11 October 2023

5 Unorthodox Careers to Get With a Science Degree

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It takes serious hard work and commitment to get a degree in science. So you’ll want to consider your options carefully and choose a career that will give you long-term satisfaction.

But it can be hard to know where to begin. There are a TON of rewarding career paths you could take in the science industry, some of which you probably won’t have considered.

Keep reading to discover FIVE unorthodox career paths, and how science work experience can help you get there… 

#1 Robotics engineer

Robotic engineers design and build machines to do automated jobs in industries like medicine, manufacturing and aerospace engineering.

They can be found working on cutting-edge projects such as building robotic machines to explore the floor of the world’s deepest oceans or designing the latest robotic limbs.

These engineers are expert problem solvers and innovators, and adept at using tools like Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD). Visit the National Careers Service for more information on becoming a qualified robotics engineer. 

Read our Guide to Engineering Work Experience to find out what it takes to become an engineer, and how an engineering internship can boost your CV.

science careers

#2 Patent lawyer

Think you need a law degree to be a lawyer?

In fact, employers in patent law prefer students with STEM degrees. A scientific background helps patent lawyers understand a client’s idea or invention, and you can pick up all the legal jargon on the job.

Patent lawyers advise their clients on whether their product is unique and suitable for patenting. They work with individuals and large corporations alike, guiding them through the complex process of obtaining a patent.

Patent lawyers are also ludicrously well-paid. According to Payscale, they earn an average salary of £65,000 a year in the UK.

#3 Ethical hacker

Also known as a white-hat hacker, ethical hackers use their computer skills to hack computer systems and networks on behalf of businesses – before the real hackers get there first. They can identify any weaknesses in the system and fix potential security problems.

Cybercriminals are a huge potential threat to businesses of all sizes, and a security breach could result in loss of both productivity and profits. This is why ethical hackers are in high demand across most industries.

Read our guide on Cyber Security to learn what a career in ethical hacking is all about.

It’s competitive, and at the very least you’ll need a degree in computer science or something similar. A science internship in the technology sector will help your application stand apart from the pack.

As will the relevant professional qualifications; the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

Reviews on RateMyPlacement.co.uk 

Don’t know what you can do with your degree? Torn between working for a start-up or a multinational corporation? Not sure you even want to stick with a career in science? 

Get answers to your questions by reading some of the thousands of reviews on RateMyPlacement.co.uk. There are over 4000 reviews of science work experience on there right now. 

All the reviews are written by students who have done a placement or internship in science and research.

It’s a space for them to shout-out their employers for a brilliant scheme, or to highlight challenges they faced. So you get to hear what it’s really like to work for a company.

#4 Water treatment worker

A water treatment worker is responsible for ensuring water is clean and safe to drink. This typically involves operating machinery, adding chemicals to treat the water, and conducting quality checks.

They also maintain wastewater systems like septic tanks, which are installed on rural properties that handle their waste on-site. Water treatment workers make a difference in these households’ daily living, ensuring their tanks run safely and as economically as possible.

science careers

#5 Science journalist 

Science journalists keep up-to-date with current trends and developments in the industry and then write about them in a way that’s easy for the public to understand.

They are adept at understanding highly complex scientific data, theories and research, and are highly skilled writers.

Science journalism is a brilliant way of combining your passion for writing with the scientific realm. The range of subjects that you might cover is vast; from global warming to cancer, particle physics, or hi-tech widgets.

Reckon it’s for you? Find a science internship with a publication to get some relevant experience on your CV and start building connections in the industry.

Getting professional experience in a range of different roles and industries will help you figure out what you want, and don’t want, from a career. For advice on finding science work experience with a top employer, read our industry-specific guides below.

Guest Blogger: Ruby Clarkson

Ruby is a freelance writer focusing on career advice, business, business, startups and anything in between. As a uni grad herself, she has a passion for helping students by sharing as much advice as possible, after feeling a bit lost throughout her student years.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found either out in the garden or curled up with a book and a mug of her favourite coffee.