In the past, parents who wanted their kids to grow up and be wealthy typically persuaded, pled, and pushed them into becoming doctors and lawyers — or in some cases, the starting quarterback for an NFL team, or an Oscar-winning movie star.
However, these days parents — along with ambitious and intelligent students — are realizing that there’s a much wider and more realistic path to professional satisfaction and, indeed, substantial earning potential: head for a S.T.E.M. career.
S.T.E.M. is an interdisciplinary and applied curriculum centered around four areas: science, technology, engineering and math. Don’t think of it as training for a specific job. Rather, it’s more about laying the foundation for multiple jobs; including some that don’t yet exist, but will no doubt be important — and in many cases essential — in the future.
Of course, cultivating a solid competence in S.T.E.M. isn’t easy — which explains why many students don’t head in that direction. But those that do can count on being a coveted recruit when they enter the workforce. With that in mind, as noted by Forbes here are the 4 highest paying jobs for recent S.T.E.M. graduates:
- Petroleum Engineers
Petroleum engineers work on a variety of activities related to producing hydrocarbons (either crude or natural gas). The average median salary for recent graduates equipped with a bachelor’s degree is a cool $88,700.
- Nuclear Engineer
Yes, this is the job that Homer Simpson does. Thankfully, in the real-world this vital role is carried out by knowledgeable professionals (vs. donut eating imbeciles — d’oh!) who focus on developing processes, controls, instruments and systems related to nuclear energy and radiation. The median salary for new graduates in this field is $62,900.
- Marine Engineers
Marine engineers are professionals who focus their considerable knowledge on designing, building, testing and repairing all kinds of crafts and equipment designed for underwater and above-water use. The median salary for recent graduates in this field is $62,200.
- Chemical Engineers
Chemical engineers are involved in everything from developing and designing advanced equipment such as high pressure homogenizers (learn more about these amazing pieces of machinery at www.beei.com), to helping businesses scale lab and clinical trials to bring innovative new products and solutions to the marketplace. The median salary for recent graduates in this field is $61,700.
The Bottom Line
Obviously, money shouldn’t be the only motive to choose a career path — because there’s more to life than a bank account. Yet with this being said, salary and earning potential should be a factor considering that life can be expensive (especially with student loans and mortgages to pay!). If you or a family member is looking at academic course options, heading towards a career in S.T.E.M. could handsomely pay off both personally and professionally.