STEM jobs are not only high in demand but also very lucrative, which is why careers in the field are increasingly pursued. According to the US Department of Labor, jobs in the STEM fields are projected to grow nearly 11% by 2031. That means a lot more opportunities for a lot more people! If you’re among those who are looking to go into STEM, then here’s a look at some majors you can pursue to get into three profitable jobs in the field.
Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the nervous system and the workings of the brain. To get into medical school, undergraduate students can pursue a degree in Biology or Chemistry, which is what most Pre-med students choose to do. While these are solid options for becoming a neurologist, you can also pursue a more specific—and maybe even more fascinating—major: Psychology. Psychology studies the behavior of the mind, which is different from the brain’s nervous system, but gives you a new perspective from which to view it. On average, it takes a person 12–15 years to become a neurologist, as they must complete medical school, do a residency, and acquire certification. Although becoming a neurologist is no easy task, the pressure is worth it. According to Jobted.com, the average salary of a neurologist varies from about $100,000 to over $200,000.
2. Software engineering
Unlike a neurologist, becoming a software engineer takes a lot less time—but it can be just as rewarding. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineers tend to make around $100,000 on average without a master’s degree. The first step to becoming a software engineer is to pursue a four-year undergraduate Computer Science program. After that, you can choose to go straight into searching for a job or pursue a master’s degree specifically in Software Engineering, which will increase your earnings by another $30,000. Earning a master’s degree in this field can take two years extra for a full-time learner or up to three years part-time. The job is projected to have a 25% growth by the year 2031. If computers and coding are things you enjoy, then pursuing a major in Computer Science could be a great fit for you!
3. Nuclear engineering
Nuclear engineers deal with nuclear energy and how to manage and use it in new situations to improve society. This role requires similar levels of education for software engineers—you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in Engineering to work in the field. This usually only takes four years, and on average, you’ll make $90,000–$108,000 per year. Pursuing a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering requires another two years of education, but it will bump you up to an average salary of $117,000 per year. Even though this occupation is projected to decline slightly in the coming years, there are still an estimated 700 openings each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pursuing a career in STEM is difficult and time-consuming, but if that’s what interests you, then that’s reason enough to go after a related major! These three career paths are just some of your STEM job options, and the major(s) associated with them are not limited to just these careers. For example, earning a Biology degree can allow you to become pretty much any kind of doctor with the right additions to your postgrad education. Your science and engineering possibilities are practically endless!
Start exploring schools with programs to make your STEM dreams a reality with our featured science college lists.