Is a STEM Degree Worth It? (With Student Quotes)

Because they prepare students for employment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM degrees are valuable. There are many jobs available in these disciplines, which are constantly in demand.

However, are STEM degrees worthwhile? STEM degrees are expensive and time-consuming to complete. Years must be spent in school learning topics like biology, calculus, physics, and chemistry.

We shall examine the benefits and drawbacks of earning a STEM degree in this essay. We’ll also examine some of the most well-liked choices in more detail.

Is a STEM Degree Worth It?
Is a STEM Degree Worth It?

What is a STEM Degree?

STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. A STEM degree is one that is in one of the different fields of study. STEM is often associated with majors that include: 

  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

These are all highly-skilled fields that pay well, ranging anywhere from $80,000 to $140,000 annually. 

STEM degrees are usually some of the hardest college degrees that students can pursue. 

Is a STEM Degree Worth It?

A STEM degree is well worth it if you want to get into a high paying career. STEM programs are hard to get into and to complete, but once they graduate, they can earn huge paychecks. STEM graduates are paid well because of their valuable skills and knowledge in these areas.

STEM graduates should expect to get hired at any company, even if they don’t have experience in your industry. Employers hire STEM graduates because there are not enough qualified candidates available. As a result, STEM grads will often receive higher starting salaries, bonuses, and promotions. STEM grads also tend to stay longer with their employer, making them a valuable asset.

There are many reasons why people choose to pursue a STEM degree. Some of them include:

  1. The job market for STEM majors is booming right now. There are more jobs than ever before, and companies need workers who have specialized training.
  2. People are interested in working on cutting edge technologies. This means that there are lots of exciting new inventions being created every day.
  3. Many people think that STEM degrees are prestigious. They believe that having a STEM degree puts them above other applicants.
  4. STEM degrees are very useful when applying for post-graduate programs. Colleges and universities use standardized tests to determine which applicants should be accepted. Having a STEM degree shows that you are capable of learning things quickly. 
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering

What are the Benefits of a STEM Degree?

Studying for a STEM degree has several advantages. You will pick up useful knowledge and abilities that will enable you to succeed in life. You’ll be able to think more critically, solve issues more quickly, and innovate more effectively.

Following are some of the main advantages of earning a STEM degree:

  • You will gain problem-solving skills. Numerous STEM degrees include problem-solving techniques. As you move through life, this aids in your improvement as a problem solver.
  • You will discover how science functions. Our everyday lives depend on science. You can better understand the world around you if you are aware of how science operates.
  • The future will be ready for you. You’ll be prepared for whatever comes next as the world is changing quickly.
  • You’ll develop your teamwork skills. In today’s workplace, collaboration is crucial. You will perform better at work if you can work well with others.
  • You’ll improve your critical thinking abilities. You can view circumstances objectively by using critical thinking. This helps you make wiser decisions.
  • What you’ve learned will be put to use. You’ll be able to use the concepts you learn in STEM courses in practical situations. This puts you ahead of people who haven’t studied these subjects.

Are STEM Degrees Harder?

STEM degrees are harder to get into and harder to complete than non-STEM degrees. STEM degrees require more time and effort to obtain. These majors are more competitive and challenging. They have a more demanding workload and require students to put in extra hours outside of class.

There are many different types of STEM degrees, each with its own specific requirements. For example, there are Biology degrees, Physics degrees, Chemistry degrees, Math degrees, Computer Science degrees, Engineering degrees, etc. Each degree requires a certain amount of study, research, and practice. Some degrees are easier than others.

For example, an engineering degree may require a lot of math and physics, while a biology degree won’t have much math or physics. However, all degrees require a lot of studying, researching, and practicing.

STEM majors face challenges when trying to fulfill the requirements of their degree programs. Most of the time, students need to take some math and science courses before they can move onto the more technical classes specific to their major.

Some of these courses are calculus II, differential equations, physics, and chemistry. These classes have complex concepts and challenging subjects that many students struggle to understand. Students often drop out of a STEM degree program due to these classes.

Advanced Math Calculus
Advanced Math Calculus

Are STEM Majors Smarter?

Students who major in STEM fields typically have higher IQs than those who major in non-STEM fields because STEM fields are competitive. To get into a STEM program, you must be intelligent. A STEM degree is very competitive and demands a significant amount of time and work. You won’t be able to manage the stress of pursuing a STEM degree if you aren’t intelligent enough.

Students that study STEM fields typically have IQs that are above average, technical minds, strong analytical skills, excellent problem-solving ability, and a solid academic foundation. Not all STEM majors, nevertheless, are incredibly clever people.

Students could decide to major in STEM because they like the subject content or because they feel compelled to work in the field. Students who major in STEM frequently have stellar academic records.

Students who select STEM fields of study frequently score higher than those who pick humanities. But because colleges are unable to award every student an A+, they make their tests challenging and try to reduce grade inflation. Bright pupils thus receive lesser grades than they would have in other disciplines.

Careers With a STEM Degree

It’s not just about being brilliant, I always tell people who want to work in STEM fields. It involves effective communication, a solid work ethic, and the capacity to accept criticism.

STEM graduates will have greater employment success thanks to those abilities and effort. The average annual salary for STEM careers is $95,420, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At 10.5% annually, the job growth rate is likewise above average. The average salary for non-STEM jobs is $40,120, and its growth rate is 7.5%.

Some of the popular careers that you can have with a STEM degree, include: 

  • Software Engineer – Software engineers design software by writing code. They write computer programs using languages such as Java, C++, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript.
  • Physicist – Physicists use mathematics to explain physical phenomena. They develop theories based on scientific principles and test them through experiments.
  • Chemist – Chemists use chemical processes to create new substances. They also analyze chemicals to determine what makes them unique.
  • Mathematician – Mathematicians use mathematical methods to solve problems. They apply logic to find solutions to problems.
  • Astronomer – Astronomers use telescopes to observe celestial objects such as stars, planets, galaxies, and black holes. Learn more about the Differences Between Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Computer Programmer – Computer programmers write code that runs on computers. They use programming languages such as C++, HTML5, CSS, PHP, Perl, and SQL.
  • Biomedical Scientist – Biomedical scientists do research to find new ways to treat diseases. They also look at how drugs affect our bodies.Biologist – Biologists study life forms from plants to animals. They conduct experiments to learn how living things function. 
  • Chemical Engineer – Chemical engineers create products that contain chemicals. They also develop processes to produce chemical compounds. 
Physics Universe Cosmology
Physics Universe Cosmology

STEM Fields Are Constantly Changing

The globe and the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are undergoing fast change (STEM). To remain relevant, you may need to alter your career path in light of these changes. The good news is that those who wish to build a career out of their passion for these subjects have numerous possibilities. Here are the most common occupations within each field.

STEM graduates are more likely to move jobs within the same business, but they are also capable of switching industries. Their adaptability to change is a quality that employers value. Additionally, STEM graduates tend to remain in their current position longer and are more likely to advance within their organization. The abilities acquired during their education and early work set the foundation for their future success.

In improving their careers, STEM workers face a conundrum. On one side, their businesses must hire younger STEM graduates with current skills and expertise at a lower price. On the other side, maintaining an older employee costs more money.

By the time you reach the middle of your forties, you will have likely spent years working in a certain sector. You may have spent a significant amount of time in one industry before transitioning to another. As you age, you will notice that there are fewer positions accessible for individuals with a lower level of schooling. This means that if you intend to relocate to a different place, you should begin considering your retirement plans. If you wish to remain in your current field, you might consider enrolling in courses to expand your knowledge.

According to a survey done by the OECD, students who studied both STEM and non-STEM disciplines had a greater chance of finding employment after graduation than those who studied only STEM subjects. This indicates that more focus should be placed on teaching pupils the significance of non-STEM courses such as art, music, design, and languages.

Is a STEM Degree Worth It? Final Thoughts

STEM degrees are great if you love science, technology, engineering and math. You’ll get to explore many different fields and gain valuable skills that will help you throughout your career.

However, there are also downsides to choosing a STEM degree. For example, you might end up spending a lot more time studying and working to get your degree.

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Written by:

Chris Wood
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. I’ve been working as a Software Engineer for the past 5 years. While working in this field I’ve had the pleasure of developing software in a wide variety of industries. I look forward to using my experience in order to find a role where I can utilize my creativity and passion for solving complex software engineering problems.

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