STEM Careers Glossary

A quick guide to STEM career opportunities

The nation is in the midst of a STEM revolution and the next generation of thinkers will be leading it. As the world becomes more digitally dependent, those in science and technology careers continue to fuel innovation with bold ideas and game-changing prototypes. Additionally, more industries are turning to engineers, scientists and mathematicians to solve and prevent some of the world’s biggest problems in areas like big data and cyber security.

With STEM-focused careers on the front line of economic growth, students of these disciplines have more opportunities to find jobs that truly inspire, challenge and reward them. Whether you want to create the next big video game, build autonomous vehicles or design intelligent machines, there is a profession that can fulfill your deepest passions.

Below is a glossary highlighting both established and emerging careers in STEM. Read through the job descriptions to learn more about each role and see which STEM career interests you the most. Afterward, explore our list of degree programs to find a concentration that aligns with your career goals and aspirations.

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Analytics Manager

Configures, designs and implements data analysis solutions that help assess a service or product’s performance, risk and satisfaction.

Applications Engineer

Develops new systems and equipment, and redesigns existing systems to help companies meet consumer needs.

Architectural Engineer

Applies design and engineering principles to the construction of buildings, bridges, tunnels, roads and other infrastructure.


Big Data Analyst

Uses data to help companies make better business decisions. Analysts may collect data from sales, market research, logistics, transportation, manufacturing, etc., and interpret the findings to influence business decisions.

Big Data Architect

Determines what data management systems are appropriate for a company’s needs.

Big Data Engineer

Uses knowledge of data mining, machine learning and programming to collect big data and create pipelines in which this information can be pulled.

Biomedical Engineer

Improves healthcare outcomes by designing devices, concepts and processes in medicine and biology.


Clinical Analyst

Manages information within hospitals or clinics to ensure processes run efficiently.

Clinical Informatics Analyst

Creates processes, procedures, workflows and systems for health care facilities.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Researches, designs and tests computer equipment relating to hardware, such as circuit boards, processors and routers.

Computer Network Architect

Designs and builds data communication networks that can range from a local loop to globally distributed networks.

Computer Programmer

Troubleshoots problems with computer software and equipment, and provides technical advice to users and organizations.

Computer Support Specialist

Troubleshoots problems with computer software and equipment, and provides technical advice to users and organizations.

Computer Systems Administrator

Installs, configures and tests the computer environment between the host and the local area or wide area network.

Cost Estimator

Collects data and works with software to identify how much time, money, materials and labor are required to manufacture products, build infrastructure, construct a building or provide a service.


Database Administrator

Installs, configures and manages the operations, maintenance and security of databases within a business or organization.

Database Administrator

Installs, configures and maintains the integrity and security of databases within a business or organization.


Electrical Engineer

Creates electrical systems, products, components, materials and applications by applying knowledge of electricity and materials.

Electromagnetic Engineer

Designs linear induction and linear synchronous motors, other magnetic products and the applicable control systems.


Gaming Engineer

Works in all phases of game development to concept, code gameplay, and test and troubleshoot the finished game.


Health Information Technician

Verifies the completeness and accuracy of medical records and sensitive medical documents.

Health Information Technologist

Ensures that the technology used to process, store, retrieve and distribute medical data is accurate and secure.


Industrial Engineer

Improves productivity, operational efficiency and quality of industrial processes and systems.

Information Security Engineer

Helps businesses safeguard sensitive data like client data and financial records from security breaches and hackers.

Information Technologist

Ensures that computers and telecommunications networks process, store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data efficiently.


Logistics Manager

Organizes storage and distribution of goods to ensure the right products are delivered to the right place at the right time.


Manufacturing Engineer

Improves, creates and tests machines in manufacturing processes for optimal performance.

Materials Manager

Plans and directs the process of buying materials, products and services that are required for manufacturing or service delivery.

Mechanical Design Engineer

Creates and improves the current design of machinery for production and operational efficiency.


Open Source Technologist

Develops the systems and tools that allow end users and developers access to the source code of software.

Operations Analyst

Identifies and solves process problems relating to customer information, internal procedures or businesses issues.


Process Engineer

Modifies current processes or develops new manufacturing and industrial systems that reduce cost and risk.


Quality Assurance Manager

Assesses a company’s development, production and manufacturing processes to meet external and internal requirements.

Quality Engineer

Monitors the quality of manufacturing processes to discover, track and fix defects within systems.


Research & Development Engineers

Researches and invents methods, processes and products, applying their knowledge to improve current standards and practices in order to fulfill a goal.

Research Scientist

Plans and conducts experiments in order to test hypotheses.


Semiconductor Engineer

Designs, tests and manufactures the essential building blocks of all modern electronics from computers to medical devices.

Simulation Systems Engineer

Analyzes, designs, debugs and tests distributed interactive simulation and/or high-level gaming architecture applications.

Software Architect

Determines software coding standards, tools and platforms to ensure a project’s quality.

Software Developer

Researches, designs, programs, maintains and tests computer software to meet a specific function.

Solutions Architect

Designs an organization’s applications or services.

Statistical Engineer

Applies statistical theory to collect and interpret numerical data to find insights that can be used for decision-making and problem-solving in business, engineering, healthcare and technology.

Supply Chain Manager

Directs or coordinates production, purchasing, warehousing or distribution to streamline activities and meet production needs.


UX Designers

Researches users’ emotional and functional needs to create and execute user-friendly mobile and web design experiences.


Web Developer

Develops websites and applications over distributed networks from a web server to a web browser.