Learn STEM with online courses and programs
What is STEM?
STEM refers to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As the pace of technology accelerates, the public and private sectors look to the STEM workforce to build innovations that will power society now and into the future.Footnote 1
Covering a broad range of disciplines, topics in STEM vary significantly. STEM encompasses everything from biological and physical sciences to computer programming and mechanical engineering. These disciplines may require more vigorous coursework than other educational paths. But pursuing education in STEM subjects can position learners to compete for the jobs of tomorrow and learn valuable, transferable skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork. STEM programs can offer an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to solving problems, making for an immersive and engaging learning experience.
Learn about many different STEM topics, with edX’s catalog of STEM programs, trainings, and courses open to learners of all levels.
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STEM course curriculum
Many educational institutions emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of STEM topics and their real-world applications. Instead of teaching an individual discipline like chemistry or computer science in a vacuum, course instructors may now focus on providing a comprehensive foundation of STEM knowledge and integrating that knowledge with relevant technology. This helps to effectively breaking down the barriers that once existed between certain scientific or mathematical disciplines.Footnote 2
Because STEM covers a variety of subjects, many learners still choose to specialize in a particular area. For instance, pursuing a degree in engineering can prepare learners with advanced STEM skills that they could then apply to a related subdiscipline, such as aeronautics or electronics.
There’s a great deal of crossover between individual courses, too. Foundational mathematics courses, for example, may dive into the problem-solving skills that serve as the basis for further scientific inquiry in many other STEM fields, while technology courses may include lessons in computer engineering. edX offers a variety of STEM courses and learning options created for learners of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and career paths.
If you’re planning to teach STEM subjects and want to further your skills as a STEM teacher, you may find it helpful to take a course designed to introduce fundamental STEM principles into K-12 and post-secondary education curricula and classrooms.
Jobs in STEM fields
Today’s STEM learners will be responsible for tomorrow’s scientific breakthroughs. By pursuing educational coursework in any of these exciting fields, you could be on your way to building life-changing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
If you are interested in science and math, want a rewarding and purpose-driven career, and don’t shy away from challenging tasks and concepts, then one of the following jobs in STEM could be the right fit for you.
This list is just a sample of the many STEM jobs that exist in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world. Moreover, the jobs listed in each field are often interdisciplinary; a statistician, for example, must use a combination of mathematical, scientific, and technological skills to be successful.
Operations research analyst
Engineering and architecture
Licensed practical nurse
Speech language pathologist
Many careers within these fields require a bachelor’s degree and potentially a master’s degree. If you have skills in certain disciplines but need to advance your knowledge in a specific field, other educational opportunities like a boot camp may make more sense for your learning journey.
How to build STEM skills
STEM training is core to today’s learning, and there’s a STEM class for every age group. Teaching STEM as early as preschool equips kids with the skills and perspective necessary to pursue a rewarding career path. This is especially important for opening the doors to STEM careers for learners from historically underrepresented groups, many of whom have not been encouraged from a young age to undertake STEM-based learning.Footnote 3
STEM isn’t a single subject, but rather a way of applying critical and creative thinking skills to interrelated scientific and mathematical disciplines. Because of that, STEM teachers should know how to help learners apply STEM skills to real-life situations. Courses designed to help instructors facilitate inclusive, STEM-based learning environments can be great supplements to advanced degrees in STEM fields, such as engineering.