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STEM education: work in the USA and salary

Gradually, new technologies are taking over the world, new professions appear, demand for specialties related to engineering, design and digital technologies is increasing. In the wake of changes, a new type of education is emerging – STEM.

STEM for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are the four areas most in demand in the US labor market today.

The term STEM appeared in the early 2000s. Then in America they realized the need for graduates of technical areas, exactly as well as the prestige of the professions in this sector. Since the 2010s, STEM students have been talked about all over the world, and today they are the most respected of all students.

STEM Learning System

Students are here study textbooks and immediately use what they have learned in practice. The main skill that helps develop STEM education in the United States is the ability to correctly use the information found and apply it.

Length of study

Average length of study at American universities :

Bachelor’s degree – 4 years
Master’s degree – from 1 year and above (usually 2 years of study), but an exception can be research research work (if the student is planning a scientific career) and usually lasts from 3 -x up to 6 years.

Admission requirements

Every university has a different list of admission requirements. Consider the average scores for admission to STEM areas:

    Bachelor / Master: from 79 points
    Undergraduate / Master’s degree: on average from 6.0 – 6.5
  • GPA is the average score of a certificate or diploma. It shows the overall performance of a student or student on a 4-point scale. Admission requires from 2.5 to 4 points, depending on the ranking of the university.

Requirements for students are quite high. If your goal is a top university, you need to start preparing already at school.

See also: How to calculate GPA? »

Admission Calendar
For 18 months you need:

  • Collect a portfolio
  • Write a letter of motivation
  • Register in the online system of the university (it is during this period that the university notifies about the deadlines for submitting applications)

For 10-12 months :

  • Clarify information on the program and admission: cost, terms, entrance exams
  • Send a letter of motivation and recommendations from the supervisor
  • Prepare and send an electronic application to the university

In 3 months :

  • Apply for a visa
  • Prepare medical insurance
  • Take care of housing (not all universities provide dormitories)

Enter an American university – one , but studying in it is quite another. It is necessary to immediately get involved in the process: write an essay, participate in group projects, conduct experiments. International students are usually assisted by buddies or mentors, but despite this, it can be difficult to understand the American education system. At first, it takes a lot of effort to understand simple organizational issues.

Read also: « The main differences between the US and UK education systems »

There are special training programs for the University Foundation after grade 11, which help foreign students to adapt to a different education system and learn all the necessary organizational and technical points before entering. These programs have curators who help to build a portfolio, prepare for exams, choose a university and submit documents to it.

Working in the USA after graduation

Any foreign graduate in the United States receives an OPT (Optional Practical Training) work permit for up to 1 year, and after graduation from STEM studies, the right to work is issued for up to 3 years. The unemployment rate in technical areas does not exceed 1.5%, which means that a graduate will definitely have time to find a vacant position.

STEM is a huge number of modern areas: bioengineering, computer science, geology, astrophysics, strategic management.

The US Department of Commerce predicts that between 2012 and 2020, about 9 million STEM professionals will be needed. But since Americans cannot fill all jobs, the US government decided to launch a program to attract foreign students to study in STEM specialties with further employment opportunities for high-paying jobs.

Salary of STEM specialists

The Cash Lorette team looked at the average earnings and unemployment rates of undergraduate students in 173 different majors in the United States. According to the results of the research, the Cash Lorette website has a rating of professions depending on their career success. It was led by oil and gas engineers, whose income after graduation averaged $ 134,800 a year. Next came aerospace and geological engineers, geophysicists, as well as shipbuilding and mining engineers.

STEM students took the top 30 ranking.

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How much does it cost STEM training

Tuition fees in the United States vary by university level and specialty:

Oil and Gas Engineer

Income: from $ 132,000 per year

Where to study: Louisiana State University, Auburn University

Admission requirements: IELTS 6.0-6.5, GPA 2.5-3

According to statistics from the universities of Louisiana and Alabama, 89% of their graduates get a job within 6 months after graduation in the field of oil production. And the diversity of work in the sector is constantly increasing.

Software developer

Income: from $ 95,510 per year

Where to study: Boston University, University of New Hampshire

Requirements for admission: IELTS 6.0-6.5, GPA 2.5-3

Developers occupy high positions in large industries: computer systems, electronics products and finance. This is the profession of the present and the future. Judge for yourself: more than once we will need a workout tracker or an app for an online store – programmers make our life easier every day.

Scientist-engineer at NASA

Income: from $ 117,100 per year

Where to study: University of South Carolina, Auburn University

Admission requirements: IELTS 6.0-6.5, GPA 2.5-3

In this area, people devote themselves to fundamental research – the study of the Earth’s magnetosphere and geomagnetic storms, modeling the behavior of the magnetosphere, developments that determine the “space weather”. The most breakthrough discoveries related to the search for new sources of energy take place here, and new vacancies never end.


Income: from $ 79,980 per year

Where to study: James Madison University, University of California

Admission requirements: IELTS 6.5, GPA 2.5-3.5

If it’s not the most important profession for the next couple of years, then definitely one of them. Any global problem requires a detailed analysis. Here, not only the collection of high-quality information is important, but also the interconnection of all factors, the identification of the chain of events and the subsequent lines of their development. Nobody knows how long the growing global crisis will last, so who, if not American companies, is interested in making the right decisions. Scientific American predicts this profession will grow 34% in popularity by 2024.

STEM education, better than any other direction, gives an understanding of the professions of the future, opens up access to advanced technologies and gives incredible financial opportunities. STEM gives birth to new specialties, creating more and more new vacancies, and continues to develop the collaboration between business and science.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas : Pexels