The best STEM degrees: the careers of the future

22/09/2023 | Santander Universidades

The World Economic Forum forecasts that in the coming years, 69 million new jobs will be created, many of which will require competencies directly related to STEM degrees, as detailed in the Future of Jobs Report 2023

The fact is that such degrees and their associated skills are necessary not only in order to adapt to new market needs, but above all, to adjust to the successive changes taking place in the labour market. So if you want to learn more about the best STEM degrees, why they're designed around the jobs of the future, and which benefits they offer, then keep reading.

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What are STEM degrees?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. All STEM degrees include skills and knowledge related to some of these subjects.

By field of learning, some of the most popular STEM degrees are

  • Science degrees: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Astrophysics, Medicine, etc.
  • Tech degrees: I.T., Telecommunications, Systems Analysis, Robotics, etc. 
  • Engineering: Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical, etc. 
  • Maths degrees: Mathematics, Economics, Physics, Statistics, etc. 

Besides these, new STEM degrees are emerging related to data processing (Big Data), cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), Bio-I.T., food science, environmental sciences and astronomy, among others. 


Which are the best STEM degrees that offer more career opportunities?

The boom of new technologies and the volume of data being handled grows greater by the day. This requires professionals who can address the current demand, as well as being able to adapt to future requirements. 

One of the domains that most STEM professionals will need to master in the future is digitisation. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that the jobs of the future will be related to the digital world, since 81% of companies are looking to adapt technologies by 2027, according to the above-mentioned report.

Similarly, Careercloud reveals that the best STEM degrees with the most career opportunities are Petroleum Engineering, Computer Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering. Hence, degrees related to computing, cybersecurity, software development, user experience (UX) development, data science and analysis, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, as well as anything related to process automation, are increasingly in demand. 

Why study one of the best STEM degrees?

There are several reasons to embark on the best STEM degrees, from increased employability and training in transversal skills, to the variety of professional development opportunities it offers.

Increased employability and less competition

According to data by Adecco, around 37% of job offers are aimed at university students with technical degrees, however these reflect only a 24% enrollment rate. This means that, while jobs related to STEM degrees are on the rise, companies have difficulty finding workers who meet the requirements. 

Illustrating this point, a report by Randstad Research concludes that 25% of the major companies in the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) found it difficult to attract suitably trained tech professionals. 

That's precisely why the best STEM degrees enjoy better career prospects, making it easier to find a job. With some STEM degrees, such as Mathematics, the unemployment rate is 0%.

Training in transferable skills and knowledge

This is one of the reasons why best STEM degrees are in such high demand: training in transversal or soft skills. In fact, several reports and studies point to the importance of science and technology skills for the future of work. 

For example, the report Leading the social enterprise by Deloitte draws attention to the importance of reinvention by companies, since we can't halt progress in areas such as artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and automation.

While technology and science are advancing so quickly that many of these degrees are rendered obsolete by the time you finish, they not only serve to acquire concrete theoretical knowledge, but also other transferable skills that can be applied to future needs. This undoubtedly offers greater adaptability and flexibility. 

Amongst the skills boasted by STEM professionals are the ability to solve real problems using innovative solutions and creative or critical thinking; both top the list of skills for which the demand is only set to grow in the next five years, according to Future of Jobs Report 2023. Likewise, these best STEM degrees hone other valuable skills, such as efficiency, organisation and the ability to design and develop, as well as further creative and analytical skills. 

Opportunities for professional development

STEM-related fields of knowledge can be applied to practically all sectors and cover a huge variety of roles, opening up a wide range of opportunities for professional development.


Best STEM degrees: the future

As you can see, the best STEM degrees open the door to the careers of the future. Even for those who already have a degree or are about to finish one, expanding skills and knowledge with STEM competencies will prove very useful when adapting to work needs. 

The fact is, the world has changed radically in the last 20 years, and the speed of these changes looks set to only increase. Hence, becoming aware of the situation and training on a continual basis is key to employability. 

As part of this aim to boost employability and likewise help people to progress, overcome the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution, and grow in an inclusive and sustainable way, Banco Santander is committed to three key concepts: lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling. To support this commitment, it has created the Santander Open Academy website, a unique and pioneering global programme. 

If you would like to keep growing personally and professionally, head over to the Santander Open Academy website, where you'll find 100s of opportunities to train together with internationally renowned institutions. Access training in technology, languages, research, investigation, soft skills, internships and female leadership, which will help you to improve your employability or refocus your career.

Do you want to become a lifelong learner and increase your job opportunities? The Santander Open Academy website has plenty of options to help you achieve your goals. Check out the website and remember: you can sign up for as many courses as you like. Make the most of this opportunity!


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