Discover Your Opportunities as a STEM Student

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is an increasingly diverse field of study, with a variety of innovative majors and huge career potential. With so many choices, you might be wondering what type of engineering is right for you, or asking yourself whether you’d make more of an impact in science or technology. This guide can help you figure that out.

From computer engineering and cyber gaming to nanotechnology and multifunctional materials, each of the following majors and their respective courses provide the foundation for a cutting-edge STEM career. Use this guide to learn about the various programs offered at STEM universities and top engineering colleges, and learn how you can take the lead in the STEM revolution.

Computer Engineering Degree: Computer engineering fuses computer science with electrical engineering to build faster, smarter and more efficient computers. Career paths are plentiful and often include hardware engineering and software development, with a focus on the design and analysis of computer hardware, software, computer networks and operating systems. A degree in computer engineering gives students a strong footing in logic principles, hands-on experience in programming digital circuits and valuable industry training to equip them for a career in high tech.


  • Computer Programming — computer programming courses can range from introductory to intermediate difficulty. Students will learn best practices in designing and writing code, while learning about user-defined data types and built-in data structures.
  • Circuits — through lecture and lab-based classes, students learn about electrical quantities, computer-aided analysis and network laws and theorems.
  • Data Structures and Algorithms – this course introduces students to program run-time analysis, which includes topics from data abstraction principles to divide and conquer algorithms.
  • Software Engineering — this course teaches students about object-oriented software engineering, the software development lifecycle, software design patterns and the methods of software measurement and estimation.

Digital Logic Design Degree: Digital logic design provides the basis for digital computing and provides a fundamental understanding of how circuits and hardware communicate within a computer through signals and sequences. Combining electrical and computer engineering, the digital logic design degree focuses on knowledge of electronic circuits. Students learn how to design both combinational and sequential digital logic circuits used to develop intricate hardware – such as microchips – for robotics, computers, cell phones, navigational systems and other high-tech systems.


  • VLSI Design — in this course, students learn about CMOS technology, MOSFET timing analysis, dynamic clocked logic, digital VLSI chip design, as well as computer-aided design software tools and elementary circuit design.
  • Electronic Devices — this course explores the internal operation, terminal characteristics and material physics of semiconductors. Students also get an introduction to transistor diode models and microelectronic circuits.
  • Power Aware Design — this course teaches students how to create digital electronic systems that meet application requirements with minimal need for power. Students will learn how hardware and software work together to create these power aware designs.

Machine Intelligence Degree: Machine intelligence is a branch of computer engineering that applies methods of computation to replicate — and ultimately outperform — human intellectual functions. This field focuses on the advancement of machine learning and human-like reasoning, as well as the abilities of machines to observe, understand, move, manipulate, and interact with the world. A machine intelligence degree provides students with groundwork in programming strategies for machine learning and pattern recognition to prepare them for a career in building life-like machines with human-like intellect.


  • Computer Vision — in this course, students learn how computers perceive and interpret visuals, while discovering applications for these computer interpretations.
  • Machine Learning — this course gives students an overview of machine learning algorithms and their applications. Students learn about a broad range of topics through supervised and unsupervised learning, including anomaly detection, dimensionality reduction and more.
  • Linear Algebra — this course explores algebra topics that cover linear equations, matrices, linear transformation, vector spaces and more.

Electrical Engineering Degree: An electrical engineering degree involves the study of electricity: how it works, how it’s made and how it’s used. Electrical engineers design, test and develop control systems and digital systems that involve magnetics, semiconductors and electrodynamics for all kinds of devices from smartphones to large supercomputers. An electrical engineering degree will provide students with the knowledge of engineering methods and analytic tools needed to design solutions for intricate technical challenges in the world of control.


  • Analog Electronics — in this course, students learn the design of integrated circuits for analog applications as well as identify appropriate standards for solid state amplifiers and sub circuits.
  • Digital Electronics — this course covers the implementation of logic devices, MOSFET’s and BJT’s, the analysis of logic families and the fundamentals of digital memory circuits.
  • Systems and Signals — this course explores continuous-time and discrete-time systems analysis.
  • Electromagnetic Fields and Applications — this course focuses on static electric and magnetic fields, electric circuits, radiation and the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Degree: A mechanical and industrial engineering degree offers students a secure footing in geometric systems, advanced practice in calculating tolerances, and the ability to combine applied engineering, social sciences and information technology to provide them with a diverse set of technical skills. A mechanical engineering major focuses on applying the principles of design, analysis and manufacturing in order to maintain, produce and test mechanical systems. An industrial engineering major focuses on the effectiveness of production using people, machines and materials to solve real-world, everyday challenges and optimize their processes and systems.


  • Operations Research — this course covers basic approaches for modeling, solving operational efficiency challenges and predicting cost-savings.
  • Strength of Materials — this course covers a variety of topics such as Mohr’s Circle, stress and strain, displacements, design loads and more.
  • CAD — this course is an introduction to techniques for creating 3-D modeling, visualizations, and orthographic and isometric free-hand sketching of engineering designs.
  • Fluid Mechanics — in this course, students learn the behavior and properties of fluids at rest and in motion.

Multifunctional Materials Degree: A multifunctional materials degree provides students with a strong foundation in the fabrication, characterization, modeling and prototyping of multifunctional materials and other smart systems that improve safety, efficiency and versatility. Multifunctional material design is the science of engineering composite materials with new and unique capabilities that can then be utilized within the defense, aerospace, energy and semiconductor industries.


  • Survey of Physical Chemistry — in this course, students learn about the applied principles of thermodynamics and kinetics.
  • Materials for Sustainability — this course explores how materials contribute to sustainable products and process.
  • Introduction to Solid State Physics — this course is an introduction to the structural, electronic, optical and magnetic properties of materials.

Nanotechnology Degree: A nanotechnology degree prepares students to gain employment with technology-focused companies, such as Lockheed Martin and NASA, who continue to pave the way for forthcoming advancement in the field. Nanotechnology focuses on manipulating materials at the atomic, molecular and supramolecular levels.Nanotechnology impacts many fields, from manufacturing to medicine, and graduates have the opportunity to work with forward-thinking systems such as cancer therapies, diagnostic methods and energy storage devices.


  • Nanomedicine and Nanotherapeutics — in this course, students learn about the anatomy and physiology of health and disease states.
  • Unique Nanoscale Phenomena and Interfaces — this course introduces the principles of nanotechnology and nanomaterials with topics ranging from emergent nanoscale properties, common synthesis approaches and classes of nanomaterials.
  • Nano EHS Risk Assessment — this course explores risk assessment models, the transformations of nanomaterials and the life cycle analysis of products and materials.

Advanced Technology Degree: An advanced technology degree offers a dynamic, interdisciplinary course of study to prepare students for careers that involve designing high-tech systems, improving human health, and analyzing big data, to name a few. Students who major in advanced technology gain specific knowledge and hands-on skills in information technology. Because IT professionals are in high demand in a range of industries, pursuing a degree in advanced technology offers both variety and a promising future.


  • Computer Architecture — in this course, students learn the principles of computer architecture and assembly language with topics about computer arithmetic, ALU design and computer organization.
  • Design Science — this course introduces students to design science and the information systems research cycle.
  • Data Security — in data security classes, students learn about telecommunications and network security, cryptography, disaster recovery planning and more.

Big Data Analytics Degree: Programs for big data analytics degrees teach students how to collect, process and analyze data sets of the greatest size, diversity and difficulty.  The field incorporates advanced knowledge of data mining, decision analysis, programming languages and data analytics. A big data analytics degree lays the groundwork for students to process and analyze hefty sets of data to solve an assortment of challenges in real time, and graduates can search for employment in many industries, including healthcare, retail, finance and manufacturing.


  • Data Warehousing — in this course, students learn the fundamentals of building and populating a data mart in order to plan, design and build business intelligence applications.
  • Data Mining & Text Mining — this course explores the knowledge discovery process and the uses and tools of data mining.
  • Business Intelligence — this course teaches students how to design and implement decision support and management of information systems.

Computer Science & Information Technology Degree: A computer science and information technology degree readies students for careers in fields such as professional games, healthcare simulation, scientific visualization and other computing professions. Students learn the process of designing and developing computer systems – which includes the hardware, software, networks and IT applications – for carrying out assignments or solving challenges. This widespread field focuses in managing, testing and improving the collection, storage, retrieval and transmission of information within computers and telecommunications networks.


  • Programming Languages — this course show students how programming languages are defined, composed and implemented.
  • Operating Systems Concepts — in this course, students learn about memory and storage management, virtual memory, interfaces and more.
  • Computer Architecture and Organization — this course covers computer architecture, assembly language programming, machine language set design, computer organization and logical modules.
  • Introduction to Parallel and Distributed Computing — this course teaches students concepts from parallel algorithms analysis, GPU programming, and shared and distributed memory models.

Cyber Gaming Degree: A cyber gaming degree allows students to utilize both their technical and artistic sides by applying the rigor of computer science to the creative challenges of game development. While it prepares students for careers in the $70 billion professional games industry, graduates can also find career opportunities in scientific visualization, healthcare simulation and other computing professions.


  • Computer Animation — this course gives students an introduction to 3D computer animation algorithms, which includes topics like geometric modeling, motion design, inverse kinematics and more.
  • Game Design Development — this course covers the fundamentals of game design and development while providing the necessary technical skills in programming.
  • Digital Media Production — this course teaches the valuable techniques of fundamental multimedia technologies and software.
  • Artificial Intelligence — this course covers concepts in logical reasoning, neural networks, constraint satisfaction problems and Bayesian networks.

Information Assurance & Cyber Security Degree: An information assurance and cyber security degree is focused on the technology field in charge of keeping digital information safe from cyber-crime, espionage and terrorism. Students learn about designing systems and strategies to safeguard information to keep sensitive data confidential, protect institutional data from attack and establish system protocols that comply with policies and regulations.


  • Software Security Testing — this course introduces students to software testing with topics covering threat analysis and application development vulnerabilities, exploitation testing, secure software development lifecycles and black-box testing.
  • Digital Forensics — this course covers computer investigative techniques and evidence collection procedures.
  • Applied Cryptography — this course teaches students about symmetric-key encryption algorithms, public key encryption, digital signatures and message integrity.

Science & Technology Management Degree: A science and technology management degree provides students with the ability to combine data-driven analysis with business know-how and the skills to analyze supply chain efficiency across industries. Graduates acquire the skills and knowledge for careers with domestic and global technology-intensive businesses. As technology continues to alter the global economy, the field provides leadership and oversight of technology and technological change.


  • Legal, Ethical, and Management Issues in Technology — this course hones in on management-oriented technology issues, professionalism, service-based learning and the impact of technology on society.
  • Principles of Financial Accounting — in this course, students learn wealth and income measurements and the preparation of financial statements.
  • Benefit Cost Analysis — this course covers benefit cost analysis of business public projects, programs and regulations.
  • Introduction to Innovation and Technology — this course teaches students the foundational technology concepts and principles.

Now that you know what to expect from STEM programs, the decision-making step of your journey begins. Identify which major is the best fit for you, then learn how to get into engineering school with college application advice, high school timelines, and more.

Stem Study Blog