5 STEM Tracks You May Not Have Heard Of, But Should Consider Studying

[fa icon="calendar"] 5/21/18 12:00 PM / by HigherEd_AC

Students interested in STEM subjects have a wide range of careers options in front of them; STEM jobs are largely in demand and have high base salaries. Here are some tracks you may want to consider if you're interested in a STEM-related career!


1. Data Science
Data is becoming more and more valuable to companies, making the data scientist profession one of the most in-demand jobs in the US. There is a shortage of workers with the required skill sets, which is why the job pays well. It has a median base salary of $110,000. Data science is a combination of other disciplines like statistics, computer science, and data analysis. People in this profession collect large amounts of data from various sources and analyze them to gain insights on how to give businesses a competitive edge. Data scientists also build AI and machine learning tools to automate operational processes.

2. Statistics or Mathematics

Students in mathematics and statistics majors have a wide variety of industries they can go into after graduation, such as business, engineering, technology, health care, and more. They can also opt to teach mathematics in the future. Generally speaking, professionals in this field are tasked with evaluating data and applying math and statistics principles to solve real-world problems. They usually collaborate with scientists and engineers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics records reveal their annual median salaries for 2017: $103,010 for mathematicians and $84,060 for statisticians.


3. Electronics and Communications Engineering

This degree is largely concerned with electronic circuits and systems. Electronic engineers use their extensive and scientific knowledge of how electrons behave to design and develop components, devices, and other electronic equipment. They typically work in areas related to computer hardware. Meanwhile, those who choose to work for the federal government work on systems like satellites, radar and sonar, communications, and aeronautics. Considering how competitive the tech market is, especially in the smartphone sector, a degree in electronics will almost always guarantee employment. The recorded median annual wage for people in said field in May of last year was $102,180.

4. Cybersecurity

Numerous reports of global cyberattacks on large corporations last year made many businesses (and consumers) paranoid. In light of this, data protection concerns have led to a surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals. Yet, it is reported that recruiters struggle to fill information security positions. The good news is, securing a degree in cybersecurity may not take that long, as Maryville notes that students can graduate in as early as 2.5 years. Students can also go through an entire semester with only a few campus visits – or even none at all – since classes can be conducted online. Cybersecurity professionals typically develop firewalls, monitor data use, and regulate access to crucial information. The salary can range from $50,000 to more than $100,000 depending on the company.

5. Biotechnology

Biotechnology professionals develop products from living systems. These products could entail high-yielding crops, drugs, gene therapy treatments, biofuel, and others. The degree is closely associated to genetically derived materials, but it can also involve microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology. Due to the nature of the job, biotechnology experts usually work in a laboratory setting. Biotech median annual salary currently sits at $90,000.

Once you have nailed down which degree you’ll be pursuing, it’s also important to consider other aspects. To help you along the way, read Synocate’s post on the 5 factors that can help you choose which college to attend.

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Written by HigherEd_AC

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