STEM Careers List: What STEM Jobs are In Demand and Pay Well?

From an affinity for social media to a near friendship with smart devices, our students are immersed in a world built by people who work in science, technology, engineering, and math. But our students don’t always recognize the connection between their daily lives and STEM innovations, and may not be aware of the long STEM careers list that will be available to them in the future.

Since many students form their career goals and grow into their interests by age 14, middle school is a critical time to expose students to unique and unexpected STEM jobs.

Studies have shown that students who are interested in STEM careers at the beginning of high school are much more likely to continue to show interest at the end of high school. Educating students about available careers, salary expectations, and education paths sooner increase the likelihood that students will choose to take STEM-focused courses in high school.

How STEM Programs Influence Student Interest in STEM Careers

At a recent IPAA/PESA volunteer event, we asked students how this STEM program has impacted their thoughts on pursuing a future STEM career.

As you are exploring these topics with your students, here’s a great place to start: Education Week looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on six STEM career fields to evaluate staffing needs, salaries, and the level of education required.

Below are a few in-demand STEM careers that may pique your students’ interest.

Electrical Engineer

  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 204.5
  • 2016 Median annual wage: $94,210
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree

Computer Programmer

  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 273.6
  • 2016 Median annual wage: $79,840
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree

Mechanical Engineer

  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 314.1
  • 2016 Median annual wage: $84,190
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree

Software Developer

  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 1,086.6
  • 2016 Median annual wage: $100,080
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree

Computer User Support Specialist

  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 708.7
  • 2016 Median annual wage: $43,390
  • Required education: Some college


  • Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 94
  • 2016 Median annual wage $74,740
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree

How we can expose our students to careers in STEM in a relevant and engaging way?

Endeavor (grades 6-9) is an online STEM career awareness program available at no cost to educators. In Endeavor’s lessons, students take on fun challenges within the world of STEM, and along the way explore big data and the internet of things, the future of manufacturing and design, and the algorithms behind recommendations. As students learn about different careers in STEM, they save career cards to create a portfolio highlighting their own interests.

Diana Bravo is a K-12 Schools Manager based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She helps teachers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to implement EVERFI’s digital learning programs. Prior to joining EVERFI, she was a curriculum coordinator and a third-grade teacher at the American School in Quito, Ecuador.

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