What Can You Do With a Science Degree?
Science is riding on a high at the moment. Thanks to prominent figures like BBC presenter Professor Brian Cox and sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, it’s a sector that has an undeniable air of cool around it.
But when we refer to ‘science’, what are we actually talking about? There’s not really such a thing as an all-encompassing science job – rather there are various disciplines, many many different graduate jobs in the sector and plenty of others that include elements of science.
So, once you’ve done your time at university, emerged with a science degree and a framed graduation photo, you may be looking to enter one of the following careers after your job search. Here is just a smattering of the careers you can consider going into…
Fancy working as a physicist?
Often the first image that springs to mind when someone thinks about science is a throng of boffins in white coats poring over a blackboard covered in calculations and complex equations.
These people are likely to be physicists, otherwise known as the masters of the universe. Well, not quite – but they do spend a lot of their precious time thinking about the finer points of the cosmos.
“Physicists will generally work on either theoretical analysis or applied research”
To do so they need a keen interest and knowledge of both maths and science, not only to uncover the secrets of the universe and further our understanding, but also to ensure their discoveries can be applied to other fields in a practical manner, like energy, engineering and technology.
Postgraduate science degrees
To enter a career such as this you will more than likely need a postgraduate degree too, not only to show that you’re fully qualified but also to improve your own understanding of the discipline.
Physicists will generally work on either theoretical analysis (coming up with their own outlandish ideas and predictions) or applied research (experimenting and testing existing theories).
Can you feel the chemistry?
While physicists will ask the big questions and theorise about the smallest and largest things in the universe, chemists are very much involved in applying their scientific knowledge and working with the materials down here on Earth.
At the heart of this role is solving problems. This could be through the creation of new medicines, the development of materials like glass, plastic and metal, or the improvement of water and food quality standards.
All this while pouring volatile liquids into beakers and test tubes and pretending to be Victor Frankenstein…
Become a biologist
Are you more interested in the natural world than fiddling around with acids and alkaline? If so, a career as a biologist would probably suit you.
Biology is a crucial scientific field because it explores the relationship between animals, plants and the environment, as well as bacteria and germs, to give us a greater understanding of evolution and global ecosystems.
As a biologist you could also play a leading role in developing and improving agricultural processes, which could prove particularly important given the rate of global population growth.
As with most science jobs, to make it to the top in this field you will not only need a relevant degree but further postgraduate qualifications, like a Masters or a PhD.
Sprint into a sports science career
What role does science have in sport? Well, quite a big one actually – but in quite a different way to physics and chemistry!
Sports science is the study of body performance during physical activity. While biology is a discipline for those who are fascinated by the natural world, sports science is a career for people who enjoy the meeting of science and sport.
As it is slightly different from more conventional science degrees, it’s possible to enter the field with more humanity-based and social science qualifications, like a psychology degree.
A rewarding career
In this field you could end up working with sports teams and athletes, improving their physical conditioning and mental outlook, making it an exciting and potentially very rewarding career.
It’ll also help you develop your knowledge on other topics, like nutrition, management and therapy.
Science work experience
Whatever career you want to end up in, remember that work experience in the form of a placement, internship or insight scheme can really help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to job hunting.
Even if it’s not work experience rooted in the sector or company you ideally want to work in, a placement year or internship scheme will help you develop many of the skills needed for success in any field, like interpersonal skills, problem-solving, organisation and data analysis.
Read our extensive guide for more information on science and research and to find out more about science and research placements, internships and insights.