The best career paths for people who majored in science are actually those that are “in the middle of the road” — those that were either offered to them by their respective colleges or universities, or that were “totally outside of their comfort zone,” according to the National Science Foundation.
The most popular career paths in science for recent grads are in the biomedical sciences, engineering, and math (MATH), the report says.
When you have two degrees in science — a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree — you are more likely, in terms of your chances of being hired as a scientist, to get hired by your chosen employer.
For example, according to an analysis of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s annual jobs report, “the median salary for science-related jobs in the U.S. was $62,000 in 2015.
That was up from $54,000 the year before.”
So what does this mean for the STEM degree?
When it comes to your career path, there’s a big difference between a bachelor of science and a science degree.
A bachelor’s of science degree doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have an academic job.
It doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a job after graduation, nor does it guarantee you will work in a career field that interests you, according the NBS report.
Instead, a bachelor science degree allows you to pursue research that has scientific relevance, such as understanding the effects of climate change on human health and ecosystems.
A master’s of social science, on the other hand, might allow you to work in social science.
In fact, it might even allow you, if you have the right background, to work for social science departments, such like the National Center for Science Education, NCEE or the Center for Education and the Public.
The difference between the two degrees, in fact, is that the master’s in social sciences means that you have access to social science training from the start.
In addition to your job prospects, there are also the benefits of a bachelor degree.
According to the report, a college degree also gives you an advantage in terms the salary you’ll earn.
You’ll have access, for example, to career development opportunities, and you’ll be more likely than your peers to pursue a career that has a clear academic or scientific objective, such to being a scientist or engineer.
For some of the same reasons that a bachelor in science might make you a more desirable candidate for a STEM degree, a master of social sciences may also be worth it.
In addition to having a better salary and a better career path than a bachelor, a graduate of a master in social studies might also have an advantage over a bachelor who has a high school diploma or a GED.
“The benefits of having a master degree go beyond just academic prestige,” says Elizabeth Cady, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
“It also has a broader effect in terms that your salary will be higher and you can have the skills and expertise that you need to work with a broad range of people.”
And what about the jobs you might want to work?
According to the NFS report, an individual’s choice of career path is influenced by many factors, including: their family circumstances, their level of education and experience, and their own interests.
For many, having a bachelor or master’s level of study may be a good choice, as it allows them to get more work experience, to learn about specific fields of research, and to be exposed to different types of jobs.
For others, it may be an important step to get a graduate degree, which could also be a career path that is not immediately obvious to the general public.
“When you’re a first-time grad, you have less of a choice than if you’re an undergrad,” says Cady.
“You’re in the middle.
And if you do get hired, you may not get as much as you would have if you had a high-school diploma or GED.”
To learn more about what your career options are, check out the NWS STEM Job Listings to find out if you qualify for any of the jobs listed.
The NWS Job Listing for the Science Job Market