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What is a STEM Degree?

STEM is an acronym referring to degrees in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math. It has been predicted by the U.S. Department of Labor that even though there will be an estimated 1.2 million job openings in STEM-related fields by the year 2018, there may not bee enough graduates to fill the roles.

STEM education programs and STEM degrees are a high-priority today, and are necessary if the U.S. wishes to keep its position as world leader in innovation and technology. With only 16 percent of all degrees expected to be in STEM-related fields by 2020, the U.S. needs to encourage its best and brightest talent to enter into careers related to math, science, and technology. As the next generation moves into the future, more professionals are needed to occupy these STEM-related positions.

Earning a STEM DegreeSTEM graduates work in a wide variety of fields including:

  • Life Sciences
  • Accounting
  • Civil engineering
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Programming

[For a complete list of fields, check out: Stem Degree List]

A closer look at the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET Online reveals some encouraging information about STEM-related careers. Here’s a look at a few of the many careers that are listed by the Department of Labor as having the brightest future.

Examples of STEM Careers


The top industries in 2012 for those working in actuary were Finance and Insurance, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Employees working in this sector served as actuarial analysts, actuarial assistants, health actuaries, and pricing actuaries. The field is projected to have 13,200 job openings by the year 2022. The median wage in 2013 was reported as $45.35 per hour, or $94,340 annually.


Actuary is a constantly growing field, and the future outlook is positive. Related job titles in this field in 2012 included internal auditors, assurance managers, financial auditors, and audit managers. The median wage in 2013 in this field was $31.29 per hour, or $65,080 per year. The projected number of job openings in the auditing sector is estimated at 544,200 by the year 2022.

Bio-medical Engineering

Job titles in this field include bio-medical technician, bio-medical manager, clinical engineer, and bio-medical equipment technician (BMET). The median wage in 2013 was $42.63 per hour, or $88,670 yearly. Though the projected number of job openings in this industry by 2022 is only 10,100, the growth in this industry is expected to be much faster than in other fields.

Video Game Design

Professionals in this field worked as game designers, lead game designers, design directors, writers, and creative directors. The median wage in this industry was $39.59 in 2013, or $82,340 annually. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s projections, there will be 40,200 job openings in this field between now and 2022.

A STEM degree opens the door to a world full of possibility. With so many related fields and careers, a STEM education prepares you for the future marketplace, where those with science, technology, and mathematics skills are highly sought for their talent. Those who enjoy math, science, or technology should consider a degree in a STEM-related field of study. The employment outlook in these sectors is positive for those who not only want to make a good salary, but who also want to be part of the leading world of technology and invention.

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