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. 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.
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
Operations Research Analysts
Forensic Science Technicians
The level of education you may need depends on the role and your potential employer.
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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!
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
SQL Query Design
Advanced Concrete and Steel Design
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:
Genomics in Medicine
Graduate programs in statistics cover how to develop, research, and use quantitative tools. So, you could take courses like:
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:
Linear Systems: Time Domain and Transform Analysis
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.
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