Technological advances happen each day, so there is an increasing demand for subject matter experts with technological abilities around the world. STEM courses have become increasingly important for international students, and graduates with STEM degrees are highly sought-after across industries. The word "STEM" refers to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
STEM courses usually have a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach in higher education. These programs make students ready for a technologically advanced world that requires more computer scientists, engineers, researchers, and other experts from all STEM subjects. As a STEM student, you will gain skills that you can use across jobs, such as problem-solving, analysis, critical thinking, and research skills. Read on to learn more about STEM strand courses abroad.
Let’s dive right in…
What is the STEM Strand?
STEM majors attract people from diverse backgrounds with diverse interests, whether or not they plan on entering highly technical fields. Why? STEM courses usually involve experiential learning (EL) opportunities, projects, and lab sessions. During a STEM course, you can also benefit from an assignment or a project that lets you explore and use your existing problem-solving expertise in the real world.
For instance, STEM students from top universities in the US can participate in a cybersecurity competition such as the National Cyber League and learn white-hat hacking techniques. Irrespective of how one performs in the competition, they could practise white-hat hacking using authentic technology, think deeply about what they learn, and have the kind of experience that adds to their resume.
Top STEM Strand Courses & Subjects List
One of the questions that international students often ask is this: What are the courses under STEM strand? Here is a short STEM courses list. But remember, the options to choose from in the academic world are much more.
- Computer Science
- Aerospace Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
The curricula of STEM master's courses focus on business as well as highly technical and qualitative elements. As a Filipino student studying abroad, you can explore the overseas job market and tap into many opportunities after completing a STEM major. For example, as a STEM master's degree holder , you can stay for three more years in the United States of America after graduation with no H-1B visa. With this in mind, here, we will discuss the different kinds of master's degrees in STEM subjects or fields that could make you ready for a futuristic workplace.
In a tech-driven world, students need to learn how to use cutting-edge technology and tools like big data, automation, and algorithms to develop strategies and make important decisions. A Master's in Business Analytics will teach you how to use a digital concept like artificial intelligence (AI) to boost business revenue and analyse growth. A Master's in Business Analytics is a popular STEM strand course among employers. As per the Graduate Management Admission Council, around 85% of corporations plan to recruit MSBA graduates by the end of this year.
Data science is among the most popular courses among Filipino students who seek postgraduate studies abroad. Even if you are a working data analyst, you may decide to pursue a qualification like a master's degree in data science. This program will offer you additional training in subjects like data mining, predictive analytics, and machine learning. There is a dearth of quality data scientists across the world, leading to more intense competition among companies to fill their open roles in data science.
A mathematics degree is a pathway for a person who is keen on real-world problem solving. It is a key field of study, as many positions require at least a basic understanding of concepts related to mathematics.
It takes professionals with the capability to apply problem-solving and mathematical reasoning skills to solve complex problems at modern organizations. Consequently, employment in mathematics-related roles is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. If you choose to pursue a master's in mathematics, you could gain broad exposure and experience in the important branches of this field.
Geoscience is a field that deals with not just the study of the processes involved in forming and shaping the surface of the Earth but also with how ecosystems and hot water systems are connected. If you decide to pursue a degree in geoscience, you may be able to analyse data and leverage the latest pieces of technology to study every aspect of the earth. Depending on your study destination and university, you may be able to choose from multiple geoscience specializations, such as marine geoscience, energy geoscience, and applied geoscience.
A Master's in Cybersecurity will teach you how to monitor, respond to, and prevent data violations and cyber threats. While pursuing a master's degree in this field, you may be able to do the following::
- Evaluate network security with common software solutions such as Snort and OpenVAS;
- Learn a programming language like Java or Python; and,
- Practice configuring realistic computing networks with simulation tools such as GNS3 and Cisco Packet Tracer.
Why Should You Pursue a STEM Degree?
Do you have a bachelor's degree in a field other than a STEM discipline? If so, you may have to take another bachelor's in STEM or a related master's degree for better employment prospects. Career advancers and career changers often seek promotions through additional qualifications on their CVs, such as master's degrees. For instance, during your master's program in cybersecurity, you may be able to learn the best ways to build enterprise security strategies for your organisation.
A STEM-related master's course can also offer the latest insights into research techniques, analyses, and programs that can aid you in creating efficiencies and adding business value to the job you occupy at present. Whatever your ultimate career objective is, a STEM graduate degree can help you stand out from the sea of applicants in the job market.
A Computer Science (CS) degree is among the best-known STEM majors. Cloud computing and big data contribute to increased demand for employees with strong skills in technology. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information technology and computer-related jobs are likely to grow by 13% through 2030. Further, the median yearly salary for people with these STEM strand jobs was around $97,000 in 2021—twofold more than that for all other occupations.
Even when you are not keen on computer science, there are competitive salaries and ample opportunities up for grabs in other STEM-related majors for graduates. For instance, you may think about pursuing a degree in engineering. Every year, jobs in engineering command the lowest rates of unemployment and the highest average starting pay scales, as per a recent Bankrate study.
As per the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, people in STEM strand jobs experience lower unemployment rates and higher pay scales as compared to those in other positions.
Earning at least a bachelor's in STEM will not only improve your potential income but will also provide you with the skills that can attract recruiters across all industries. As per a recent survey from the US Census Bureau, 62% of people with STEM degrees in 2019 had jobs in other fields, like business, communications, and the social sciences.
How Much Does a STEM Degree Cost?
It depends mainly on whether you pursue it in the US or Europe and your specific area of study. For instance, an engineering master's degree in the US will most likely be costlier than a master's in another STEM field here. On the other hand, top colleges and universities in Europe charge between €1,000 and €45,000 per year for STEM qualifications. Several higher education providers in Europe also offer STEM courses for free. You may pursue a STEM degree from one such course, but remember that it may require you to live and study in a less popular study destination.
The main benefit of studying STEM in a popular destination like the US is that a STEM graduate can qualify for OPT (Optional Practical Training), which allows them to stay back and work for three more years following graduation. Studying in a relatively less popular destination means not being able to take advantage of such opportunities.
Top STEM Strand Jobs & Careers
There are many subdisciplines under the main STEM fields, so we will only be able to list out a few options here. Remember that there are many other options for you to pick from.
- Web Developer: A web developer is someone who builds and maintains a website or websites.
- Cybersecurity Analyst: A cybersecurity analyst focuses on protecting network and information security.
- Game Developer: A game developer works in a team that deals with writing codes for video gaming software.
- Actuary: An actuary applies statistics, financial theory, and mathematics to evaluate financial risk.
- IT Auditor: An IT auditor analyses the network infrastructure of a company as well as conducts frequent compliance tests and risk assessments.
Best Countries to Study STEM Courses
The number of graduates enrolling in courses with STEM subjects is now higher than ever before. Therefore, many top universities around the world are including more STEM subjects in their curricula for international students. There is a significant gap between the number of open positions and the available graduate count in STEM fields around the globe. These are reasons enough for more Filipino students to pursue STEM degrees in study-abroad destinations, such as Australia, UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Ireland.
How Difficult is a STEM Course?
It is potentially challenging to be a STEM major, but do not let this keep you from pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in this field. Consider picking from an array of mathematics, foundational science, and computer science courses. You will have to apply problem-solving, critical thinking, and data analysis skills to various experiments and projects during your STEM course.
How Long Does a STEM Master's Degree Take?
A full-time master's course in a STEM field can take one to two years, like all other master's programs.
Why Do STEM Students Study Abroad?
The main reason is the return on investment. Doing STEM courses abroad may mean paying more than domestically, but it will also open up more career opportunities with higher earning potential.
Is STEM a Course or Strand?
STEM is an umbrella term for various courses that come under the categories of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics. Open a STEM course list online, and you can see many different programs there. This means that the opportunities are endless in STEM fields.
Which is the Best STEM Course?
This depends, because what's best for you may not suit someone else. From a salary perspective, however, some STEM majors earn more than their other STEM counterparts. Examples include STEM majors who work in computer engineering, petroleum engineering, nuclear engineering, software development, and aerospace engineering.
If you wish to know where the best location is for STEM courses abroad, our counsellors are only a click away.