Top STEM-related careers for Recent College Grads
Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) has a nice ring to it. It’s widely perceived as one of the most complicated academic strands, and it’s home to some of the top-paying jobs, even for new graduates.
Another reason for its in-demand status in the job market is because of the small number of graduates. This creates a competitive situation that leads to companies increasing their salary offerings to attract more STEM graduates to work for them.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, making the first entry on this list are petroleum engineers, who earn well over six figures per year on average. Petroleum engineers find ways to extract and use oil from rock formations underground using engineering methods.
The entry-level salary is a little above $80,000.00, which falls quite short of six figures, but is still becoming for one’s first job out of college.
While job growth looks promising, the volatility of oil as a global commodity plays a big part in the stability of the field as a whole. Regardless, being a petroleum engineer is still one of the better-paying jobs out there, so STEM graduates should definitely look into this career option.
Being a petroleum engineer is not the only high-paying engineering job, however. Other good engineering fields include marine engineering, nuclear engineering, and even chemical engineering. These jobs all have a high degree of involvement in natural resources, which is seeing an increase in interest from companies and organizations worldwide.
An actuary is a job that few people know the ins and outs of. Still, in industries that require extensive mathematical applications, actuaries are actually some of the most highly-sought and best-paid professionals.
Actuaries usually work in the insurance industry, calculating risks for various policies. Being an actuary also means you can specialize in different fields like health insurance, life insurance, etc.
The median salary for actuaries is over $100,000.00, which is pretty respectable. So while you may not be actually earning six digits in your first year, you can definitely look forward to earning that amount once you gain a little more experience.
Statisticians earn a spot on this list because of the average annual salary at $84,060.00 and the projected job growth of 33%.
This means that new college grads will be earning good amounts right off the bat and that the job itself is seeing noticeable increases in demand. So, upon graduation, STEM graduates can expect to see plenty of opportunities to work as a statistician.
There has been a surge in demand for statisticians because companies and businesses are increasingly relying on data to drive their decisions. As companies are looking to back major decisions with data, along with the tremendous amount of information available on the Internet, work as a statistician is slowly becoming the next big thing.
A related job option would be a mathematician, which involves analyzing large amounts of data and processing them into valuable information for companies.
In fact, being a statistician was ranked by the US News & World Report to be the best STEM job in America.
Computer Systems Analyst
Businesses are integrating their processes with technology more and more every day. This has created a growing demand for graduates from technology and computer courses.
According to US News & World Report, computer systems analysts enjoy a median salary of around $85,000.00 along with a very low unemployment rate of just 2.4%.
If you’re looking for a job in this field, you’ll be expected to determine the optimal computer systems for a company, whether hardware or software, according to their organizational goals.
Alternative computer-related jobs include software development, IT management, and even app development.
For this career, you’ll be needing a degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering, or information science.
Information Security Analysts
As concerns over hacking, identity theft, data breaches, and cybersecurity in general are becoming more prevalent, we are seeing a rising demand for information security analysts. Their job involves taking measures to protect the company’s sensitive data. This includes coming up with unique and innovative computer solutions to ensure that the company’s information is safe from cyber-attacks.
Note that there is a difference between security analysts and security administrators. Analysts are the ones who look at the data and recommend changes. In contrast, administrators are the ones who actually make and implement the changes.
If you’re thinking of being an information security analyst, you’ll also need a degree in computer science, information technology, or programming. Employers may also require you to have professional certifications to hire you.
Working in this kind of job nets you a median annual salary of about $95,510.00.
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