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The Best STEM Careers to Consider in 2024

If you’re transitioning to the civilian workforce, or educational institution and interested in working in the STEM field with a stable income and opportunities for growth, here are some of the most popular STEM fields you should consider.

Software Developer

Rated as the top job in STEM by U.S. News & World Report, software developers are becoming more and more of a necessity in today’s world. As a software developer, you create computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. This may include designing and developing software according to specific needs, advising on types of software upgrades, documenting every aspect of an application and performing maintenance for the programs you’ve created for clients.

Software developers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology to secure work. Degrees in engineering and mathematics fields can also suffice for this requirement. For higher-level positions or to gain more experience in the field, consider earning your master’s degree and/or taking on an internship with a software company.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers make an average salary of $124,200 per year, and the field is estimated to grow by 25% from 2022 to 2032.

Health Services Manager

If you are interested in the medical field but want to explore special interests, you may want to consider becoming a health services manager. Health services managers plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. In this role, you must also keep abreast of the latest laws, technology and regulations in the medical field.

Medical and health services managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in a health care field to enter the occupation, although requirements may vary depending on where you want to work. Depending on the state you’ll be working in, you may also need specific licensing.

On average, health service managers make $104,830 annually and are predicted to grow by 28% in the next 10 years.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine how to improve or manage their health, and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient’s life. Nurse practitioners typically care for a specific population of people. For instance, NPs may work in adult and geriatric health, pediatric health or psychiatric and mental health.

To become an NP, you generally need to earn your master’s degree in a specialty medical role. You may also need to obtain licensing and certification depending on your field of expertise and the state you plan to work in.

NPs earn an average salary of $125,900 annually in a rapidly growing industry of 38%.

Transitioning to the Civilian Workforce? View U.S. Veterans Magazine’s list of  exclusive Hot Jobs here.

Information Security Analysts

Ranked in the top five for STEM jobs by U.S. News and World Report, information security analysts are responsible for planning and implementing security measures for computer networks and systems. You would be responsible for monitoring an organization’s security breaches, staying current on the latest IT trends and advising on what programs and services would best serve a particular client.

Information security analysts usually need a bachelor’s degree in a computer science-related field to obtain their job. You may need to obtain special certifications in information security to distinguish yourself from other job applicants.

In 2022, the median salary for information security analysts sat at about $112,000 per year, with an above-average growth rate of 32%.

Financial Advisors

Becoming a financial advisor may be the perfect fit for those who excel in mathematics and have a knack for customer service. As a financial advisor, you would be responsible for meeting with clients one-on-one to provide advice on their investments, insurance, mortgages, estate planning, taxes, retirement and other financial goals. While many of these advising sessions focus on long-term financial goals, you may also be helping your clients with budgeting in the short term.

To become a financial advisor, you typically need a bachelor’s degree. Majoring in something related to business, social science or mathematics is preferred, and you will likely have to shadow other financial advisors before taking on the task yourself.

Financial advisors make an average of $95,390 a year, and the field is predicted to grow at a speedy 13% in the next 10 years.

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