Degrees in STEM & Graduate Programs in Virginia
What are Degrees in STEM?
STEM degrees are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs. They all require using research and reasoning to solve problems. And, per BLS, they could lead to diverse career paths in many fields. Within each category, you’ll find many kinds of STEM graduate degrees.
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For example, engineering students could study civil, electrical, or computer engineering. Science students could study everything from biology to veterinary and animal sciences. You could pursue goals that range from building bridges to keeping IT systems safe. No matter what path you pursue, STEM careers are key to a brighter future.
written by Shannon Fandler
What Careers are in the STEM Field?
STEM career paths are wide-ranging, and the industry as a whole is growing. Mathematics roles are growing the fastest, with 33% more jobs projected by 2029 according to the BLS. Science career paths are also growing faster than average. Fields to watch include biomedical research, psychology, energy management, and environmental protection. An increased need for scientific expertise should lead to 5% growth across the board, by 2029 according to the BLS. Many engineering career paths are also growing. For instance, Civil Engineers could see 5,500 new jobs by 2029 per the BLS. This is due to the increasing obsolescence of U.S. infrastructure. So, engineers will be needed to update everything from roads to water treatment facilities.
Which STEM Jobs Require a Master’s Degree?
The following STEM career paths may need a Master’s degree, according to BLS:
- Mathematicians and Statisticians
- Biomedical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Operations Research Analysts
- Petroleum Engineer
- Forensic Science Technicians
The level of education you may need depends on the role and your potential employer.
Which STEM Jobs Require a Doctoral Degree?
The following STEM career paths may need a PhD or other doctorate, depending on the role and employer:
- Atmospheric Scientists and Meteorologists
- Biochemists and Biophysicists
- Medical Scientists
- Physicists and Astronomers
- Mathematicians and Statisticians
- Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
- Agricultural or Food Scientists
Civil Engineer Salary
Top States for Employment: Civil Engineer
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Popular Science, Technology, Engineer Math Programs in Virginia
STEM programs are reported by the National Center for Education Statistics under multiple categories, like engineering and engineering technologies. Take engineering as an example. Per the most recent data (2013), nearly 54,000 related degrees were awarded to U.S. graduate students. The majority (84%) of these were Master’s degrees.
What is the Difference Between a Masters in Technology and Masters in Engineering?
A Master’s in Information Technology often blends technical knowledge, business, and communications. You may study concepts like database design and network engineering. But, this kind of program doesn’t teach engineering in a traditional sense. Instead, you may explore how to use existing technologies to solve problems. A Master’s in Engineering covers how to design systems and solutions. For example, a civil engineering program teaches infrastructure analysis and design. You could learn to plan roads and ensure traffic flows in a city. You could even design bridges and other local landmarks. At first glance, these two Master’s programs are quite different. But, they may share some basic foundations, like math and science. And, earning a degree such as a Master’s in Software Engineering could blend the best of both worlds!
|STEM Degree Guide|
|Master's in Technology||Master's in Engineering|
|Master of Science in Information Technology*||Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering*|
|Length of Program: 60 credits||Length of Program: 30 credits, 5 semesters|
|This program brings together IT, business, and communications concepts. You’ll study the strategic use of IT solutions, plus leadership techniques to help organizations run smoothly. Choose from three concentrations: business intelligence and analytics, information security and assurance, or project management.||This program delves into advanced civil engineering principles. You’ll study how to design, construct, and maintain built environments – from highways to airports. And, you’ll study skill areas like project management, engineering modeling, and geotechnical engineering.|
|System Analysis and Design Information Systems Security Computer Networks SQL Query Design Digital Forensics||Advanced Concrete and Steel Design Environmental Systems Bridge Design and Infrastructure Renewal Traffic Analysis and Safety|
|No specific program accreditation||No specific program accreditation|
What Are the Courses Under STEM?
STEM courses span areas like math, science, statistics, technology, and more. In other words, expect your courses to be specific to your field. In a graduate program in biology, you could study subjects like:
- Computer Modeling
- Genomics in Medicine
- Systems Neuroscience
- Molecular Biology
Graduate programs in statistics cover how to develop, research, and use quantitative tools. So, you could take courses like:
- Stochastic Processes
- Statistical Machine Learning
- Generalized Linear Models
Engineering programs also feature coursework specific to a discipline. For instance, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering program covers courses ranging from signal processing to power systems. You could also study:
- Engineering Electromagnetics
- Linear Systems: Time Domain and Transform Analysis
- Matrix Theory
- Optical Communications
- Antenna Theory
- Radar Systems
What does most STEM coursework have in common? A foundation in math and science that can be applied to solve problems across diverse disciplines.
What are STEM Accredited Programs?
ABET accredits select STEM graduate programs. These include Master’s programs in Engineering and Applied Natural Science. Accreditation helps to prove your program meets the global standards of your STEM field. So, you can be confident you are pursuing a high-quality education. And, some employers may look for graduates of ABET-accredited programs. Finally, earning a degree from an ABET-accredited program may be required for licensure, registration, or certification. That’s true for Civil Engineers who want to earn their Professional Engineering (PE) license, among others.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters Degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math?
Earning a Master’s degree in a STEM subject may take around two years for full-time students. Earning a STEM doctorate may take between three and seven years. Program length depends on your enrollment status, plus the requirements to earn the degree. For instance, most PhD programs include a dissertation.
How Much Does It Cost to Get A Masters Degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM)?
The average cost of a of a graduate degree from a public institution is $11,617 per year. So, you could find STEM programs both more affordable and more expensive than the average. Check out the graduate tuition costs of these four institutions with STEM programs, as reported by NCES. We compared them with the typically most affordable and most expensive schools, also reported by NCES.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Schools with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Graduate Programs in Virginia
GradSchools.com offers 20 Degrees in STEM & Graduate Programs in Virginia
University of Virginia
Grand Canyon University
Colorado State University Global
Western Governors University
Purdue University Global
Hope Medical Institute
James Madison University
Old Dominion University
Norfolk State University