factors. The location of an individual, the level of education and experience of the individual, and the demand for their skills and experience are the most determinant factors.
You may have to research specific careers o learn more about their outlook. The excellent news about STEM careers is that they will remain relevant and in huge demands for many decades to come.
The Life and physical sciences in STEM for instance will be part of the leading pack in growth outlook. professionals in these fields are expected to earn higher median annual salaries ranging from $42,000 for agricultural and food scientists and technicians, to around $122,220 for astronomers and physicists.
Additionally, the outlook for computer and information technology experts are robust. The median annual salaries for computer and information technology or information systems technicians and engineers is expected to increase from about $56,000 for the computer support specialists to around $123,000 annually for computer information research specialists.
Median annual salaries for experts in architecture and most engineering is expected to rise beyond $45,000 for mapping and surveying technicians to over $138,000 for petroleum engineers.
Starting A Career In STEM
Starting a career in STEM will require different educational background and skills depending on the profession but most if not, all STEM careers will require related bachelor’s degree as minimum requirements.
For instance, operations technicians and aerospace engineer will require associate degrees and special skills training to start a career in their respective fields. The first step you should take in pursuing a career in any STEM field is to pass foundation subjects like biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics then apply for related STEM field in college or university.
A college or university will open doors to opportunities in the entry level positions in respective STEM fields. Though, advanced degrees in STEM fields will cost time and money, these advanced degrees will improve skills and qualifications that can bring about higher wages. What many STEM professionals do is to enroll for part time advance degrees once they commence entry level position, therefore they will gain both experience and higher degrees.
Advanced degrees will also open doors to promotions from entry-level to mid-level and advance managerial levels.
There are some STEM professions where you may not make the best progression until you acquire advanced degrees like Masters and Doctorate degrees. For some organizations, more emphasis is placed on years of experience than more degrees.
STEM professions are morale boosters for professionals in any of the fields. Not only are the professions more financially rewarding, many people in such fields always feel proud of what they do and achieve. Many people do begin their early career in one STEM field or another but couldn’t cope with some of its challenges. For instance, failure in one of the basic subjects of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology was the reason many people never consider a career in any STEM field. Fortunately, here are abridged courses or programs that tend to help people who couldn’t meet up with basic requirements to get a second chance at pursuing a career in STEM fields.
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