College Majors that Qualify Grads for High Salary Jobs in STEM

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By Deshan Mendis
Last updated on August 11, 2023

Want to pursue your dream career in STEM? Read on to learn about the majors that offer the skills and qualifications that lead to the most lucrative global careers.

A high-earning employee speaking at a team meeting

What are the highest paying jobs? Often, they’re in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In fact, careers in STEM fields are expected to grow by 10.5% from 2021 to 2030, offering lucrative career prospects that feature industry-leading research, high salaries, career growth, and much more.

Read on to learn more about high salary jobs in STEM, why you should consider a career in STEM, and prestigious STEM degrees offered at Shorelight universities. 

Why Pursue a Career in STEM?

A STEM degree provides in-depth technical knowledge and skills in areas such as software engineering, robotics, biology, health science, statistics, and more. As a STEM professional, you can apply for many roles and participate in projects that develop new technologies and  conduct innovative research in your respective field. With growing demand for their technological expertise, STEM professionals are positioned to take on more leadership roles in the future. 

Here are five reasons why you should consider a career in STEM:

  1. High salary jobs — STEM careers provide some of the highest salaries in the world because of the high level of technical knowledge required and their increasing demand across multiple sectors and industries. STEM professionals can expect to be paid a median salary between $57,900 to $108,300 annually, depending on the role.

  2. Job security — Even during the turbulent pandemic economy, STEM skills were essential in keeping organizations afloat and maintaining smooth operations. With a skillset that’s highly adaptable and flexible to changing conditions, STEM roles will continue to be in high demand, meaning greater and longer-lasting job security. In 2021, there were nearly 10 million STEM workers in the US, and this number is set to grow by 2030. 

  3. Innovation — STEM jobs are at the forefront of technological discoveries and advancement. In the years to come, there will be incredible breakthroughs in medicine, sustainability, space exploration, and engineering. With your STEM degree, you’ll be well positioned to make a difference in the world.

  4. Career diversity — STEM offers a range of high paying jobs that span across many industries — medicine, biochemistry, aviation, and engineering, to name just a few. Employers in different sectors are looking to hire experts with transferable skills, conferred in your STEM degree, giving you the chance to pursue careers that align with your passions and interests.

  5. Positive impact — STEM careers can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally. For example, with a STEM degree, you can save lives as a medical officer, research ways to combat climate change, and develop engineering solutions that improve quality of life.

By pursuing a career in STEM, you can also attend global conferences, participate in life-changing research, and work toward high-paying jobs with diverse and flexible growth paths.

Lucrative Careers in STEM and How to Decide What to Major In to Qualify

There are an estimated 821,300 STEM job openings expected in the next 10 years, making it a great time to pursue a STEM degree. Additionally, internships, on-campus mentorship programs, and full-time opportunities provide hands-on training for students to enhance their skills. 

Let’s look at some high salary jobs options you can pursue in STEM.

How to Become an Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design and develop aircraft, spacecraft, and other technologies in the field of space exploration and aviation. As an aerospace engineer, you will study science, mathematics, and scientific computing, while also developing key critical thinking and inquiry-based problem-solving skills. 

Degree programs: Aerospace engineering, aviation and aerospace technology 

How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Information security professionals protect an organization’s computer systems and networks from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. The field has grown in importance due to the increasing reliance on technology to securely store sensitive information. As an information security analyst, you need skills in coding and scripting, access control management, malware analysis, and reverse engineering.

Degree programs: Computer science, cyber and information security

How to Become a Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers apply engineering principles and problem-solving techniques specifically to address medical and biological challenges. Their work includes designing and developing medical equipment and improving existing medical technology. Professionals in this line of work are expected to be skilled in mathematics, science, design and creativity, problem-solving, empathy, and communication.

Degree program: Biomedical engineering

How to Become a Data Analyst

Data analysts use statistics and software to help companies understand customer behavior, market trends, competitors, and other information affecting profits and future prospects. To succeed, data analysts should be proficient in both technical and soft skills, such as understanding programming languages like Python and MATLAB and being proficient at data visualization, while also paying attention to detail, communicating well, and being a critical thinker. 

Degree programs: Applied mathematics, data science, data science and analytics, statistics

How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer 

Machine learning engineers research, build, and design artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop predictive models and algorithms. Careers in this field usually require skills in applied mathematics, neural network architectures, physics, data modeling and evaluation, reinforcement learning, and more.

Degree programs: Computer science — artificial intelligence concentration

Pursuing a career in STEM gives you the chance to work in a constantly growing field with the potential to earn high salaries in the US and around the world.

Global Career Prospects in STEM

Being highly analytical and technical, and with the required specialized expertise, STEM careers offer competitive salaries, even for new hires. Students who seek lucrative careers where they will continue to learn and grow will find that STEM roles have much to offer. 

Let’s take a look at possible earnings for several popular STEM careers in the US, India, China, and Brazil.

Aerospace Engineer

Projected growth

6% from 2021–2031

Starting salary in the US


Starting salary in India


Starting salary in China


Starting salary in Brazil


Information Security Analyst

Projected growth

35% from 2021–2031

Starting salary in the US


Starting salary in India


Starting salary in China


Starting salary in Brazil


Biomedical Engineer

Projected growth

10% from 2021–2031

Starting salary in the US


Starting salary in India


Starting salary in China


Starting salary in Brazil


Data Analyst

Projected growth

23% from 2021–2031

Starting salary in the US


Starting salary in India


Starting salary in China


Starting salary in Brazil


Machine Learning Engineer

Projected growth

21% from 2021–2031

Starting salary in the US


Starting salary in India


Starting salary in China


Starting salary in Brazil


Sources: SalaryExpert,, Indeed, Bankrate, 2023

More advanced roles in STEM fields require a strong understanding of your specific field of study, which involves learning about complex topics and concepts. To develop your particular expertise, consider enrolling in focused courses that complement your degree program’s core offerings. 

Why Pursue a STEM Education?

More than 70% of STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree that covers the appropriate skills and knowledge needed to prepare for a STEM job. Universities provide exposure to training programs that encourage work in a real-world setting, enabling students to learn professional skills, understand work culture, and practice how to collaborate on a team. At Shorelight universities, you can access these benefits and more in a welcoming environment where you get support every step of the way.

Here are several STEM programs offered at Shorelight universities:

Edgewood College — Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, Cyber Security Concentration

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, Edgewood College’s computer information systems program and cyber security concentration focuses on hands-on learning with interactive applications of cutting-edge technologies and industry practices through real-life projects. The program incorporates community outreach, senior capstone experiences, and additional learning resources in data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Learn more about Edgewood College >

Lewis University — Bachelor of Science in Aviation and Aerospace Technology 

Ranked #22 in Regional Universities Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, Lewis University outside Chicago is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved university. Lewis’ aviation and aerospace technology program is an interdisciplinary curriculum that teaches how to inspect, diagnose, and repair issues with aircraft using high-tech equipment. The program equips graduates with both a powerplant and airframe rating to prepare for cutting-edge aerospace roles.

Learn more about Lewis University >

Roosevelt University — Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, Roosevelt University in Chicago features a cybersecurity and information assurance program that provides practical training in UNIX and system administration, Python scripting, internet security, and other key subjects. After graduation, students qualify for a variety of lucrative roles in forensics, incidence response, and security architecture.

Learn more about Roosevelt University >

Shenandoah University — Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Applied Mathematics

In Virginia, Shenandoah University’s data science and applied mathematics program offers project-based coursework, ending with a field-learning course where students partner with local businesses to address current issues. The program provides an in-depth understanding of data, mathematics, and computer science to ensure students graduate with a well-rounded education.

Learn more about Shenandoah University >

University of Dayton — Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, Concentration in AI and Data Science

University of Dayton in Ohio offers a computer information systems program with hands-on, experiential learning through the latest cutting-edge technology in subjects such as machine learning, database management systems, interactive media, and artificial intelligence. The program also features a bachelor’s plus master’s program, allowing undergraduate students to obtain both degrees in five years. 

Learn more about the University of Dayton >

University of the Pacific — Bachelor of Science in Computer Science 

The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, ranked #56 Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report, offers a computer science program with three concentrations — graphics and simulation, networking and computer security, and software development. Built on the foundations of math, science, and engineering, the program encourages students to become experts in new technologies while gaining paid work experience.

Learn more about the University of the Pacific >

University of Utah – Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Data Analytics Bootcamp

The University of Utah in Salt Lake City is ranked #48 in Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report. Utah Global provides students the facilities to conduct innovative research, pursue interdisciplinary studies, and craft innovation solutions across multiple disciplines.

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

At Utah, students can pursue medical, engineering, and biological research to advance health care and medical technology. Explore a wide range of subjects including biomaterials, biomechanics, and medical imaging with expert faculty. Use state-of-the-art campus facilities to find breakthroughs in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, biomechanics, cardiovascular engineering, and more.

Professional Education Data Analytics Boot Camp

Utah’s data analytics boot camp, an intensive 24-week program ideal for working professionals and career changers, prepares students with industry-specific tools and techniques to analyze and report findings on big data. With a focus on practical and real-world experiences, graduates are equipped for roles such as data analyst, data scientist, and business analyst.

Learn more about the University of Utah >

Western New England University — Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Western New England’s Biomedical Engineering program covers subjects such as bio instrumentation, engineering physiology, and biomaterials. Four laboratory courses ensure students gain practical experience and can work toward specializations. The program also offers a study abroad opportunity in Guatemala, as well as internships with companies like BIND Therapeutics and AngioDynamics.

Learn more about Western New England University >

York College of Pennsylvania — Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Management

With a #93 ranking in Regional Universities North by U.S. News & World Report, York College of Pennsylvania’s Cybersecurity Management degree combines technology with skills in strategic communication and management. Students can specialize in strategy, operational security, intelligence analysis, or criminal justice and are also connected with career-building internships during their degree program. 

Learn more about York College of Pennsylvania >

With a STEM degree, you can explore many careers ranging from aerospace engineering to medical researcher, data analyst to IT security specialist, and so many more. Shorelight education counselors can guide you toward programs fitting your career objectives — using the school match tool, you can find the ideal university based on your preferred degree, location of choice, and budget. Access a variety of support services, including application help, visa assistance, career guidance, and more as you begin your new journey in the US. 

Your career in STEM is just a few steps away!

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