The word ‘STEM’ is a popular abbreviation for; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The term was coined in 2001, by a group of scientific administrators at the U.S national science foundation. STEM is used to describe this area of study due to its close relation in theory and practice. The STEM field like many other areas is male-dominated. As of 2005, 31% of the workforce in STEM were women.
The statistics have improved significantly since then, but females still constitute the minority in the STEM field, especially in the study of mathematics. This level of imparity could be pointed to certain factors which will be outlined in this post, and the best STEM majors for females will be picked out in relation to these factors.
According to UNICEF, there is gender inequality in STEM due to gender bias, norms, and stereotypes. Fewer role models for young girls and cultural stereotypes in some areas of the world limit the girl child from participating in STEM. In places like northern Nigeria, the education of a female child is not popular, as the culture confines their education to the four walls of a kitchen and a 101 on how to please their husband at a very young age.
Although things are changing rapidly, these norms and stereotypes need to be tackled from the grassroots so as to have more female role models and in the long run, females in STEM. The world is changing rapidly and so requires important involvement from both male and female counterparts in equal disposition.
These majors are designed to create and improve certain skills to aid world improvement. These key skills are reiterated by every STEM major for females. They include;
- Creative thinking
- Digital literacy
- Social thinking
- Research and recording
- Independent thinking
Below are the best STEM majors for females. They are selected on the basis of female participation, wages, availability to study, and their quota contribution to the field. They include;
- Operations research analyst: An Operations research analyst is responsible for using mathematical and logical approaches to solve problems. They advise managers and other decision-makers on the best way to solve their problems. In the U.S., the average earning for a female operations research analyst is $63,504 per year. This makes it one of the best STEM majors for females.
- Medical science: Medical scientists form hypotheses and develop experiments to solve medical challenges. They study the outbreak of sicknesses, how to curb the spread, and carry out experiments till they arrive at a solution. In the U.S., the average earning for a medical scientist is $88,852 per year, making it one of the best STEM majors for females. Becoming a medical scientist requires a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of experience. This is due to the sensitivity and extra carefulness required in the career.
- Industrial engineering: Industrial engineers use their skills to design, develop and improve production processes and outcomes for companies. They improve sySTEMatic management in order to increase productivity and high-quality products. In the U.S., the average earning of an industrial engineer is $92,600. This makes it a sort-after career, and one of the best STEM majors for females.
- Computer engineering: Computer engineers are focused on the hardware components of a computer sySTEM. They design, build, develop, and repair hardware components of a computer. The population of female computer engineers in the United States constitutes about 13% of employed computer engineers. These statistics point to the rarity and uniqueness of a female computer engineer. Currently, the average earning for a computer engineer is $67,416 per year, making it one of the best STEM majors for females to get involved in.
- Software engineering: Software engineering is one of the most lucrative majors in STEM. Software engineers are concerned with the design, building, and development of software applications to meet users’ requirements. They make use of software interfaces to communicate between software applications and computer hardware. In the United States, the population of female engineers is 27%. This makes it one of the best STEM majors for females because more participation will increase role models for younger females. Software engineers earn about $100,260 per year.
- Mathematics and statistics: Mathematicians apply mathematical theories to solve problems. They also develop new ideas to tackle problems mathematically. They work in industries, for the government, and in academia. According to US news and world reports, Mathematicians made an average of $108,100 in 2021. This is one of the best STEM majors for females, as it encourages female participation in the field, with a good reward. It will also aid the participation of females generally in STEM.
Other majors like petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, geological engineering, etc. are also good STEM majors for females. The more females participate in these majors, the more they’ll help eradicate stereotypes, and bias and in turn serve as role models to little girls around the world. STEM needs more females to change lives through this field. With every individual effort made, the world will become a collective sphere of goodness.