dcsimg
EDUCATION RANKINGS
 
 
Most VALUABLE STEM Majors
2015

A year has passed since President Obama's push to increase the country’s number of majors in STEM, the group of disciplines encompassing science, technology, engineering and math, and the relevance of these STEM majors has only continued to grow, thanks to the world’s reliance on technical and scientific advancement. According to a 2014 study by the Brookings Institution, not only do STEM majors possess valuable skills needed by employers, but many STEM-related jobs go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants.

For prospective students, however, the finer points of which specific major to choose within the umbrella of STEM can be confusing. What career options are available to those with a degree in engineering or math? Which major is the strongest path among the sciences? Similarly, technology is a broad field and can encompass everything from computer repair technicians to software engineers, so it may be hard to pick a field of study.

To help provide some guidance, WorldWideLearn.com has updated its list of the STEM Majors With the Best Value for 2015. Our list is based on multiple criteria to provide you with the overall value of the top majors and your possible future success after graduation.

Methodology

For this analysis, we ranked 122 majors belonging to the STEM disciplines. To be included in the rankings, each major had to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be on the 2012 STEM-Designated Degree Program List from the Department of Homeland Security
  • Be matched by the National Center for Education Statistics to a job on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of STEM occupations

We scored each STEM major on four categories of data using a 25-point scale and then added the scores from all categories, for a total of 100 points possible.

  1. Educational Availability, based on program data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
  2. Educational Affordability, based on tuition data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Earnings Index, based on salary and training data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and tuition data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
  4. Employment Opportunity, based on employment projections for growth rate and job openings, 2012-22, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Most Valuable STEM Majors and Featured Careers

1Information Technology

Information Technology

Information technology leads the list with the top ranking for the second year in a row. Not only did IT score strongly in all categories, it garnered the highest score in Employment Opportunity. This year IT scored significantly higher than it did last year for both Educational Affordability and Earnings Index.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 93.44

Educational Affordability: 72.13

Earning Index: 92.62

Job Opportunity: 99.18

Major Overview: Information technology can prepare graduates for a variety of professions such as information security, network architecture and counterhacking.

Spotlight Career: Information Security Analyst

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $91,600
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 36.5%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $8,552

Learn more about the information technology major.

2Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

Coming in at No. 2 on the list, computer systems networking and telecommunications scored third in Employment Opportunity among all majors in the rankings. Networking and telecommunications majors can receive the experience and education they need to fill a wide range of careers. In addition, many graduates of this major may not need advanced degrees. Computer network support specialists, for instance, earned a 2014 national average salary of $66,140 while usually only needing an associate degree for entry-level employment.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 95.08

Educational Affordability: 81.97

Earning Index: 77.05

Job Opportunity: 97.54

Major Overview: Networking and telecommunication majors learn a wide range of IT material, from setting up and monitoring networks to building and maintaining the wireless technology that powers modern telecommunication.

Spotlight Career: Computer Network Support Specialist

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Associate degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $66,140
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 6.9%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $6,404

Learn more about the computer systems networking and telecommunications major.

3Computer Programming

Computer Programming

Moving up three spots in the rankings from last year, computer programming came in No. 3 on our list due to its compensation potential. As the world becomes more reliant on digital devices and computer software, computer programming majors can likely expect to find plenty of jobs after graduation since the profession is expected to grow by more than 8 percent nationally through 2022.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 90.16

Educational Affordability: 86.07

Earning Index: 77.05

Job Opportunity: 94.26

Major Overview: Graduates of the computer programming major can learn how to develop and manage software projects and code in multiple languages. The skills acquired while pursuing this major can help graduates create applications, industrial software, operating systems and websites.

Spotlight Career: Computer Programmer

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $82,690
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 8.3%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $5,462

Learn more about the computer programming major.

4Computer and Information Systems Security

Computer and Information Systems Security

On the heels of high-profile data breaches, hacks, digital thefts and consumer lawsuits, Computer and Information Systems Security came in at No. 4. Graduates of this degree learn how to set up, monitor and update vital systems for corporate locations, stores and websites. They implement security features and respond to intrusions by hackers. These graduates can be hired by major corporations to prevent billion dollar hacks and breaches from occurring.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 89.34

Educational Affordability: 76.23

Earning Index: 82.79

Job Opportunity: 93.44

Major Overview: Understanding how networks function and how they can be exploited is key to this major. As such, classes can include subjects like networking, counter hacking and digital architecture.

Spotlight Career: Computer Network Architects

  • Entry-Level Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $100,710.00
  • 2014-2024 Job Growth: 15%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $7,898

Learn more about the computer and information systems security major.

5Computer and Information Sciences

Computer and Information Science

While other majors have climbed the charts, they have done so at the expense of computer and information sciences, which fell three spots to No. 5 this year. Even so, this major’s Educational Availability and Educational Affordability scores have improved since last year, helping to keep computer and information sciences a strong contender among the top STEM majors.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 96.72

Educational Affordability: 56.56

Earning Index: 67.21

Job Opportunity: 86.89

Major Overview: Computer and information sciences majors include a wide range of skills and experiences, such as programming languages, networking technology and hardware management.

Spotlight Career: Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $136,280
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 15.3%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $10,885

Learn more about the computer and information sciences major.

6Multimedia and Information Resources Design

Web Development

Placed squarely in the middle of the top 10, multimedia and information resources design scored generally well across all categories. As more of daily life and business migrates to the online world, many companies are looking to bring these graduates onboard to help design the next Facebook or Google. Because of this, jobs for web developers are projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. The field's national average salary of more than $68,000 is nothing to scoff at either.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 87.70

Educational Affordability: 78.69

Earning Index: 32.79

Job Opportunity: 74.59

Major Overview: From understanding user experience to the nuances of coding in HTML, courses in multimedia and information resources design can prepare graduates for every part of designing user-facing websites and mobile apps.

Spotlight Career: Web Developer

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Associate degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $68,670
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 20.1%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $7,341

Learn more about the multimedia and information resources design major.

7Engineering

Engineering

The general engineering major sneaks in on our list just above some of the more focused engineering majors. With the need to expand urban spaces, upgrade energy infrastructure, design devices and vehicles, and educate the next generation, engineering graduates can potentially expect high earnings and growing employment.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 88.52

Educational Affordability: 61.48

Earning Index: 94.26

Job Opportunity: 39.34

Major Overview: Engineering focuses on the calculation and manipulation of our surroundings, from building bridges and skyscrapers to circuit boards and phone cases. Classes can include the sciences as well as mathematics and some design and art.

Spotlight Career: Engineering Professor

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Doctoral or professional degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $102,000
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 11.8%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $10,428

Learn more about the engineering major.

8Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering

The next generation of iPhones and wearable technology — not to mention supercomputers and advanced cloud services — will not be built without these graduates. Dropping a few spots from its No. 5 ranking in 2014, this major still retains its high scores in Earning Index and Educational Availability. Computer hardware engineers, one of the prominent careers for computer engineering graduates, are expected to experience a projected growth of more than 7 percent through 2022.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 82.79

Educational Affordability: 36.07

Earning Index: 90.16

Job Opportunity: 87.70

Major Overview: Computer engineering is a general major that provides students with experience in both hardware and software development. For example, students can specialize in chip design or computer language development.

Spotlight Career: Computer Hardware Engineer

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $110,650
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 7.4%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $15,106

Learn more about the computer engineering major.

9Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration

Data Modeling

The last of our tech-focused majors on the top 10 is big data. Data modeling, also known as warehousing and database administration, helps bridge the gap from the material world to the digital. Shipping, receiving, tracking and e-commerce could not function without the innovations that graduates of this major have helped create. Online marketing uses data modeling as well as advanced revenue forecasting. The only detraction is the lesser availability of schools that offer the major, which could improve as new courses are developed.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 32.79

Educational Affordability: 94.26

Earning Index: 81.15

Job Opportunity: 88.52

Major Overview: Classes in statistics and programming are not uncommon for this major. Students could be expected to analyze data, manipulate advanced spreadsheets and stitch data points together with database scripts.

Spotlight Career: Database Administrator

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $82,280
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 15.1%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $3,240

Learn more about the data modeling/warehousing and database administration major.

10Biological and Physical Sciences

Biology and Physical Science

Subjects such as geology, ecology, physics and mathematics constitute the biological and physical sciences, and they round out our top 10. Pulling in the best Earning Index of all 122 majors, graduates with these degrees can potentially earn impressive salaries, even without advanced degrees. Natural sciences managers, for instance, made a national average salary of $136,450 in 2014.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 85.25

Educational Affordability: 67.21

Earning Index: 99.18

Job Opportunity: 18.03

Major Overview: A cornerstone of this major is mathematics. From physics to biology, every type of science uses math. In addition, classes and experience in modern labs and field sites can prepare graduates for working in modern corporations or in remote locations for government and state operations.

Spotlight Career: Natural Sciences Manager

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $136,450
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 5.7%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $8,841

Learn more about the biological and physical sciences major.

Rankings 11-25


Outside of our top ten, there were a number of other standout STEM majors that made it into our rankings. Find out more about them below.

11Computer Systems Analysis

Coming in just outside the top 10 for 2015, Computer Systems Analysis majors graduate with what is typically one of the higher ROI degrees available. The need for data analysis in industries such as mechanical engineering, classic and e-commerce marketing, scientific research and academia create potential employment opportunities for graduates with this degree. Among the possible careers for this major is, unsurprisingly, Computer Systems Analyst, which typically commands a salary much higher the national average and has an above-average projected growth rate.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 64.75

Educational Affordability: 59.02

Earning Index: 62.30

Job Opportunity: 91.98

Major Overview: Students in this major can expect to take classes in mathematics, computer programming, statistics and data visualization.

Spotlight Career: Computer Systems Analysts

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $87,320
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 24.5%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $10,742

Learn more about the computer systems analysis major.

12Civil Engineering

A subset of general engineering, Civil Engineering focuses on the construction and design of civic structures such as dams, roads, bridges and highways. In some cases, civil engineers may also design and construct buildings. Classes include general engineering coursework in addition to the systems and processes for working within regulatory standards in states, counties and cities. While the major isn't the most affordable of all our STEM majors, graduates can potentially find above-average employment opportunities with the increasing need for more roads, bridges and infrastructure projects as previous structures decay and fall apart.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 81.15

Educational Affordability: 37.70

Earning Index: 86.07

Job Opportunity: 82.79

Major Overview: Students can expect to take classes in design, chemistry, mathematics, computer-aided design, geology and physics.

Spotlight Career: Civil Engineers

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $87,130
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 19.7%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $15,082

Learn more about the civil engineering major.

13Computer Support

Majoring in computer support generally results in a student graduating with an associate degree, but one that can command a hefty salary and lower educational costs. Graduates can work for both large and small companies, maintaining computer network issues when they arise as well as setting up and maintaining computer systems for new employees. With society's growing dependence on technology the outlook for graduates of this major is expected to grow during the next decade.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 68.85

Educational Affordability: 88.52

Earning Index: 58.20

Job Opportunity: 43.44

Major Overview: Classes in computer support can cover specialized networking and computer software troubleshooting programs and certification prerequisites, as well as classes in mathematics and some computer programming languages.

Spotlight Career: Computer Network Support Specialists

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Associate degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $66,140
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 6.9%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $5,233

Learn more about the computer support major.

14Surveying

One of the more specialized degrees in our STEM majors list, Surveying is one of the more affordable STEM degrees to obtain. In addition to the lower-than-average cost of these programs, the need for surveyors for construction, civil engineering, wilderness management, real estate, and our transportation system creates growing employment opportunities for graduates. The act of surveying has changed very little from the time of antiquity and focuses exclusively on the exact mapping of locations for use in maps, construction or international boundaries. Sadly, surveyors no longer get to keep a percentage of the land they survey.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 56.56

Educational Affordability: 93.44

Earning Index: 49.18

Job Opportunity: 68.85

Major Overview: Classes in a surveying program may include geology, mathematics, cartography (the skill of making maps) and wilderness classes such as ecology. Practical, hands-on classes may also be required for graduation and may require students to hike, climb or camp.

Spotlight Career: Surveyors

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $60,310
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 10.3%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $3,503

Learn more about the surveying major.

15Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations

A beautiful mix of science and art, majoring in horticulture educates students on growing vegetables and plants in an efficient process. As farming and agriculture moves into directions we've never thought possible (in-door warehouse farms) and confront issues (such as droughts, floods and soil erosion) the need for qualified graduates who understand soil and water needs, as well as sustainable growing and shipping processes, is expected to grow.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 71.31

Educational Affordability: 97.54

Earning Index: 86.07

Job Opportunity: 15.57

Major Overview: Students can expect to take classes in biology, ecology, genetics, soil management, geology and mathematics. Some hands-on experience may be part of the program.

Spotlight Career: Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Doctoral or professional degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $90,100
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 8.0%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $2,772

Learn more about the applied horticulture/horticulture operations major.

16Biotechnology Laboratory Technology

More and more, modern biological research and production happen in tightly controlled laboratories. As any contamination can destroy a batch of enzymes used for cleaning clothing or turn pharmaceuticals from helpful to toxic, knowing and working under strict guidelines is essential. Graduates of these programs are uniquely qualified for work in this environment. While the national average pay of careers requiring this degree is slightly lower than the average salary all professions, nationally, the major does rank fourth among all the STEM majors in this analysis for affordability.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 56.56

Educational Affordability: 96.72

Earning Index: 34.43

Job Opportunity: 67.21

Major Overview: Students in biotechnology lab tech programs can expect to study subject such as biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology.

Spotlight Career: Biological Technicians

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $44,610
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 10.0%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $2,967

Learn more about the biotechnology laboratory technology major.

17Mechanical Engineering

Chances are you do at least some reading on a mobile device or a tablet, and if that's the case you can thank a mechanical engineer for designing the look, feel and functionality of your mobile device. Mechanical engineers develop the frame and structure of a product, along with the layout of the internal computing components all while keeping within specifications. Mechanical engineers can also create custom made industrial equipment that are meant to function under very specific conditions or safety equipment for cars and trucks which can save lives.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 84.43

Educational Affordability: 32.79

Earning Index: 66.39

Job Opportunity: 77.87

Major Overview: Students in this major can expect to take classes in computer-aided design, mathematics, machining and computer circuitry in addition to the standard engineering courses.

Spotlight Career: Mechanical Engineers

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $87,140
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 4.5%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $15,459

Learn more about the mechanical engineering major.

18Mathematics

The "M" in STEM stands for mathematics, which in this case is a specialized major focusing on calculation and integers. While most people can recall taking a class or two in math, the focus of a mathematics major is to expand on those subjects and focus on the core skills that can be used for any number of career fields. Statistics is used in public policy, marketing and analysis. Physics relies on mathematics, as do computer science and biology. Even modern attempts to map the full functionality of the human brain are relying heavily on mathematics.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 98.36

Educational Affordability: 41.98

Earning Index: 13.93

Job Opportunity: 82.79

Major Overview: Mathematics majors are typically encouraged to take classes outside of the harder sciences to expand their knowledge base and help students understand the relationship math plays in other subjects.

Spotlight Career: Mathematicians

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Master's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $104,350
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 22.7%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $13,829

Learn more about the mathematics major.

19Chemical Technology

Majoring in Chemical Technology prepares graduates to create and produce the next level of world changing chemicals, such as Teflon-like coatings that cut down on the need for harsh cleaning substances and water-to-oil dissolving soaps that can help control oil spills. Students can also be prepared to create renewable fuels, solar panel and cancer-fighting drugs. Unlike chemistry, which focuses on designing the next drug or solar panel, chemical technology's focus is on the production of the materials and substances, and it can include working with industrial machinery as well as working in laboratories.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 47.54

Educational Affordability: 95.90

Earning Index: 50.82

Job Opportunity: 46.72

Major Overview: Classes can include mathematics, chemistry and laboratory safety. Students can expect to work in laboratories, work with industrial machinery and conduct experiments.

Spotlight Career: Chemical Technicians

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Associate degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $47,390
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 9.4%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $2,994

Learn more about the chemical technology major.

20Environmental Engineering Technology

As society continues to place a priority on conserving resources and energy, the need to integrate environmentally sustainable technology into our modern buildings, roads and urban life will continue. Graduates with an environmental engineering technology major can be well situated to capitalize on this development. Graduates can often command an above-average salary, and the low cost of education and projected job growth of more than 18 percent are also a draw.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 48.36

Educational Affordability: 82.79

Earning Index: 36.89

Job Opportunity: 72.13

Major Overview: Classes can include ecology, environmental management, architecture, mathematics and wildlife management.

Spotlight Career: Environmental Engineering Technicians

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Associate degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $51,030
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 18.4%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $6,337

Learn more about the environmental engineering technology major.

21Management Science

Finding the optimal way to use a workforce is not an art -- it's a science. In small groups a missing employee can cause sleepless nights when deadlines approach, while an extra employee can result in missed performance metrics. In large groups, such as Fortune 500 companies, these same problems can cost a company billions of dollars or result in thousands of lost jobs. Management science applies the principles of mathematics to the modern office to streamline processes, cut costs and grow revenue.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 65.57

Educational Affordability: 25.41

Earning Index: 72.13

Job Opportunity: 92.62

Major Overview: Students in these programs can expect to take classes in mathematics, psychology, economics and communications.

Spotlight Career: Operations Research Analysts

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $82,940
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 26.7%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $16,858

Learn more about the management science major.

22Informatics

Informatics is the process of visualizing and understanding complex systems and data sets. Companies like Netflix and Google use informatics to understand their vast Big Data sets, while universities such as Stanford and the University of California rely on informatics to understand the research their faculty and students are conducting. While students may find it harder than average to locate a school providing this major, the projected job growth rate through 2022 and the potential for a six-figure salary may make it worthwhile to undertake the major.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 22.13

Educational Affordability: 49.18

Earning Index: 87.70

Job Opportunity: 98.36

Major Overview: Classes for informatics majors can include subjects such as computer science, programming concepts, data analysis and information infrastructure.

Spotlight Career: Computer and Information Research Scientists

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Doctoral or professional degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $113,190
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 15.3%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $13,006

Learn more about the informatics major.

23Petroleum Engineering

After geologists find that perfect intersection of shale and sandstone which could hold hydrocarbons such as oil, natural gas, or both, it is up to the petroleum engineer to develop a process for extracting the hydrocarbon in the most efficient (and profitable) way possible. Petroleum engineers work closely with geologists to map and develop what they call the "reservoir," which includes determining the type drilling needed, if fracking should be used and estimate how long the reservoir can active.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 27.87

Educational Affordability: 50.00

Earning Index: 98.36

Job Opportunity: 81.15

Major Overview: Classes can include geology, mathematics and fluid dynamics. The major can prepare students for working with professional oil and gas companies and can have internships that include trips to oil rigs, drill sites and the remote wilderness.

Spotlight Career: Petroleum Engineers

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $147,520
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 25.5%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $12,823

Learn more about the petroleum engineering major.

24Geology

One of the most widely available majors, Geology has a number of career applications outside of academia and petroleum. Students graduating with a degree in geology could help design earthquake-resistant buildings or help plan the next urban environment. Geology also has a number of more traditional opportunities for employment with geological government agencies monitoring volcanos, glaciers or fault lines or with petroleum companies locating new hydrocarbon deposits of oil, natural gas or coal.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 90.98

Educational Affordability: 45.08

Earning Index: 63.93

Job Opportunity: 41.80

Major Overview: Classes can include the study of glaciers and ice flows, minerals, plate tectonics, mathematics, fluid dynamics, construction and ecology.

Spotlight Career: Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Bachelor's degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $105,390
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 15.8%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $13,645

Learn more about the geology major.

25Physics

Before branching out to specific specializations (such as particle physics, astrophysics, or aeronautical physics) the groundwork of classical physics can lay the foundation for students to create anything between building a rocking chair to a rocket ship. Physics focuses on understanding the moment of objects through space and time, such as a baseball's flight out of a ballpark during a home run.

Category Scores

Educational Availability: 95.90

Educational Affordability: 35.25

Earning Index: 40.16

Job Opportunity: 68.03

Major Overview: Classes include mathematics, physical theory, chemistry, fluid dynamics and advanced mathematics. Practical application classes can include construction, mechanical engineering, engineering and aeronautics.

Spotlight Career: Physicists

  • Typical Entry-Level Degree: Doctoral or professional degree
  • 2014 National Average Salary: $117,300
  • 2012-22 Job Growth: 10.4%
  • 2014 Average In-State Tuition: $15,156

Learn more about the physics major.

If you're interested in learning more about some of the specific STEM programs out there, use our school search tool to get matched with schools based on degree level, subject, campus location and more.


Sources

"STEM-Designated Degree Program List: 2012 Revised List," Department of Homeland Security, Accessed Aug. 24, 2015, http://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2014/stem-list.pdf

"Attachment C: Detailed 2010 SOC occupations included in STEM," Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2012, Accessed Aug. 24, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/soc/Attachment_C_STEM.pdf

"May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed Aug. 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

"Table 5: Occupations with the most job growth, 2012 and projected 2022," Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed Aug. 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t05.htm

"Student Charges for Academic Year Programs: 2014," Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed Aug. 27, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/DataFiles.aspx

"Awards/Degrees Conferred by Program: July 2, 2012 to June 30, 2013," Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, National Center for Education Statistic, Accessed Aug. 27, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/DataFiles.aspx