College Planning

What is a STEM Major?

STEM is the acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These four fields of study are talked about together because the skills needed for each discipline overlap.

What are the benefits of a STEM education?

Students who graduate with a STEM degree are coveted by employers. Organizations recognize that STEM-educated students have developed a multidisciplinary skill set valuable to the workforce.

This post will break down the four different STEM disciplines and show how the fields complement one another.

Science Majors

Science majors are usually broken down into the fields of formal or natural sciences. Formal science focuses on disciplines that work in formal systems, such as logic and math. Popular fields in formal science include Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Natural science is the branch of science that works with the natural world. Popular areas of study in the natural sciences are Biology and Chemistry. Other areas of study are Agriculture, Physics, and Geology.

Students who earn a science degree may become chemists, geoscientists, or physicists.


Technology Majors

Technology majors focus on mechanics and production. Technology is an important STEM discipline because it develops the tools and procedures used in science, engineering, and math.

Common technology majors are Computer Science, Web Development, Computer Programming, and Information Science.

Although students who earn technology degrees often choose to work in the other STEM fields, many are attracted to some of the more popular careers in technology such as computer programming, software development, or computer systems administration.


Engineering Majors

Engineering is the field of designing and building structures, such as machines, roads, and buildings. Engineering is important in STEM because you need a good understanding of science, technology, and math to become successful in the field.

Common engineering majors for students are Computer Software Engineering, Architectural Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

A student who earns an engineering degree may become a computer electrical engineer, an agricultural engineer, or a  biomedical engineer.


Math Majors

Math is the fourth field of study in STEM. Math is one of the most important skills for a STEM career because it’s used extensively in all four STEM fields. Students earn math degrees in disciplines such as algebra, geometry, and statistics.

Although math is important in all four STEM fields, students with degrees in math can specialize in the field and become mathematicians or statisticians.


Visit our Major and Career Search Page to learn more about STEM majors and careers