STEM Education: An Overview

STEM Education: An Overview

7 mins read13.4K Views Comment
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 11, 2024 22:40 IST

In the globalised world, where technological advancements are happening every other day, jobs are becoming more automated than ever. Thus, the requirement for highly skilled professionals with strong domain knowledge and technical skills is increasing in all the fast-growing industries. For this, there is an emergence of the need for a STEM Education System. In this article, we have explained what is STEM and the benefits of pursuing STEM fields.


So what is STEM? In layman's terms, STEM is an emerging popular choice of course option which is considered by those who have a Science background from high school. Popularity and competition for STEM course admission go hand in hand. Admissions are tougher for international students applying for STEM courses abroad. After graduating with STEM courses, applicants can go for various career options with lucrative salaries. Check out this article for all details in and around STEM meaning, eligibility, popular course options and careers. 

What is STEM Education?

STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and STEM Education refers to studying these areas with a theoretical as well as a practical approach. The abbreviation was announced by the scientific administrators of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA in 2001.

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  • A STEM curriculum is designed to provide its students with the maximum possible practical exposure and hands-on experience in a particular field.
  • It offers a perfect blend of course modules with a few mandatory lab assignments and group projects, which help in learning through the practical implementation of theoretical knowledge.
  • This kind of STEM-related vocational training is being introduced at the K-12 level in many schools worldwide.
  • Science lovers, who do not have any prior experience in such a learning environment, may experience this learning through higher education, that is the bachelor's and master's level education.

Students who undergo STEM education develop a set of skills as follows:

In other words, STEM is experience-based learning designed with rigorous technical group projects, which helps in the overall development of a professional to succeed in any technical field.

Benefits of STEM Courses

When questions like what is STEM and why to pursue these courses come up, there is not one definite answer. In the current scenario, 75% of the total jobs in such industries need STEM graduates. Since, this demand for qualifications will continue to rise in the coming future, being a STEM graduate would always have an edge over the thousands of job applicants overseas.

To cater to the above requirements, the STEM education system is also evolving at a high rate to produce more graduates every year. The programmes are more focused on enhancing the way of learning while making its global student body network better than before.

Its practical learning through real-world projects and workshops prepares the students with a strong theoretical and practical foundation. Additionally, the industrial exposure they are provided with as an essential part of this training equips them with the exact tools that are required to succeed in their challenging careers.

The best feature of the STEM education system is that it transforms students into professionals who can adapt to a changing workplace.

The more students exploit a STEM University’s resources to conduct experimental learning, the more the chances of their academic success. Similarly, succeeding in their respective domains would increase their chances of being headhunted for industrial training by a global technological and scientific giant.

To be precise, the STEM Education System or a STEM Course prepares aspiring Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, or Mathematicians to live their dreams on better platforms with better recognition.

Benefits of STEM Education Abroad

With more overall exposure, STEM graduates are certain to enjoy more benefits than any other generic course. Hence, pursuing STEM, especially on the international front, has an endless list of benefits for its graduates at both levels, bachelor's and master's. International universities offer a multicultural environment wherein practising a discipline becomes more fun and fruitful.

Ranging from fun learning to amazing job opportunities, let’s discuss a few of its benefits:

Global Popularity and Competition in STEM Education

STEM is highly popular in the international education system, especially after considering that 75% of the total jobs require STEM graduates. As such the influential universities offer a variety of courses in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. However, on a global account, it has been observed that the majority of students do not stick to pursuing their interest in science as they grow. With changes in the global economic scenario and business environment, new courses such as STEM MBA in USA are gaining significant traction.

Many students switch their interest in pursuing Science and end up taking Commerce and Humanities after completing high school. Surprisingly, more than 50% of Science students change their domain after completing their twelfth grade. This reduces the competition of STEM applicants on the bachelor’s level alone to a great extent.

In addition to this, there is a huge share of graduates who prefer not to complement their bachelor’s degree with a master’s qualification. This further reduces the competition, making it easier for master’s applicants to add on to their academic profiles, thereby becoming more employable STEM professionals.

The depletion in students as they progress to higher education shows how minimal the competition gets moving forward. Most of the students who drop their plans of pursuing STEM are unaware of how much STEM Education has to offer. Students who change their streams after the twelfth do not know how many stems Graduates have to relish. The ones who drop off after their bachelor’s degree in STEM are the ones, who prefer finding jobs rather than continuing their education. Needless to say, STEM Graduates with a master’s degree have an edge over STEM undergraduates in the global industry.

Eligibility for Pursuing STEM Courses Abroad

The basic eligibility to pursue STEM courses abroad requires one to crack the mandatory standardised tests such as the GRE/GMAT for master’s courses and the SAT for bachelor’s courses. Besides, you also need to clear the English language tests. Check out which exam to take: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Academic.

Additionally, you should have a basic qualification in the exact field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics that you aspire to pursue at a higher level. Your previous course curriculum should have exposed you to the domain you aspire to study.

If you have already finalised a course or a country and you seek guidance with the university shortlisting or the application process, you may connect with our education counsellors here. Our experts are trained to help Indian aspirants with the entire application process ranging from profile evaluation to visa filing. They would assist you in realising your dream of flying to your study destination with their effective free-of-cost counselling services.

STEM Careers

After pursuing STEM courses, there will be a plethora of opportunities which will open up for international students. There is a gaining popularity for STEM courses and the returns it brings. Check out the popular STEM career options for international students after graduation in the table below:

STEM Careers
Web Developer Mechanical Engineer Cybersecurity Analyst Chemist
Database Administrator Biologist Civil Engineer Architect
Computer Science Mathematics Data Science Nuclear Engineer
Physicists  IT Manager Actuary Mathematician

These are some of the most popular STEM career options which can be taken up after graduation or postgraduation abroad.

Top 15 Paying Jobs for STEM Degree Holders

Following is a list of top-paying jobs after graduating with a STEM degree from abroad:

Top Paid Jobs for STEM Degree Holders Annual Average Salary
Radiologist USD 197,260
Network Architect USD 136,251
Network Security Engineer USD 115,349
Software Engineer USD 108,278
Computer Scientist USD 104,692
IT Manager USD 94,335
Materials Engineer USD 94,243
Nuclear Engineer USD 93,331
Geologist USD 91,615
Chemical Engineer USD 90,442
Epidemiologist USD 87,871
Mechanical Engineer USD 87,258
Systems Administrator USD 82,949
Clinical Informaticist  USD 79,925
Data Analyst USD 73,052

The above-given data has been sourced from

Thus, there is a high scope for those graduating with a STEM degree from abroad. All major industries like Business, Finance, Technology, Agriculture, Public Health, Medicine, Mining and other industries which fall in the STEM category. 

STEAM Education

STEAM Education is considered the successor of STEM Education, wherein we can witness the convergence of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with Arts. STEAM education is meant to inspire creativity, curiosity, and personal expression in technical fields. The addition of Arts in STEM subjects gives it a human touch. For instance, when we talk of Data Analytics, the art side would call for data protection, data privacy, and the rights of an individual over his/ her data. As time rolls on, we will witness the impact of STEAM education and how much of it leaks into academia.

List of Colleges Offering Bachelors and Masters in STEM Abroad:

Looking for admission abroad? Sign up for our free counselling by signing up at Shiksha Abroad Counselling and request a call back from our team of experts. You can also write to us in the comments below. 

About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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