Where Can a STEM Degree Really Take You?
It’s hard to miss all of the discussion about the importance of STEM degrees and, more specifically, about the importance of encouraging more women into STEM career paths. Women do represent a larger number of STEM students in some fields of study, although that doesn’t mean that those numbers are maintained through to different career paths and professional levels. There’s still plenty of work to be done, and there’s still a lot of talk about the ways you can personally benefit from doing a STEM degree.
Whether you’re thinking about what to do at college after high school or you’re considering a career change, it’s helpful if you have an idea of just what you can do with a STEM degree. Where can it take you? Are you likely to end up working in a laboratory or lecturing in a classroom? What other options might be open to you? There are plenty of possibilities that you could open up with a STEM degree, even if you end up in a field that’s not directly related to your studies.
Here are some of the options that you might have available to you if you want to continue your education in a STEM subject. You could find yourself in one of many different careers.
Science degrees encompass many different subjects. You might be interested in biology, chemistry, physics, or fields that are related to these sciences. Medicine and related fields such as pharmaceuticals are often included in this category, which will open up many options for you. You don’t have to be good at or interested in every type of science to be successful in one field, although there can be some crossover with both different fields of science and other STEM subjects. For example, you might be required to have exceptional math skills if you want to complete some science degrees.
You can do various things with an undergraduate degree, but there are also many opportunities that will open up for you if you continue your education and complete graduate studies. In fact, a graduate degree of some kind is required for a lot of careers in science.
Science is such a broad area that your career options will very much depend on which subject you want to study and which field you’re interested in. You could end up in healthcare, teaching, forensics, or working for various commercial organizations. If you’re interested in working in a laboratory, you could find yourself working for a contract research organization, a hospital, or even a food development company. There are so many opportunities that could be available to you. If you’re trying to make a decision, consider researching the prospects of different jobs in the future. But don’t forget to consider what you enjoy and what you’re good at doing too.
Technology is also a pretty broad field and could include working with computers, robotics, or a wide range of other things related to technology. Some of the technology degrees that you could consider include cybersecurity, data analytics, computer programming, software development, computer networking, or technology management. There are more general degrees such as information technology or degrees that are specific to certain industries, such as health information management. Many technology degrees can be excellent for helping you to secure a high-paying job with just an undergraduate degree, so they can be a great choice if you’re looking for a good salary and a good return on your investment.
Technology degrees often lead to specific career paths or fields of work. If you get a degree in cybersecurity, you’re likely to end up working with cybersecurity technology in some way. However, you would still have a number of options available, such as working as a cybersecurity analyst or security engineer. Some degree subjects may also have a broader range of career choices with more transferable skills. A technology degree could lead you into web design or development, teaching, consulting, game development, and much more, depending on your degree and your interests.
Of course, after completing an undergraduate degree, you could also choose to specialize your knowledge with further studies and experience. Even if you start off with a more generalized degree, growing your expertise in a particular subject or field could mean that you can access better job opportunities and higher salaries.
Engineering jobs are typically in high demand, although your success can depend on what type of engineering you’re interested in. There are different types of engineering that might interest you and different engineering degrees that you could obtain. A general engineering degree will allow you to keep your options open, while other degrees could help you to start specializing your knowledge right away. You might be interested in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electronic and electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, production and manufacturing, automotive engineering, metallurgy, or various other related subjects.
If you choose to study engineering, you could work in a variety of environments doing a number of different things. Engineering could take you into the public sector or private sector and you’re likely to find some pretty good salaries waiting for you too. Engineers can find themselves working in offices or laboratories, as well as out in the field. They may spend most of their time in an office but head out into the field to gather essential information or get real-world insight into whatever problem they are trying to solve.
Engineers usually have to gain several years of experience in their field before they can be licensed. This can provide an opportunity to get a better idea of what you want to do with your career. In most states in the US, the minimum work experience is four years, which you will need to do after completing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. You could end up working in many different industries, from aeronautics to oil and gas.
For many people, a math degree is one that they struggle to picture as the beginning of a career path. Other STEM subjects can seem to have obvious career paths that follow on from them, but you might wonder what exactly you can do with a degree in mathematics. However, a math degree can actually open up many different opportunities for you. It could lead you into a variety of careers that involve working with numbers and using your math skills to work with data and solve complex problems. As well as jobs directly linked to math, you might find that your degree leads you into related fields where your math skills are useful.
Some of the jobs that are directly related to math that you could consider include statistician, actuarial analyst, accountant, data analyst, math teacher or lecturer, or investment analyst. There are many different ways you could use your skills and knowledge in roles that involve dealing with data or equations, or you might just decide to stay with academia or education.
There is also plenty of opportunity to explore other fields where your skills will be useful. You can often easily get into another STEM field when you have great math skills. For example, engineering could be your next step after gaining a mathematics degree. Math can also be useful in physics and even in biology and chemistry. It can also be essential for jobs in architecture and a broad range of other careers.
A STEM degree could lead you to many different careers. Some of them will help you to start specializing right away while others can leave your options open.