What are the Most Popular STEM Majors?

There are obvious reasons why college students choose popular STEM majors. Research shows that STEM majors earn more than most careers. The average entry level wage starts at $37,000 and reaches up to $65,000 per year. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, is the second fastest growing field behind health care.

The Natural Sciences

The natural sciences include physics, biology and chemistry. It also includes botany, geology, zoology and astronomy. These students study the physical world, the laws of nature and specific phenomena. Regardless of the major, a natural sciences student will use advanced math, experiment in modern labs and possibly work in field sites. Graduates not only work in academia or research facilities, but also in corporations and for government agencies. For example, a biology major might find employment with the EPA and a chemist might work with the local public health agency. Common jobs include conservationist, epidemiologist, chemical technician and agricultural scientist.


The degree list that engineering students can choose from is extremely long. This includes aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electronic and environmental engineering. It also includes industrial, marine, materials, mechanical, mining, nuclear and petroleum engineering. Most engineers perform complex calculations in order to create, maintain and manipulate everything from microchips to buildings to medical devices. Some engineers pursue design, surveying, landscape and architecture careers. Many engineers also have the option of transferring to a different city or even temporarily working abroad. Engineering students should be sure to select an ABET-accredited program.

Web Development

Web developers design, create and maintain websites. They are responsible for how the site’s appearance, functionality and performance. Some web developers create or contribute to site content while others specialize in graphics and videos. Web developer students learn how to create, test and distribute website applications. They write for websites in popular programming languages such as HTML, Java and Python.

Back-end web developers are the technical masters of the website. They create the framework and establish procedures for allowing others to update content or add pages.

Front-end web developers create the site’s visual layout and integrate graphics, videos and applications for both mobile and traditional desktop users.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers study how to manage software projects and learn various languages. They learn how to create websites, mobile apps, industrial software and operating systems. Computer programmers use codes like C++ and Java to update and expand existing programs. During the development phase, they continually test and benchmark software to identify bugs and security loopholes. Some programmers also work as software developers who design programs. This means that they learn how to create models, lists and flowcharts that explain how codes are written, edited and debugged. As the economy and society become more dependent on smart devices and mobile technology, the demand for computer programmers is expected to rise.

Two of the remaining most popular STEM majors include actuaries, who work for insurance and financial companies to analyze and predict risks, and networking majors, who learn how to build, monitor and maintain technology that powers telecommunications.

See also: Top 10 Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs