STEM degrees are among the most valuable in today’s job market. They also tend to be rather expensive, at least for now. Once you invest in one of these programs, however, you can feel confident knowing that your degree will pay itself off quickly and put you on a successful career path Colleges like San Francisco Bay University offer STEM degree programs in fields like biology and engineering, so students know they’re getting a truly valuable education.
As the world’s population continues to grow exponentially, so does the need for well-educated professionals. The demand for people with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math is projected to increase fifteen percent by 2018, according to STEMconnector, a nonprofit that helps companies find talent.
That means that a degree that guarantees success may no longer be enough. In fact, there are a handful of STEM degrees that are in high demand right now, and many of them earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.
Read on to find out which degrees qualify as the most valuable this year. You might even discover that you can get an education without spending so much money after all.
- Computer Science
The Association for Computer Machinery’s annual salary survey reveals that computer science professionals earn a median salary of $82,190 per year. This is more than double the national average for bachelor’s degree earners.
- Chemical Engineering
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ 2015 salary and employment study shows that chemical engineers have a median income of $103,990 per year.
- Electrical Engineering
Survey results released by the IEEE, an organization devoted to the professional development of electrical engineers, state that members in this field bring in a median salary of $103,660 per year.
- Information Technology
The Information Technology Association of America’s IT Career Clusters initiative reveals that information technology professionals who work in computer systems design and database administration earn a median income of $80,610 per year.
- Mechanical Engineering
A 2014 review conducted by the World Economic Forum shows that professionals with degrees in mechanical engineering earn an average annual salary of $83,110 – quite close to chemical engineers’ median pay.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that physics professionals earn a median wage of $107,230 per year.
STEM students can also look forward to strong job growth in their fields. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities in the “math and computer occupations” field will increase by 21 percent between 2010 and 2022 – a rate that is higher than the national average.
Additionally, many of these degrees lead to other high-paying jobs. For example, computer science majors can work in technology and information services support or become entrepreneurs. Chemical engineers often work as product or plant managers. Electrical engineers have several career paths, including power generation or design engineering. Mechanical engineers usually work in product development, while physics professionals are needed for scientific research.
These lucrative career paths show that STEM students make sound investments when they choose their majors. While it is important to be aware of the cost of these degrees, it can often be much more beneficial to focus on your personal goals instead.