There’s no question that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs are some of the most in-demand and well-paid occupations. But with such a vast and rapidly changing field, it can be challenging to know which specific STEM job is right for you. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best STEM jobs for 2020.
Topping our list is software developer, which has been named the best job in America for three years in a row by Glassdoor. Software developers are responsible for creating, testing, and maintaining the software we use every day. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of mobile apps and other new technologies, they are in high demand.
With an average salary of over $100,000 per year, it’s no wonder this is such a sought-after occupation. Other great STEM jobs for 2020 include database administrator, computer systems analyst, and industrial engineer.
Database administrators work with large databases and ensure that they are organized and accessible; computer systems analysts help organizations choose and implement the right computer systems for their needs. Finally, industrial engineers figure out how to improve efficiency in manufacturing and other industries. All three of these occupations offer excellent salaries.
Many STEM careers are diverse, including psychologists, software developers, civil engineers, and statisticians. In addition, STEM jobs are often referred to as future jobs, so as this sector continues to grow, take a look at what the STEM industry looks like.
The Best STEM Jobs 2020
10. Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts use math and science to help companies make better decisions. They can work in various industries, including health care, manufacturing, and retail. Operations research analysts are responsible for collecting and analyzing data to help solve problems. Then, they use computer models to simulate different outcomes and recommend the best course of action.
According to U.S. News & World Report, operations research analysts have one of the best jobs in 2020. The job is ranked number six on the list of the best STEM jobs. Moreover, it is a rapidly growing field, with a projected growth rate of 27 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Projected Jobs: 28,100
Median Salary: $83,390
A mathematician is one of the best STEM jobs in 2020. Mathematicians use their knowledge of mathematics to solve problems in business, science, engineering, and other fields. They are in high demand due to their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Mathematicians typically have a strong background in algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics. Some college-level coursework in physics and computer science is also helpful. The work of mathematicians is diverse. They may develop new mathematical models to solve problems or improve existing models. They may also create algorithms or software programs to solve complex mathematical problems.
Mathematicians often work in teams with other scientists and engineers to solve problems too complex for one person to tackle alone. In addition to strong math skills, mathematicians need excellent communication skills to explain their findings to others.
Projected Jobs: 800
Median Salary: $101,900
8. IT Manager
IT Manager is the best STEM job for 2020. IT managers are in high demand due to their ability to manage and oversee technology within a company. They can keep systems running smoothly and help solve technical problems.
This makes them a critical part of any business. To become an IT manager, you need a degree in information technology or a related field. You should also have experience in systems administration or network administration.
Projected Jobs: 46,800
Median Salary: $142,530
7. Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services manager is one of the best STEM jobs in 2020. The job outlook is excellent, with an expected growth of 20% through 2024. This career offers a median salary of over $100,000 and requires only a bachelor’s degree. The job duties vary but typically include managing budgets, personnel, and medical facilities or services. This career is perfect for those who want to help others and have strong organizational skills.
Projected Jobs: 71,600
Median Salary: $99,730
A statistician is the best STEM job for 2020. Statisticians are responsible for analyzing data to understand and explain what it means. Then, they use their findings to help organizations make informed decisions.
The job outlook for statisticians is promising; the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment will grow 34% from 2016 to 2026. Statisticians also enjoy good working conditions; they often work regular business hours in an office setting.
Projected Jobs: 13,600
Median Salary: $87,780
5. Nurse Practitioner
STEM jobs are some of the best jobs in the country, and nurses are a crucial part of the STEM workforce. Nurse practitioners are one of the most critical roles in the nursing field, and they are in high demand. Nurse practitioners have a unique blend of scientific knowledge and clinical experience that makes them essential members of the health care team.
They can diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and order tests. Nurse practitioners are also responsible for educating patients and their families about their health care needs.
The demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nurse practitioner jobs will increase by 31 percent between 2016 and 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. As a result, nurses with training in STEM fields will be in high demand in hospitals and clinics.
Projected Jobs: 53,300
Median Salary: $107,030
An orthodontist is one of the best STEM jobs in 2020. They are responsible for straightening teeth and improving the patient’s bite. Orthodontists must complete a four-year dental school program and then a three-year orthodontic residency. This career offers a high salary and many job opportunities.
Projected Jobs: 500
Median Salary: $208,000
3. Physician Assistant
Physician assistants are in high demand and are the best STEM jobs for 2020. They are responsible for various tasks, including diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering tests, and prescribing medication.
Physician assistants typically have a master’s degree from an accredited program and must be licensed in the state in which they practice. The job outlook for physician assistants is positive, with employment projected to grow by 37% from 2016 to 2026.
Projected Jobs: 37,000
Median Salary: $108,610
The dentist is one of the best STEM jobs in 2020. They have a projected growth of 18 percent by 2024 and a median annual salary of $151,000. Dentists are in high demand due to the increasing number of people keeping their natural teeth for life. They must complete at least eight years of postsecondary education, including four years of dental school.
Projected Jobs: 10,400
Median Salary: $151,850
1. Software Developer
There is no question that software developers are in high demand and will continue to be in tall order for years to come. In 2020, the software developer was the best STEM job, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Software developers are responsible for designing, testing, and documentation of software applications. They work with a variety of programming languages and tools to create software that meets the needs of their employer or client.
Due to the increasing use of technology in every industry, there is a growing demand for skilled software developers. Companies are looking for developers with experience in various programming languages and tools and those who have strong problem-solving skills and can think outside the box.
If you are interested in a career as a software developer, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired.
Projected Jobs: 241,500
Median Salary: $103,620
Source: US News Education