The 7 fastest-growing STEM jobs that pay over $100,000
Some of the highest-paying careers are also the fastest-growing. Recent data shows that jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are expected to grow 15% between 2021 and 2031.
While tens of thousands of workers have been laid off this year, occupations in the STEM industry remain in high demand. STEM-related jobs are expected to increase by nearly 800,000 by 2031; more than half of these are projected to be mathematical and computer occupations, according to a recent SmartAsset study.
Growth in the American STEM industry is attributed mainly to the country's growing computer industry. Computer occupations are projected to be in demand over the next decade because of growth in the American digital economy, a U.S. Department of Labor Beyond the Numbers report finds.
In a society increasingly developing and depending on digital technologies, from online shopping and social media platforms to artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, the risk of electronic breaches is on the rise. More of a need to protect electronic data calls for more computer and STEM-related occupations.
SmartAsset analyzed historic employment growth between 2017 and 2021 and projected employment growth from 2021 to 2031 to identify and rank the country's fastest-growing STEM occupations. The study compared data across 74 professions.
Information security jobs top the list of fastest-growing STEM jobs for the second year in a row. STEM jobs overall account for 5.9% of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States.
Of the fastest-growing STEM occupations, here are seven that pay over $100,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Median salary: $152,430
Growth rate 2017-2021: 19.8%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 8.2%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 3,310
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 1,900
Computer and information research scientists
Median salary: $131,490
Growth rate 2017-2021: 10.5%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 21.3%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 2,920
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 7,100
Computer hardware engineers
Median salary: $128,170
Growth rate 2017-2021: 10.5%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 4.8%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 6,980
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 3,700
Computer network architects
Median salary: $120,520
Growth rate 2017-2021: 7.0%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 4.3%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 11,000
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 7,500
Median salary: $105,900
Growth rate 2017-2021: 19.9%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 20.8%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 3,830
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 5,900
Information security analysts
Median salary: $102,600
Growth rate 2017-2021: 49.4%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 34.7%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 51,970
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 56,500
Median salary: $102,270
Growth rate 2017-2021: 28.0%
Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 15.3%
Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 7,670
Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 5,700
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