Top 10 STEM courses of the year
Last Updated on February 18, 2021 by iSchoolConnect
STEM courses have been gaining immense popularity over the past decade. Thanks to the growing demand for STEM graduates, top universities at every well-known study abroad destination are offering a multitude of STEM majors.
Do you dream of inventing cool technologies, designing new materials, and finding innovative solutions to real-world problems? Universities from around the world offer STEM courses that will teach you just that! What’s more, a STEM degree from a known university will increase your chances of landing a six-figure job after college. This also means that you can actually stay back and work in the country you studied. So, if you’ve got a curious mind, critical thinking and complex problem-solving abilities, and love science and mathematics, consider a STEM degree. It can set you up for life.
What is STEM?
STEM education is a collection of all the courses that fall under the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. Since the subjects you learn under each of these fields are somehow interrelated and require a similar educational background, they are collectively called STEM.
For example, majoring in Astronomy or Actuarial science will require that you be good at mathematics and problem-solving. Learning Nuclear science or Cybersecurity will need you to have great critical thinking skills. On the other hand, History or Music will not fall under STEM, because learning those subjects requires a different set of skills.
And although all fields are equally important, these courses can land you STEM jobs that can be really cool. Let’s look at them one by one.
Data science involves collecting, crunching, and analyzing huge amounts of data to help organizations predict and solve real-world problems. Like figuring out the best way to deliver a shipment or understanding genetic issues.
Learning data science means having a good understanding of mathematics and statistics, computer programming, design, and domain. The course is rigorous and requires critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills.
A graduate degree in this subject can lead to a variety of job opportunities. These include Data Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, Deep Learning Engineer, Data Engineer, and of course, Data Scientist, where each role focuses on a set of data analysis processes.
As a Nuclear engineer, you will learn how to break down or combine atomic nuclei in different ways for a multitude of applications. You will also learn to design, use, and maintain nuclear equipment, like nuclear reactors, radiation shielding equipment, and systems that operate nuclear energy processes.
Naturally, specializing in this subject will need you to have a good grasp of chemistry, nuclear physics, materials, and mathematics. Also, it will be necessary for you to have domain knowledge of the field you decide to build the application for.
While working in energy or weaponry after graduation is an obvious option, you could also specialize in nuclear medical technology (and work on MRI), help with agricultural applications (plant mutation), or build consumer products (smoke detectors) or food!
It might sound boring at first but you’ll be surprised to know that majoring in Mathematics or Statistics can land you a 6 figure job right out of college. Because it’s not the calculations and formulae, it’s the number of applications that matter.
As a mathematics student, you will not only have to show proficiency in algebra, calculus, or geometry but also be able to develop new ways of doing math. Add to that some expertise in programming, and you’ve got yourself a skill worth envying!
The applications of this degree are numerous and stretch across all possible non-STEM and STEM courses. After graduation, you could end up in the fields of big data, engineering, computer science, business, science, data privacy, systems biology, or even climatology!
Leading to one of the highest all-time top-paying STEM jobs, Petroleum engineering is one of the best STEM majors. It deals with learning how to extract oil and gas from the reservoirs below the Earth’s surface. This requires a collective knowledge of chemistry, materials, technology, and the environment.
The job will involve studying reservoirs, overseeing drilling activities, and designing surface collection and treatment activities. At the same time, you will be expected to help reduce the impact of these activities on the environment.
Once you have specialized in one of the areas – completions, drilling, production, or reservoir – you can take up an engineering position of your desire. And since many petroleum companies operate around the world, you would get opportunities to travel globally!
Learning aerospace engineering involves applying your knowledge of maths, science, and technology to aviation. Aerospace engineers specialize in the design, construction, and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, missiles, and weapons systems.
While one aspect of the job involves researching the latest technology, another part deals with maintaining the existing systems. These tasks involve ensuring flight safety, fuel efficiency, operating costs, and measuring the environmental impact.
To be able to do all this flawlessly, you will need to study a variety of subjects, like Propulsion, Aerodynamics, and Avionics. There are several undergraduate and graduate courses available for Aerospace engineering at top universities around the world.
And once you graduate, your job can be anything you want – Aeronautical designer, Consultant, or Researcher. Hell, you could be working for Boeing or even a space agency (like NASA)!
One of the best STEM majors out there, cybersecurity will teach you how to plan and implement a whole variety of security measures to protect networks. You will learn to disarm threats like cyber attacks, hackers, natural disasters, and infiltration, to save a computer system.
The subject requires a deep knowledge of programming tools, languages, and unmatched expertise in mathematics. Other important traits of a good cybersecurity student are critical thinking and problem-solving. How else would you decode a threat to a piece of highly classified information?
Just like in the thriller movies of the day, you will end up working large corporations, banks, or (hopefully) the government. And your job will be to protect customers, users, and citizens from scams, data leaks, and hackers.
An incredible combination of biology, medicine, and technology, biomedical engineering involves designing and developing tools for the healthcare industry. These could be simple aids like pharmaceutical drugs and prosthetics, or advanced technologies like artificial organs and surgical robots.
This job requires you to have a good understanding of a bunch of topics that fall under the subjects of chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer programming, molecular biology, and genetics.
As a biomedical engineer, you will get to work on building equipment, software, computer systems, and medical devices that can be used in labs and hospitals by health practitioners and patients in need.
Actuarial science is the art of assessing risk and uncertainty in hypothetical financial decisions. The idea is to predict these financial pitfalls so one can try avoiding them.
Mastered by those who are great at statistics, mathematics, and finance, this field is based on observation, analysis, and prediction. Apart from that, you will also have to have some basic knowledge of science, and the industry in which you choose to work after your graduation.
As an actuarial science graduate, you will find yourself working in the life or health insurance industry, management firms, individual wealthy clients, top business executives, or even doing some scientific research.
One of THE most popular STEM courses, software engineering involves understanding user needs, building and testing computer applications, and keeping them upgraded as technology advances through time.
Consequently, all the universities offering computer science and engineering programs make sure to provide students with sound knowledge of mathematics, computers, programming languages, and the domain they might want to specialize in.
As a software engineering graduate, you can choose to focus on one specific type of application. Like operating systems, games, web development, app development, data analytics. Or you could build software applications specifically for a field, like fintech, or medicine. How cool is that!?
One of the broadest of STEM courses, Mechanical engineering familiarizes students with tools for designing, building, testing, and upgrading mechanical devices. These can be anything – from air-conditioning systems, electric generators, combustion engines, elevators, or even robots and rovers!
This requires advanced knowledge of materials and thermodynamics (chemistry), mechanics (physics), and modeling (mathematics). Because a lot of work is done with computer-aided processes, working knowledge of computer systems and programming is also necessary.
Depending on your interests, you can choose from a variety of domains. You could be an auto-research engineer, a heating and cooling system engineer, a robotic engineer, and work in office environments. Your work, however, may need you to travel to on-site locations from time to time.
These are only a few of the top courses that fall under the STEM education category. You could go down this rabbit hole and find hundreds of other STEM majors that might catch your eye.
If you’re still confused about how to find the right program for yourself, drop a comment or reach out to us.
We would be very happy to help!