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Best Colleges for STEM Degrees

Best Colleges for STEM Degrees: Students who have earned degrees in STEM subjects are among the most sought-after career candidates.

That comes as no surprise given that courses in science, technology, engineering, and math help students become ready for some of the most sought-after careers in the nation, such as those of nurses, statisticians, and computer security experts.

Being in demand pays well; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual wage for STEM occupations was $100,900 in 2021. That is more than 70% more than the non-STEM yearly mean wage of $58,260.

However, if you’re thinking about majoring in a STEM subject just for the money, keep in mind that typical compensation varies widely depending on where you fall within the broad category of STEM. In contrast to degrees in computer engineering and data science, which frequently lead to six-figure earnings, degrees in biology and the biological sciences are typically on the lower end of the pay scale, especially when you’re just out of college.

We’ve honed in on campuses with strong STEM programs in our most recent college rankings, which emphasize affordability and wage outcomes in order to assist prospective students in sorting through science and technology colleges. (We looked at colleges that made both our main rankings and schools on our special list of selective colleges). The number and percentage of recent graduates who got degrees in STEM subjects, as well as the median wages of these graduates, were used to grade colleges.

The list of best STEM colleges includes major and small, public and private, elite and more accessible to the typical student schools, just like our overall rankings.

What is a STEM Degree?

What is STEM therefore stand for? Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is referred to as STEM. STEM graduates are in high demand across many businesses, and it encompasses all of these fields’ subdisciplines.

In addition to preparing students for a society that requires more researchers, engineers, computer scientists, and other professionals from the top STEM fields, STEM degrees frequently take an interdisciplinary, practical teaching approach.

Important transferable abilities including problem-solving, investigation and analysis, as well as critical thinking, will be developed in STEM students.

Also Read: Top Women in STEM Scholarships 2022/2023

Best Colleges for STEM Degrees

Best Colleges for STEM Degrees

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $21,100.
  • Rate of graduation: 94%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $88,000.

With 11 Nobel laureates now serving on the faculty of the School of Science, one of the most prestigious STEM schools in the world, MIT provides students with access to some of the best scientific minds in the world. The most popular majors are engineering, particularly mechanical engineering, but math and computer science are also very popular. Even those who decide to major in something other than a STEM field should prepare to spend some time in the lab: All undergraduate students must complete two semesters of calculus, two of physics, one of chemistry, and one of biology.

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Location: Atlanta
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $18,400.
  • Grade-point average: 88%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $66,200.

The engineering and computing schools of Georgia Tech are some of the biggest in the nation. Students majoring in computers follow the “Threads” program, a flexible degree that combines real-world learning opportunities with core computer science courses. The importance of learning experiences outside of the classroom is shared by both colleges: For instance, 33% of engineering undergrads participate in research opportunities while attending Georgia Tech, and 56% travel abroad. Students get access to internships and job opportunities with big corporations thanks to the school’s location in Atlanta.

3. California Institute of Technology

  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Cost estimated with typical grant: $28,100
  • Rate of graduation: 92%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $122,000.

Caltech students can anticipate lots of close engagement with some of the college’s about 300 instructors due to its somewhat less than 1,000 undergraduates. Great research possibilities come along with the rigorous education, with internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is close to the Caltech Pasadena campus, being a notable example. As one of the “crown jewels” of a Caltech degree, the college also offers summer undergraduate research fellowships. 90% of undergraduates engage in research overall.

Best Colleges for STEM Degrees

4. Harvey Mudd College

  • Location: Claremont, California
  • Cost estimated with typical grant: $39,300
  • Rate of graduation: 92%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $120,800.

All 10 of Harved Mudd’s majors are in the STEM fields, despite the institution being categorized as a liberal arts college. The ability for students to choose their own majors exists. However, the liberal arts education is a crucial component of the Harvey Mudd experience. As part of their general education requirements, all students study a substantial amount of social science and humanities coursework because, in the words of the college, “technology divorced from humanity is worse than no technology at all.”

5. Stanford University

  • Location: Stanford, California
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $21,100.
  • Rate of graduation: 94%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $81,650.

Stanford has connections for you regardless of your preference in the STEM fields. Students majoring in science and medicine, for instance, have the opportunity to intern at a number of academically related research facilities, such as the Canary Center, which specializes in the early identification of cancer. Silicon Valley is right in the backyard of students who are interested in the tech sector, whether that means working for a large company or starting a startup. No matter what you study, you’ll interact with a staggering variety of original and significant thinkers, including: Twenty Nobel laureates, more than 20 MacArthur fellows, and three Pulitzer Prize winners are among the faculty of Stanford.

6. University of California, Berkeley

  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $20,400.
  • Rate of graduation: 92%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $62,700.

Cal is a sizable public institution that provides over 100 degrees in subjects including anthropology and urban studies. However, the majority of recent graduates have degrees in STEM fields. Data science, now the third-most popular bachelor’s degree, has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years, whereas programs like computer sciences and electrical engineering have long been popular majors at Cal. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the biggest employers of recent Cal graduates in those three industries.

7. University of California, San Diego

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $16,100.
  • Grade-point average: 86%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $54,400.

Despite being a relatively new university, UC San Diego is already a well-known center for research. That is consistent with the institution’s past: graduate students studying physics, chemistry, and earth sciences were its first pupils. Science and innovation are still a part of daily life at UCSD sixty years later. a minor illustration? Robotics programmers on campus use self-driving vehicles to distribute mail across campus.

8. Texas A & M University

  • Location: College Station, Texas
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $21,000.
  • Rate of graduation: 82%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $54,500.

With size comes scale, and Texas A & M is one of the largest universities in the nation: In addition to hundreds of student clubs, including 90 engineering groups and more than 60 groups devoted to agriculture and the life sciences, there are more than 50 STEM-related majors available to students. They bring together students with a variety of interests, including entomology and aerospace engineering, from ants to rockets.

9. University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $14,300.
  • Grade-point average: 84%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $60,500.

As a premier institution for conducting research, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is progressively expanding its reputation. About 60% of the University of Illinois’ most recent graduates majored in one of the STEM disciplines, and academic members at the institution have lately made news for their work on topics ranging from coral to irritable bowel syndrome. The I STEM Education Initiative is a multi-year project run by UIUC that aims to advance and enhance STEM education. Increasing graduation rates and promoting greater diversity in STEM professions are two of its main objectives.

10. University of Michigan

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • With an average grant, the estimated cost is $18,800.
  • Rate of graduation: 92%
  • Recent STEM graduates earn an average salary of $56,500.

The University of Michigan has consistently maintained that it spends more money on research than any other public university. Students can join residential communities like the Women in Science and Engineering program or the Health Sciences Scholars program to discover a modest STEM niche on the huge campus. Computer science is your thing? While participating in one of the 14 robots design teams, you can study in one of the nation’s oldest computing programs. Additionally, students from all over campus can sign up for popular STEM courses like “Alien Skies: A Tour Through the Universe,” “Biostatistics,” and “Intro to Cryptology” that are given by the university’s College of Literature, Science, and Art.

Also Read: Robotics System Engineering Overview: Soft Skills & Duties 2023

What are the Top STEM Professions?

A future STEM graduate will have numerous options for STEM careers because the four primary STEM professions have so many subfields. We’ll examine some of the most well-liked STEM careers and their typical pay in the US:

  • Biomedical Engineer: As a biomedical engineer, you’ll use your understanding of engineering and healthcare to create innovative software and medical equipment. Annual salary average: 76,000 USD
  • Computer System Administrator: You will be responsible for managing computer networks, operating systems, and software, as well as ensuring the seamless and secure operation of each computer in your organization. Annual wage average: 68,000 USD
  • Environmental Engineer: As an environmental engineer, you’ll utilize your engineering expertise to identify answers for issues with the environment, such as pollution, waste management, and global warming. Annual salary average: 73,000 USD
  • Forensic Science Technician: As a forensic science technician, you will assist law enforcement agencies in gathering and analyzing evidence utilized in criminal investigations. Annual salary average: $55,000
  • Accountant: You’ll compile and review financial reports, check to see if they adhere to the law, make sure taxes are paid on time, and continuously assess the financial operations of your company. Annual salary average: 56,000 USD.

Best Colleges for STEM Degrees

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly qualifies as a STEM major?

Discover a STEM degree. Your degree program falls within the category of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics if you are majoring in a STEM subject. While you cannot major in STEM per se, this category includes courses that place a strong emphasis on research, invention, or the creation of new technology.

Is ICT included in STEM?

The answer is that information technology (IT) is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field.

What STEM degree has the lowest pay?

Sadly, not every STEM major ranks at the same level as engineering. The studies show that the starting salaries for Animal Sciences, Ecology, and Zoology majors are all $40,000 or less, which puts them among the lowest earning majors.

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