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Oct 11 / as1735

Worried About Student Debt? Major in STEM

By Sarah Evelyn Harvey, Techonomy

Across the country this summer, members of the class of 2016 agonized over course listings, compared first semester schedules, and stocked-up on dorm room essentials. But for most, matriculation this fall came with a less exciting challenge: navigating an education without acquiring exorbitant debt.

Student loan debt exceeded $900 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up $30 billion from the previous quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported on May 31. This number has increased by $663 billion since just 2003. Student debt is so widespread that two-thirds of the class of 2010 graduated with loans averaging $25,250 each, according to the Project on Student Debt.

At the same time, some experts say the country is facing a shortage of workers in STEM fields—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This means that it may be easier to find good-paying jobs in these fields. Is the STEM shortage a way out of student loan woes? Perhaps if more students choose to study a STEM subject, the country would see less student debt.

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