You've likely heard the term STEM, but what does it stand for? STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. These four fields share an emphasis on innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Together they make up a popular and fast-growing industry.
Many people debate whether certain fields count as STEM. Some STEM definitions include the social sciences, such as psychology, economics, and anthropology. Most sources, however, consider these separate categories.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintains a list of college STEM majors, which includes the four basic subjects above, along with architecture, psychology, digital communication, and some pharmaceutical and social sciences. Notably, fields like accounting, political science, and nursing are excluded from this list.
Why is STEM important?
As society innovates and technology advances, the need for professionals who understand how these technologies work and who can propose practical solutions continues to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls STEM careers "tomorrow's jobs," emphasizing the importance of these unique industries.