Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are among the most acclaimed academic fields in the US. Although students need to give their best during STEM majors, the rewards on the other side make all the effort worthwhile. A STEM degree sets you up for a lucrative career with high demand and income potential.
According to statistics, nearly a quarter of the workforce in the US is engaged in STEM occupations. That made a whopping 34.9 million (24%) people as of 2021. The median salary for these professionals is nearly $64,000, much more than the $40,000 for other workers. BLS employment projections show that jobs in this segment will likely witness an increase of 798,000 by 2031.
While the lure of the job market sounds great, you may also consider entrepreneurship after your degree. After all, not everyone finds a calling in the professional world. For some people, being on their own is the real driving force.
Here are a few industries where you can implement your knowledge and build an entrepreneurial venture as a STEM graduate:
Healthcare and Biotechnology
The healthcare and biotechnology industry in the US is growing at an impressive pace. Statistics show that its market revenue in 2022 was $190.0 billion, indicating an increase of 2.5%. Nearly 3,280 businesses operated in the domain in the same year, an increase of 7.4% over the previous year. The growth prospects are impressive, and there is ample room for new ventures.
STEM entrepreneurs can leverage their knowledge to make transformative contributions in the field. Your education can help you drive innovations such as developing precision medicine, personalized healthcare solutions, cutting-edge medical diagnostic tools, and advanced therapies. STEM graduates with specialism in AI and big data analytics can use these technologies for drug discovery and genetic diagnostics.
Another business landscape you can explore as a STEM entrepreneur is that of industrial chemistry. The chemical product manufacturing industry in the US was worth $58.4 billion in 2022, showing an exceptional increase of 13%. If chemistry concepts like CS2 Lewis structure and atomic bonds have always allured you, this is the ideal field to launch your business.
Proprep notes that STEM learners no longer rely on classrooms and books to study concepts. They want to explore video tutorials to see how things work beyond definitions and formulas. This approach makes them capable of solving problems in real-world scenarios, such as a chemical manufacturing plant.
The industry is versatile as manufacturers can apply their knowledge of chemical processes and principles in the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fuels, and various materials. As an industrial chemist, you can optimize production methods for cost-effectiveness, efficiency, quality, and compliance with safety standards.
An entrepreneurial venture in the renewable energy field is another opportunity for STEM graduates. According to 2022 statistics, the American renewable energy market was worth a massive US$269 billion. The growth prospects are obvious because of an increased emphasis on sustainability. With advancements in wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies, you can explore several opportunities for innovation.
Entrepreneurs in the renewable energy field can design smart grids, develop efficient energy storage solutions, or pioneer breakthroughs in bioenergy. Your STEM knowledge gives you an upper hand in addressing environmental challenges and positioning your venture to capitalize on the high demand in the sector.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As a technology enthusiast, you can consider launching a venture in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The recent years have propelled these technologies to the forefront, with every industry relying on them for automation. The AI market size in the US was $103.7 billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach $594 billion by 2032, with a growth rate of 19.1%.
With AI-driven applications finding a place everywhere, from finance to manufacturing, and customer service, the opportunities for business ventures are endless. Your STEM knowledge sets you up for success as you can develop various applications for businesses. These include AI algorithms for financial data analysis, machine vision for industrial quality control, or natural language processing for better customer interactions.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
The financial technology (fintech) sector is another thriving sector for STEM entrepreneurial ventures. While the sector is booming, blockchain and cryptocurrency are the real game-changers. The projected crypto market size in the US is $31.6 billion in 2027, with a projected growth rate of 15.19% from 2023 to 2027.
Technology entrepreneurs can leverage their expertise to develop secure blockchain solutions, innovative cryptocurrency applications, or decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. Besides driving cryptocurrency markets, blockchain can be used in supply chain management, healthcare records, and smart contracts.
STEM entrepreneurs, with their knowledge and expertise, can drive innovation and shape the future across diverse industries. They can also explore business opportunities in these domains. As the world continues to adopt technological progress, STEM entrepreneurship emerges as a powerful force for economic growth and positive change.