The academic discipline of science comes with a vast variety of streams you can pursue - from Medical Sciences to Artificial Intelligence. Needless to say, pursuing science has a definitive future of growth and innovation. Also, with the variety of streams you can pursue, there are many specialisations that you can opt for. And within these specialisations, one of the most lucrative fields is STEM.
STEM comprises Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and offers courses that are a mix of few or all of the 4 major streams. But why consider STEM as a career? The US Bureau of Labour Statistics forecasts a 10.8% employment growth in STEM jobs from 2021-2031, with a median annual salary in 2021 being USD $95,420 (INR ₹78,50,000). Compared to the non-STEM jobs having a median annual salary (2021) of USD $40,120 (INR ₹33,00,000), STEM jobs pay nearly twice as much.
The US, being the centre of major technological innovations with Silicon Valley, is a dream location for all STEM aspirants. And within the states, Chicago happens to be one of the top locations - with big MNCs like Fidelity and JP Morgan having their bases in Chicago. An international student can choose from a Bachelor’s or Master’s STEM degree in a top and renowned Chicago university. Since STEM is a competitive degree, securing a seat may be challenging. But with a pro on your side, it becomes a cakewalk.
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So if you are aiming to pursue STEM courses in Chicago, in this read, you will get to know why you are on the right track of choosing a great study abroad location. Take a look at the top universities for STEM in Chicago, the most sought-after courses they teach, and the lucrative career prospects once you graduate!
Popular STEM Courses in Chicago
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics - these four disciplines offer multiple subjects and curricula a student can choose from. In most cases, a student opts for a course matching their skills or educational background. So which are the most popular courses? Here’s a quick list for you -
A computer science degree is one of the most popular STEM degrees for students. It perfectly combines all disciplines of STEM, where a student learns technology and applies mathematical and scientific approaches to solve problems. A computer science degree in Chicago will offer promising job opportunities in technical and several other industries.
Computer Science itself has many sub-divisions under the big umbrella. Some of the things a student can learn include programming, data structures, hardware and software, databases and their designs, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. Furthermore, depending on the specialization, the career opportunities will also vary. From a web developer to a database administrator, there are numerous opportunities in this field.
And if you are looking for the best specialisations to go for in computer science, have a look at the list of top CS specialisations that we curated just for you.
It’s a big plus for graduates holding a CS degree in Chicago since companies like Deloitte, Amazon, Accenture, and PwC have one of their biggest offices in Chicago.
Just like computer science, engineering courses are also top favourites among students. A student can choose a STEM engineering minor or major in one of the many engineering fields. They can choose aerospace, civil, electrical, mechanical, industrial, and electronics engineering. And with an organisation like Boeing with its office in Chicago, you know your engineering degree will give you an amazing ROI instantly!
Engineering is a very vast field with even wider career opportunities. No matter how advanced the world goes, companies will always need a skilled engineer to work on their latest machines and processes.
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Data Science is a popular STEM degree promoting critical and innovative thinking. Data science’s interdisciplinary curriculum offers its students advanced technical and theoretical skills. These skills assist the students in building computational models while participating in research and development activities.
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Suggested: LOR Samples for MS in Data Science
A few things one can learn from this course are machine learning, big data, computer vision, cybersecurity, computational finance and social science, natural language processing, neuroscience, and others. A data science course in Chicago will equip students with the technical knowledge and leadership skills to succeed.
There is a difference between a computer science and a computer engineering STEM degree. In this course, a student will be able to learn engineering principles for solving computer hardware situations. In this STEM-specialized course, a student will get an understanding of computer architecture, security and networks.
Want to learn more about how computer engineering is different from computer science? We have answered it in-depth for you.
This course combines electrical engineering, computer science and concepts of physics. Computer science focuses on software, and computer engineering focuses on hardware aspects. After computer engineering courses in Chicago, one can get a job in life sciences, robotics, aerospace, and many other industries.
In this advanced technological world, companies are looking for people who have technical experience that can help solve their organizational problems. An information technology STEM program is designed to handle such cases. The STEM course focuses on solving organizational challenges by taking information technology’s help.
There are many applicants who apply for pursuing Information Technology in Chicago’s top universities. What will help your application stand out in this pile is a top-notch SOP. ⭐ But how do you write one? We have compiled the best tricks and tips to get your application for pursuing IT in Chicago the limelight it deserves. Read the blog to open the trove of SOP tricks.
A student will learn cyber security, cloud computing, business analysis, project management, analytics, and business intelligence through this course. Students will also understand how to create and use complex data structures while modifying information systems through information technology courses in Chicago.
The graduates from these, and other STEM courses, pay enough to get an amazing ROI for studying STEM courses in Chicago. But which are these jobs? And how much can you earn from them? Let’s find out!
STEM Career Prospects
These days companies are looking to hire people with multiple skills instead of just one. Hence, STEM graduates are in huge demand. Once a student finishes their course, they can look for STEM jobs in Chicago or even outside. The opportunity will depend on the course opted by the student. If Chicago, you already know the top corporates having their presence in the city - Amazon, Deloitte, Boeing, Target, and more! And if not Chicago, the US is the home to all things tech around the world - with Silicon Valley at its heart.
So which are the top and most lucrative job prospects that you have after you graduate from the top universities in Chicago?
1. Software Developer
From writing codes to fixing bugs, a software developer needs to be creative and technically skilled. A student can make an average of USD $120,000 (INR ₹99,00,000) annually as a software developer, which is the top STEM job in the present day.
2. Information Security Analyst
With a bachelor’s STEM degree in information technology, a student can make, on average, USD $102,000 (INR ₹84,00,000) per annum. With the growing need for cybersecurity, this position will always be in big demand.
3. IT Manager
With an increase in the digital workspace, there is an ever-evolving need for skilled IT managers to coordinate and handle computer-related job responsibilities. These can include hardware and software-related computer responsibilities. A graduate has the offer to make a median salary of USD $159,000 (INR ₹1,30,75,000) with just a bachelor’s degree.
4. Data Scientist
Data scientists, as it says, are professionals working, analysing, and deriving results from large amounts of data. Needless to say, companies require data for making smart and intelligent business-related decisions. Coming to what you are here for, a data scientist’s job pays an average salary of nearly USD $100,000 (INR ₹82,25,000).
You know what you want to pursue. But stuck at which universities can offer the best education to you? Check out Yocket’s College Finder where your profile is matched from our vast database of universities from across the globe - yes, even Chicago!
But if you are still looking for the top universities for STEM in Chicago, you will get that too! ✅
Top Chicago Universities for STEM Courses
There are many schools, some of them being top global universities, that a student can consider in Chicago for their STEM degree or course. Here’s a quick list of the top picks from Chicago for pursuing STEM courses:
QS World University Ranking 2024
901 - 950
These top universities in Chicago are the best for top-notch education and research in STEM. But how to get there? Let’s take you through the eligibility criteria and the admission process for pursuing STEM courses in the top universities in Chicago.
Eligibility Criteria for STEM Courses in Chicago
Entry to bachelor’s level STEM programs requires completion of high school education in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. For admission to master’s level STEM courses, a standard 3 or 4-year bachelor’s degree is required. The minimum requirement for admission to STEM-approved universities in the USA is a GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 i.e. above 90% in Indian standards.
Entrance Tests to Study STEM Degrees in USA
Entrance tests for admission to STEM bachelor’s degrees in the USA include SAT or ACT which are generally not required by US universities anymore. If you are planning to apply for a master’s degree, you will have to submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Proof of English Language Proficiency
Submitting scores of English language proficiency tests is a must for seeking admission to US universities as international students. You can submit IELTS, TOEFL or any other accepted test scores to fulfil this requirement. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or 90 on TOEFL is recommended. However, requirements may vary depending on the competitiveness of the program.
Although not a mandatory requirement at most universities, some prior professional experience is highly recommended for pursuing STEM courses in the USA in certain fields and getting an edge over the other applicants.
Student Visa to Study in USA
Finally, an F-1 student visa is the most important document you must have to study in the US. Therefore, complete your application process as early as possible to have enough time for visa processing.
Suggested: What is STEM?
Admission Process for STEM Programs in Chicago
Here is how you can apply for admission to STEM courses in Chicago:
- Prepare a list of universities that you wish to seek admission to and go ahead to check its eligibility criteria, deadlines, admission requirements, etc.
- Complete the online application for international students available on the university website and submit the necessary application fee within the specified deadlines.
- Gather and submit all relevant documents to support your application.
- After receiving a confirmation of your application, you can track the status of your application through the university website.
- If accepted, you will receive official correspondence from the university with your acceptance letter. Make sure you reply to the email to confirm your acceptance and complete the enrollment process on time.
- You can apply for an F-1 student visa to study at STEM-accredited universities in the USA after receiving your letter of acceptance.
Now you know about the courses, the top colleges, and the career options after pursuing STEM at the top universities in Chicago. But for some, the university tuition fee might be too much to afford. And even with that, you should not be putting your dream of pursuing STEM courses in Chicago to a halt. Here are a few scholarships you can apply for to pursue STEM courses at the top universities in Chicago -
Scholarships for STEM courses in Chicago
Below is a list of some scholarships that you can apply for to pursue STEM courses in Chicago:
- Chicago Engineers’ Foundation: The amount of scholarship depends on the engineering stream chosen by the applicant.
- Graduate Student Scholarships @ Illinois Tech: The scholarship and the amount are merit-based and awarded to those with competitive academic credentials.
- American Nuclear Society Scholarship Program (Also Open to Undergraduate Students)
- DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
- Masergy STEM Scholarship Program (Also Open to Undergrad Students)
There are many more scholarships available for STEM aspirants looking to go to Chicago. But it becomes difficult to find the ones you are eligible for. With Yocket Premium, our veteran counsellors and experts not only provide you with end-to-end unbiased guidance but also find scholarships that your profile is eligible for. So get your best shot at studying STEM courses in Chicago with financial aid - Explore Yocket Premium.
From the Desk of Yocket
STEM students today are solving some of the world’s greatest problems, such as climate change, curing diseases, sustainable energy, and many others. Students completing a STEM course will improve their cognitive skills and enhance their learning, thinking, and reading abilities. This shapes them to become industry-ready with great job opportunities in their hands.
STEM courses will offer a plethora of opportunities to its students in every field and industry. Investing in your dream of pursuing a STEM degree from Chicago should also offer you a high ROI. And these occupations offer you that. Agreed, since STEM is one of the most sought-after fields in both education and jobs, getting into the top colleges becomes difficult.
But Yocket Premium makes that path easier for you. How? Accurate university shortlisting. Unbiased counselling. Guidance at all steps of your application. And focusing on your profile to make your application stand out from the rest.
So if you are looking for taking your best shot at the top STEM universities in Chicago, you are halfway there - coming on to this blog. The rest of the magic happens with a single tap - Explore Yocket Premium!