The STEM field is growing every single year and is considered one of the most sought after career fields. While many woman are graduating with STEM degrees and entering the field in higher numbers than ever before, there is still a huge problem that they are facing: unfair wages compared to their male colleagues’ earnings.

The Current State

According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a woman in engineering and technology makes nearly $4,000 less than men in entry-level positions. This study was done with men and women that are working the same exact positions with the same amount of previous experience.

These wage gaps are not only seen between men and women, with women of color being affected the most with the wage gap. Pew Research Center found that Black and Hispanic women make 83% of what a White man would earn working the same position in the STEM field.

Image via U.S. Census Bureau

Within the STEM field, women in different positions experience varying wage gaps. For example, new female gradates in computer science make an average salary of $79,000 while male graduates make an average of $82,000 (National Center for Women & Information Technology). Regarding the science field there is a much bigger wage gap. This gap has been reported to be at least $18,000 for candidates with PhDs as reported by the US National Science Foundation’s annual census.

While there is a wage gap present in STEM fields, women working in STEM experience a much smaller wage gap compared to women in other fields. In a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce, it was found that women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than women that work in non-STEM positions.

What Can Be Done?  

Fixing the wage gap for every women in STEM is hard, but not impossible.

The first thing that can be done is to make employers aware of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which is a federal law that requires equal pay for equal work. If an employer is found to not be properly following this federal law by providing unequal wages, it could lead to legal troubles and lawsuits.

Another way to close the wage gap is to schedule regular audits of employee wages at the company and investigate any disparities between men and women’s pay if they are present. Conducting an audit like this can help pay disparities be identified and enables leadership to take action to close the gap.

Many research studies, like the one from Stanford, have found that women have a harder time negotiating salary during the hiring process compared to men due to social norms and fear of retaliation for doing so. This lack of pay negotiating can broaden the wage gap more. To avoid this wage gap from widener more at a company, women should be encouraged and open to negotiating their salary.

Sometimes it can feel that there are a lot of factors preventing the wage gap to be closed with preconceived notions of gender roles and lack of action, both of which can be disheartening for women in STEM. Closing the wage gap will take time, but with push from both job seekers and employers, it can be improved over time.

Looking for your next STEM career? Check out STEMHUNTER’s job board for the latest openings.

High school graduates have a difficult decision to make when choosing their college major. With jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) growing 79 percent since 1990, and STEM occupations averaging a salary of $100,900, majoring in a STEM field may be of interest to many future college students. Here are the different majors and corresponding occupations that students can pursue careers in.



Astronomy and Astrophysics majors study the creation of the universe and everything, including black holes, planets, suns and galaxies, within it. The coursework for this major typically includes classes in data modeling, physics and mathematics.

Common jobs for Astronomy/Astrophysics majors, include:

Agronomy/Crop Science

Agronomy majors study plants and soils, how they are produced and their interaction with the environment. Curriculum for Agronomy/Crop Science degrees can include the application of biological, chemical and physical science principles to the cultivation of plants. 

Common jobs for Agronomy/Crop Science majors include:


A Biology major can open the door to a variety of career possibilities. While some may study biology in a pre-medicine capacity hoping to later pursue career in the medical field, others may have an interest in a life science career.

Common jobs for Biology majors include:


Biochemistry is the study of chemical reactions and interactions with living organisms. This practice is important for the development of vaccines and medications. The curriculum for Biochemistry is a mix between both biology and chemistry-focused courses. This major can be combined with other educational degrees to help you specialize in various areas of interest.

Common jobs for Biochemistry majors include:


Explore the complex ways that elements combine together and how matter undergoes change with a degree in Chemistry. Coursework in this field can include concepts related to chemical equilibrium, thermodynamics and periodic concepts. Studying this field can lead to careers in many different industries, including: specialty chemicals, medicine and research.

Common jobs for Chemistry majors include:

Environmental Science

Environmental Science majors study Earth’s natural environment and the impact humans have on it. Courses for this major can include chemistry, biology and geology. Often times, the curriculum will include laboratory classes and field experiences.

Common jobs for Environmental Science majors include:

Food Science & Technology

Students who pursue a major in Food Science & Technology will learn about using science to safely create, manufacture, package and preserve food products. They will have coursework in areas such as chemistry, microbiology and food safety.

Common jobs for Food Science & Technology majors include:


When you study Microbiology, you will learn about the way that microscopic organisms evolve, function and cause disease. This scientific major includes coursework in chemistry, biology, biological chemistry, physics and other topics. A degree in Microbiology can open the door to a number of different scientific careers.

Common jobs for Microbiology majors include:


A Physics major studies the relationship between energy and matter. Students who pursue this degree will get exposure to scientific methods and concepts that can be useful in a number of career paths.

Common jobs for Physics majors include:

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Computer Science

Explore computer systems and the way humans interact with them with a Computer Science major. The curriculum for this major includes the programming and design of software as well as theory and problem-solving methods. Coursework may also include calculus, statistics, data visualization, among other subjects.

Common jobs for Computer Science majors include:


Cybersecurity is a growing field with ample career opportunities. A major in Cybersecurity can open up doors to the various areas of information technology space. Students in Cybersecurity will likely study information systems, computer science, cyber defense, mathematics and other related courses.

Common jobs for Cybersecurity majors include:

Data Analytics/Data Science

Data Analytics/Data Science majors collect, manage and analyze large, multifaceted data sets to make informed business decisions. Often, students studying this discipline will complete coursework in computer science, statistics and mathematics.

Common jobs for Data Analytics/Data Science majors:

Computer Engineering

Students interested in using creative problem-solving methods to work with computer software and hardware should consider a major in Computer Engineering. Within this major, student can specialize in various areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. Coursework in this major can include foundational mathematics, calculus, data structures or computer architecture.

Common jobs for Computer Engineering majors include:

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Aerospace Engineering

Those majoring in Aerospace Engineering will take courses in physics and mathematics as well as engineering lectures and labs. This curriculum prepares students in the design, propulsion and systems for both aircrafts and spacecrafts.

Common jobs for Aerospace Engineers include:

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering combines both engineering and scientific techniques to find innovative solutions to issues in the medical field. Students majoring in Biomedical Engineering will likely take courses in chemistry, physics, bioelectricity, biomechanics and other related courses.

Common jobs for Biomedical Engineering majors include:

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering majors will study the planning, design, development and evaluation of structures and systems, such as buildings, tunnels, airports, drainage systems, railways and bridges. This major open the door to a range of different specialties within the Civil Engineering field.  

Common jobs for Civil Engineering majors include:

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) majors utilize scientific and mathematical principles to design, implement, evaluate and improve systems of people, information and materials. Students who study ISE will learn about creating efficiencies and eliminating labor or material waste in various business or manufacturing processes.

Common jobs for Industrial & Systems Engineering majors include:

Materials Science & Engineering

Explore the structure, processing, properties and performance of materials used in engineering systems with a degree in Materials Science & Engineering. Coursework for this field includes foundational engineering courses and typically students have the ability to specialize in various areas of Materials Science & Engineering, including biomaterials, electronic materials, metallurgy and polymers.

Common jobs for Materials Science & Engineering majors include:

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering majors study a diverse curriculum. This involves creative design, manufacturing engineering, machine elements design, measurements, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, among other topics.

Common jobs for Mechanical Engineering majors include:

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Actuarial Science

The study of financial implications of uncertain future events and quantifying and managing risk is known as Actuarial Science. Students with this major will learn modern business practices, have an understanding of finance principles and develop quantitative reasoning skills.

Common jobs for Actuarial Science majors include:

Applied/Pure Mathematics

Applied Mathematics focuses on applying analytical and computation math techniques and principles to solve real-world problems in various industries. While Applied Mathematics is the practical use of mathematical practices, Pure Mathematics is the theoretical study of boarder mathematical concepts, such as proofs, theorems and abstract concepts.

Both of these majors can lead to a number of mathematical career paths within different fields of study.

Common jobs for Applied Mathematics majors include:


Statistics majors study the collection, interpretation and analyzation of data. These students will take a number of courses in mathematics, including calculus and linear algebra. They may also complete coursework in programming languages and data modeling.

Common jobs for Statistics majors include:

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