STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These subjects are especially sought after by employers and companies around the world. This is mainly because these high-growth tech careers and diversity in STEM are considered beneficial for economic growth and innovation.

Minority STEM graduates are helping to solve some of the major challenges facing the world today, such as climate change, healthcare, and sustainable food production. Another important benefit of studying a STEM degree is that STEM graduates tend to earn higher salaries than professionals in other fields.

Which are the best careers for Black and Latina STEM graduates? To compile this list, we used US News and World Report on Best STEM jobs list for 2022.

Careers in STEM

1) Information Security Analyst

The key is in the name of this one, as information security analysts are concerned with the security of information systems. This involves planning and initiating security measures to protect computer systems from hackers and cyber-attacks. These IT professionals may be employed by companies, organizations and governments.This role becomes increasingly crucial as security breaches become more sophisticated. To work in this field, a degree is not necessary, but it can help when it comes to finding a job. At the undergraduate level, a degree in computer science would be most relevant. 

Average salary: $103,590

2) Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Nurse practitioners have additional responsibilities and qualifications to general nurses. For example, NPs can perform physical exams, analyze lab results, offer advice, and provide treatment. While general nurses cannot prescribe medications, NPs can. So, with greater responsibility comes a higher salary. However, you’ll also have to do the additional training. To become an NP, you must first become a registered nurse, which requires earning a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. You also need a master’s degree before completing additional certifications that will depend on where you are located.

Median Salary: $111,680

3) Physician Assistant (PA)

The role of a PA involves diagnosing illnesses, creating treatment plans, supporting surgeons, and performing procedures. To qualify as a PA, you’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree in a science or healthcare field. Then, you’ll need to study for an accredited physician assistant degree at the master’s level. You’ll also be required to gain work experience, and many graduates choose to work as a registered nurse, EMT or paramedic before the master’s degree.

Average salary: $115,390

4) Health and Medical Services Manager

A medical and health services manager is responsible for the management and coordination of a hospital, nursing home or other health care service. This job involves working closely with physicians and other health care professionals to ensure the smooth operation of these facilities. To qualify, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as public health . To improve your job prospects, you may want to consider a master’s degree in business administration or public administration. You may even start out as a nurse or physician, before moving into this profession.

Average salary: $139,600

5) Software Developer

We see the work of software developers every day on apps, social media and websites. Software developers create computer programs for many purposes using technical and creative skills. To become a software developer, you need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant STEM subject, such as computer science, where you will learn about computers and programming.

You don’t necessarily need a master’s degree to work as a software engineer, but some employers prefer to hire graduates with more experience. Overall, software developers are the minds behind the technology we use on a regular basis and are therefore vital to our ever-evolving technological world.

Average salary: $110,140

6) Data Scientist

Simply put, data scientists analyze large data sets. However, this requires a wide range of skills and knowledge within computer science, analytics, modeling, statistics, mathematics, and business. Data scientists make sense of complex data that can help inform the strategies and messages of businesses/organizations/governments. As a data scientist, you must be comfortable interpreting data and extracting meaning from numbers. To become a data scientist, you can take several routes by obtaining one of the following STEM qualifications in Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics and Social Science.

Average salary: $98,230

7) Statistician

If you have an analytical mind and passion for sorting through data, a career as a statistician could be perfect for you. In this line of work, you’ll collect data, analyze results, conduct experiments and report on the results. The great thing about statisticians is that these skills can be applied to a variety of fields such as healthcare, finance, forensics, public safety and the environment.

To qualify, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in statistics or another relevant STEM subject, such as economics, psychology or mathematics . Basically, any degree that has a statistical or quantitative element.

Average salary: $92,270

8) IT Manager

IT managers are responsible for the performance of a company’s computer and information systems. This includes network and data security and the maintenance of computer programs and software. IT managers assess the IT needs of a company/organization to improve productivity and efficiency. If you like the sound of becoming an IT manager, you generally need a bachelor’s degree in one of the following STEM subjects: computer science, IT or mathematics. Some companies may also prefer to hire someone with a master’s degree, but this is not always mandatory.

Average salary: $151,150

9) Dentist

Being a dentist involves diagnosing and treating a patient’s teeth, gums and mouth. To become a dentist, you must devote a great deal of time and money to your education. You must choose science and mathematics as early as high school to have the best chance. However, the exact process differs depending on the country you choose for your studies.

You must complete a bachelor’s degree before applying to dental school. While dentistry is not an official STEM subject, many parts of this degree involve science, technology, engineering, and math.

Median salary: $158,940

10) Orthodontist

This is a field similar to dentistry but with a particular focus on correcting irregularities with the teeth and jaw. This includes straightening teeth and administering braces to patients. Orthodontists may work in private practice or in hospitals as consultants. As with dentistry, becoming a board-certified orthodontist requires a long period of training. To become an orthodontist, you generally need a bachelor’s degree in dentistry before gaining work experience and completing an orthodontic training program that can take another three years to complete.

Average salary: $208,000

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Top Careers for Diversity in STEM Graduates