The world needs more people who are trained in STEAM, which stands for Science and Technology interpreted through Engineering and the Arts based on Mathematics. It’s a long name, but in general it’s a simple discipline. STEAM education, a concept largely credited to Georgette Yakman, is essentially a way to teach students how to think creatively and use innovation and apply this thinking to technology and engineering.
People who are trained and educated in STEAM know how to teach in an effective manner, creating students who don’t just know test answers, but know how to think in a broad and deep way to solve issues that apply to a wide range of topics. In a way, STEAM is the addition of the liberal arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), injecting concepts like reasoning and ethics into these disciplines.
THE CAREER PATH
With a degree related to STEAM education, you can enjoy a fulfilling career while earning a solid income. People with degrees in this area are not scientists, engineers, or mathematicians (at least not directly), but are educators and teachers. They don’t apply the concepts of science and math, but instead work in careers such as a high school teacher or adult educator.
There are many reasons why someone would want to study teaching, but the most important is simply the chance to shape the minds, spirits, and futures of young individuals and adults. Virtually everyone can recall a teacher or mentor who guided them through an important learning experience, and it’s this potential to have a positive impact on people that drives and inspires teachers.
More specifically, learning how to teach disciplines like science, mathematics, and engineering, all mixed with fundamentals of the arts, makes this a highly attractive career choice.
So what can you do after earning a degree in STEAM education? There are many choices, including…
- High School Teacher — High school teachers take on one of the most important and challenging aspects of the education process. They can either be specialized, focusing on math, biology, or history, or they can teach a variety of courses. Many high school teachers need to understand mathematics and science and be able to teach these subjects. The median salary is $60,320 and requires a bachelor’s level education.
- Career & Tech Educator — Depending on the specific online STEAM degree, you may be able to move into a position as a career and technical education teacher. These educators instruct students on specific career paths, often focusing on technical jobs such as machining, welding, transportation, or any sort of trade. Understanding how to teach scientific principles is important, but you also need to have some experience working in whichever career you are focused on. The median salary is $56,750 and requires a bachelor’s level education with less than 5 years of work experience.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
The ideal candidate for STEAM programs is not necessarily someone who is already adept with science and math. Having scored high in engineering in the past, for example, is not the top prerequisite. Rather, having a strong desire, and the ability, to teach and communicate is more important. If you are a natural expert in math, someone who just “gets it,” for lack of better wording, you likely are not the best at explaining mathematical concepts to other people. Having a strong desire to teach, and passion for educating people and improving their lives, is a far more important characteristic.
Having the ability and desire to build relationships is also a top quality for would-be STEAM teachers, as trusting relationships are a cornerstone of education. Patience, caring and kindness are also essential, as is the ability to engage students in a way that effectively delivers the message, which often means adapting messages to meet a student’s education level or cultural background.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
If you are looking for an online STEAM degree, there are a few aspects you should find:
- 100% Online or In-Person Requirements: First of all, you need to know whether the program is offered 100% online, or if there will be in-person requirements.
- Prerequisite: What educational or experience requirements need to be fulfilled to access this online STEAM program?
- Coursework: Different online STEAM programs offer different courses. Make sure the subject matter will apply to your future goals.
- Accreditations: Just like in-person degrees, all quality online education courses will be accredited by leading institutions. Check for accreditation before enrolling.
Look for these important aspects and you’ll increase the chances of finding the perfect online STEAM degree for your goals.
If you want to find the right STEAM program to fit your needs and budget, begin here. All of the programs below have been verified to hold proper accreditation. A bachelor’s degree will cost between $30,000 and $50,000, on average. However, cheaper programs exist. Consult our cost rankings to find degree programs that cost less than the national average.