Are you ready for a career in science?

If you’ve recently graduated you are probably starting to give careful consideration to the career path that is right for you. If you are seriously contemplating a career in science now is the time to research any additional skills or areas of study you’ll need to develop, the range of job opportunities available and the various disciplines you could focus on.

Why embark on a science-based career?

  • Make a wider societal impact
  • Investigate intellectually stimulating subject matter
  • Make a positive impact on the challenges our society and world face
  • Drive progress and improve quality of life
  • Enjoy job fulfilment and opportunities for travel and global collaboration
  • Receive generous compensation and benefits
  • Participate in innovative research
  • Have exciting experiences
  • Enjoy good working conditions, flexible working and a healthy work-life balance
  • Inspire meaningful change

 

As a new scientist entering the field, there will be multiple opportunities to explore and you will need to ascertain where your unique skillset will best be applied. First of all, define what it is you really want and what you would like to have achieved in 1, 5 and 10 years’ time. Look beyond the now and create a picture in your mind of your dream future. You can’t work at your best if you don’t really know who you are at your best, so invest time into identifying your key strengths and the career path that will best fit your personality. Consider if you have the right skills to be a scientist, what the lifestyle will be like and to what degree your chosen career will match your values.

Whilst there are many benefits of pursuing a career in science, it’s also important to embrace the challenges related to this career route. One of the biggest obstacles you could face is transitioning from academia to industry for example. Whereas in academia your success is likely to be measured on the personal contribution you make, in industry it’s more about how you work with a team to achieve common goals, and how you fit into an ecosystem, which can be a difficult mindset adjustment to navigate.

To help you determine if a career in science would suit you, here are some of the professional skills you may be required to exhibit:

Technical skills

To thrive in a scientific career you will need strong technical skills to ensure you are capable of using advanced equipment, designing and conducting complicated experiments and analysing and presenting data.

Communication

Superior communication skills both verbal and written will be crucial for collaborating with team members, writing papers, creating reports and delivering presentations. For example, you may need to present your research data in front of an audience, lead meetings or voice your opinions in group settings.

Data organisation and analysis

As a scientist, it’s imperative that you can analyse and interpret large amounts of data to gather new insights and predict possible outcomes. The gathering and interpretation of data is only effective if those performing the analytics have a high proficiency in this area.

Risk taking

The best scientific discoveries and transformations stem from bold and courageous action. Thus, to magnify their impact and drive innovation, scientists need an appetite for risk.

Problem-solving

You will struggle to grow a prosperous career in science if you lack the ability to analyse complex problems and implement effective solutions. Problem-solving is a key component of any scientific role, so you must be able to demonstrate that you can flawlessly apply a range of effective problem-solving techniques.

 

Narrowing down the right career choice for you isn’t easy, and it will take time. Never underestimate the value of asking for help, the knowledge you receive from others is a powerful tool for amplifying your career growth.

Do your homework, explore your options and learn what choices are out there. Seek out mentors and don’t be shy about asking others to share insights and guidance. Take the initiative, seek out opportunities to gain work experience and recommendations.

Finally, don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is an essential part of the learning process and is key to long-term development.

If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you grow your scientific career, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.

Author Vicki Robinson

Related Articles