Have you just graduated high school and are curious about your future career path?
Well, many people would be telling you to join any of the STEM majors. And if you have an interest in Finance and Accounting, the question if these subjects are STEM majors or not might be bothering you.
Accounting and finance are very useful and practical subjects with many career opportunities.
However, many people don’t opt for the subjects because they believe only STEM majors have a scope and luxurious pay packages.
They don’t know if accounting and finance are STEM majors.
Therefore, we have written this article to address all queries related to STEM majors, if accounting and finance fall in the category, and why it matters for a subject to be a STEM major.
So let’s get into it and help you choose a career path. This article will also help you conclude if you are interested in an accounting degree but are hesitating because of STEM.
So let’s start.
What Is STEM?
STEM is an educational approach or idea that is often recognized as a multi-discipline teaching approach. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are integrated together to make STEM education.
This education system is followed by STEAM, which includes Arts combined. Integrating Arts into the educational approach is to enhance the ability and limits of STEM education and application.
The STEM education system has become the cornerstone of institutions because of its claimed ability to develop higher levels of thinking skills in individuals by integrating technology with different disciplines.
However, one thing that is very disturbing about STEM education is that other disciplines are often seen and treated as inferior and a waste of time.
These stereotypes have affected the trend of students opting for other subjects. Therefore, it can cause a demand-supply difference in fields other than STEM majors.
Origin Of STEM
Let’s talk a little bit about the origin of the STEM Education approach.
Scientific administrators introduced the STEM education approach at the U.S. National Science Foundation(NSF) IN 2002.
Previously, they used the term SMET for the same disciplines discussed in the educational approach. Soon after the introduction of the STEM education approach in 2001, it became famous across the world and was adopted by many countries.
These countries include Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and France.
The main idea behind the STEM approach was to integrate the knowledge and skills of STEM-related fields into a curriculum for STEM disciplines.
In essence, a person doing engineering will also acquire knowledge of mathematics, coding, technology, etc.
As the years passed, development in the STEM approach also continued, and STEM subjects became increasingly integrated into the United States.
However, it was revealed that U.S students were not doing as well in STEM disciplines as in other countries.
Therefore, it raised a problem that could lead to a gap between the global economy and the U.S economy due to a poorly prepared workforce.
As a result, attention was given to the STEM approach.
After a lot of work, development, and research, the U.S education sector was able to address the gaps and develop a framework to address the modern STEM approach to get desirable outcomes.
As a result, the growth of STEM jobs in the United States during 2000-2010 was three times higher than non-STEM jobs.
Despite many differences and gaps being addressed, the absence of a concrete definition raised concerns like what careers or professions are considered STEM majors and which are not in the domain of STEM.
Different institutions and organizations defined their own criteria for STEM jobs. For instance, the U.S. Department of Commerce designated four categories of STEM jobs: STEM management, physical and life sciences, computer and math, and engineering and surveying.
Later on, different U.S. government agencies and offices identified 96 jobs as STEM occupations. They were further sub-categorized into two categories: Science, Engineering, Mathematics & Information Technology occupations and Social Science occupations.
Which Careers And Degrees Are Included In STEM?
We have mentioned the main domains of STEM education as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.A.
However, it’s also important to know exactly what careers and degrees are included in STEM majors.
So here is the list of popular degrees that are considered STEM in the U.S. and other parts of the world:
- Electrical Engineering
- Information Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Computer Science
- Aeronautical Engineering
Why It Matters? Privileges of STEM Degrees
The outlook of STEM careers and jobs is alluring enough to convince anyone to follow the path for a secure future.
For instance, life, physical, and social science professionals can expect a median annual package of $41,970 to $128,950, depending on specialization.
Similarly, the median annual package of the Computer and Information technology domain is around $55,510 to $1226,830.
Without diving into any other privileges and benefits of STEM degrees, we can safely say that people prefer STEM jobs because they expect a better future and career path.
Accounting And Finance
If we talk about the degree in Accounting and Finance, the degree aims at equipping the students with the specialized knowledge of accounting, finance, accounting practices, industry, and commerce.
Once you are in the field, you can easily differentiate between the accounting and finance disciplines.
However, we will discuss them collectively when comparing them with STEM majors. So accounting and finance degree, in general, focuses on money, business, and management.
Finance is about managing financial resources while accounting deals with reporting financial expenses and revenues.
Are Accounting And Finance A STEM Degree?
Now to the question of whether an accounting and finance degree is a STEM major. If we have to answer the question of logic, it can be regarded as STEM since mathematics, science, and technology are integrated into the field.
In many universities and countries, an accounting and finance degree at a master’s or doctorate level is considered a STEM major.
However, the short answer to this question is NO. A finance and accounting degree is not a STEM major from a technical perspective.
However, this fact by no means implies that the degree’s worth is not sustainable or you don’t have a career scope.
In fact, accounting and finance is a highly paid and demanding career as every organization, scientific or non-scientific, has accounting needs.
Reasons Why Accounting And Finance Can Be Viewed As STEM Majors?
As mentioned earlier, we can treat accounting and finance degrees as STEM majors based on logical arguments.
Here are the reasons that prove accounting and finance degrees as STEM majors on logical grounds:
Whichever course of finance and accounting you dig into, mathematics is an integral part of it. No finance and accounting course is complete without mathematics that is not consistent with other behavioral and social science programs like sociology, Pol. science, philosophy, etc. It proves that having advanced knowledge of mathematics is necessary to excel in finance.
Whether you are dealing with international finance, corporate finance, or managerial finance, coding is involved somewhere.
With a lot of calculations, data points, trends, and analysis, it’s impossible to say that finance doesn’t include any coding. The complicated subject of finance deserves to be treated as a STEM major for this obvious reason as well.
Finally, technology is almost in every occupation you look at nowadays. In the case of accounting & finance, the Accounting STEM Pursuit Act already made it evident that accounting professionals are supposed to work closely with technology and information.
No office is complete without accounting software, database, etc. Therefore, finance and accounting easily fit under the umbrella of STEM education for this reason as well.
Reasons Why Accounting And Finance Can’t Be Viewed As STEM Majors?
We can give another dozen reasons to fit Accounting and Finance Degree under the umbrella of STEM majors but there are two arguments to support the fact that the subjects don’t fit in STEM education.
When we look at different universities, the accounting and finance courses are categorized and taught under the umbrella of the business/school of business instead of the college of science and technology.
Besides, the framework of a finance degree is to understand regulations, not mathematical and scientific formulas. Therefore, it can be easily debunked as a STEM major.
So what is the final verdict?
Let’s go by the book and conclude that Accounting and Finance is not a STEM major. Although the subjects work closely with mathematics and technology, the educational framework in most countries does not treat the degree as a STEM major.
However, the scope of finance and accounting is higher, and you must pursue the degree if you want to.