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Online Math Degrees, Online Science Degrees, Online Engineering Degrees

Individuals in the sciences contribute to our shared knowledge of the natural world by exploring it, gathering evidence, and organizing and presenting their findings. Common branches of science include biology, chemistry, psychology, and physics. Together these sciences have helped us understand how the world works and what we can do to develop within it. Online math degrees, online science degrees, and online engineering degrees may help you add to that knowledge. 

online math degrees

Most of us first learn about science in school, when we are exposed to simple experiments that demonstrate basic principles. Although the professional world of scientific work is a little more sophisticated, the same kinds of methods are used to turn hypotheses into working theories that can be confirmed by repeated observation and measurement.

Why Pursue a Science, Math, and Engineering Degree?

If you’re interested in solving real-world problems with research, observation, and experimentation, then a Science, Math, or Engineering Degree may be right for you. The skill sets in each of these fields of study often overlap in educational programs, which is why you’ll notice them often grouped together. 

Students pursuing online science degrees could expect to explore the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation. They may conduct research, write academic papers, and present their scientific findings.[i] ,[ii] Many of these courses will incorporate the scientific method of testing.

Students looking into an online engineering program could expect to use their knowledge of science, math, and technology to solve problems. Engineers can work in a wide range of industries and often graduate with a specific discipline or concentration, such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering,  or industrial engineering.[iii],[iv],[v].[vi]    

Students interested in online math degrees will have an opportunity to learn how to use numerical, spatial, and logical relationships to solve problems. vii Because so many professions require courses and skills in mathematics, many graduates of these programs go on to pursue science or engineering careers. viii Students looking to pursue careers as math teachers or professors will likely take additional certification courses as well beyond online math degrees. vii
 

Fun Fact: STEM is an acronym often used to refer to occupations, as well as fields of study, in science, technology, engineering, and math.ix 

STEM occupations (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) make up more than 1 out of every 10 jobs in the United States and have wages that are approaching nearly twice the U.S. average.ix

Relevant Skills

If you’re interested in online science degree programs, you may want to have the following skill sets: x vii

  • Critical thinking
  • Strong communication
  • Ability to analyze data
  • A passion for research
  • An aptitude for math
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Curiosity

Subjects & Specialties  

Within the math, science, and engineering field, students can choose from a variety of subjects or topics to further concentrate on. Some of these areas could include biomedical engineering, life sciences, industrial engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences. Students should consider taking a variety of courses in their program to get a feel of which specialty to major in or pursue further. 

Science, Math, and Engineering Career Paths

There are a variety of career paths you could pursue by earning your degree in science, math, or engineering. Some of these careers require more advanced schooling than others or relevant work experience in a related occupation.[i] A career in the field of science may allow graduates to make a difference in the world with their knowledge.  xi 

Science Careers*

  • Physicist and Astronomer- $110,980 median salary xxvi
  • Environmental Scientist- $67,460 median salary xix
  • Chemical Engineer- $97,360 median salary xii
  • Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist- $59,680 median salary xxi
  • Agricultural and Food Scientist- $62,470 median salary xxii
  • Medical Scientist- $82,240 median salary xxvii
  • Chemical Technician- $44,660 median salary xv
  • Geological and Petroleum Technician- $55,610 median salary xiv

Math Careers*

  • Mathematician- $111,110 median salary xxiv
  • Statistician- $80,110 median salary xxv
  • Operations Research Analyst- $78,630 median salary xviii

Engineering Careers*

  • Nuclear Engineer- $102,950 median salary xviii
  • Industrial Engineering Technician- $53,780 median salary xvii
  • Mechanical Engineer- $83,590 median salary  xii
  • Environmental Engineer- $84,560 median salary  xvii
  • Chemical Engineer- $97,360 median salary xii

*All salaries according to BLS in 2015.

Types of Online Math Degrees, Online Engineering and Online Science Degree Programs

There are a variety of program types students interested in online math degrees and online science degrees can pursue. It’s important to do your research before starting a program to ensure you are meeting all the educational requirements for your potential career path. Additionally, some colleges offer certifications or courses that students may be able take online. 

Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

These two-year degree programs are offered by community colleges. These programs can be a good option for students looking to start their career immediately or those who hope to transfer to a four-year college in the future.  Some career paths that you could pursue by earning this degree include Geological and Petroleum Technicians xiv Chemical Technicians xv, and Industrial Engineering Technicians xiv.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Engineering (B.S.E.)

These four-year degree programs allow students to choose a major or specialty in their field, such as biology, statistics, or engineering. Some career paths that you could pursue by earning this degree include a Nuclear Engineer xvii , Operations Research Analyst xviii , Environmental Scientist xix , Chemist xx , Wildlife Biologist xxi , and Food Scientist xxii .

Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)

These degree programs typically take between two xxiii  and three years of advanced study and include some type of research project. Courses in these programs often are highly specialized and may include topics such as marine biology, environmental science, or aerospace engineering. Some career paths that you could pursue by earning this degree include a Mathematician xxiv  and Statistician xxv .

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.)

Doctorate degree programs in the science and engineering fields may often be a good match for students looking to pursue a leadership or teaching role. Some career paths that you could pursue by earning this degree include a Physicist, Astronomer,xxvi   and Medical Scientistxxvii 

Why Might You Consider Online Science Degrees?

Choosing an online science degree could be a wise choice for your lifestyle. Distance learning may allow students to learn at their own pace and on their own time, accommodating their busy schedules and existing jobs. Students who have already completed their Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree may work toward their Master’s or Doctorate online to help potentially enhance their careers.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm#tab-2 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm#tab-2 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/home.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mechanical-engineers.htm#tab-4 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm#tab-4 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineers.htm#tab-4 | vii bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm#tab-4 | viii bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm#tab-2 | ix bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/an-overview-of-employment.htm | [x] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm#tab-4 | xi bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/chemical-engineers.htm | xii http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mechanical-engineers.htm | xiii bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineers.htm | xvi bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geological-and-petroleum-technicians.htm | xv bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemical-technicians.htm | xvi bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineering-technicians.htm#tab-1 | xvii bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/nuclear-engineers.htm#tab-1 | xviii bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm | xix bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm | xx bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm | xxi bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm | xxii bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/agricultural-and-food-scientists.htm |xxiii villanova.edu/villanova/business/graduate/specializedprograms/msa/programinfo.html | xxiv bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm | xxv bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm | xxvi bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm xxvi bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm