Options for science students
Studying any STEM subject is hugely respected by employers and in some demand. However, the irritating fact, is that unlike medicine or dentistry, is it not vocational, and you need to carve out a career for yourself. So, what are your options:
- You could pursue a career in Health Science – hospitals employ large numbers in areas such Life Sciences, Physiological Sciences or Clinical Engineering and Medical Physics. Life Scientists specialise in areas such as blood diagnostic services, infection science, tissue and cellular science and genetics. Most of these are lab based in a hospital. Psychological scientists investigate the functioning of body systems and organs so specialise in areas such as ears, hearts, respiratory systems etc. Clinical scientists support, develop and maintain physical techniques and equipment such as ultrasound and radiation equipment.
- Apply for the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). This is a three year work based paid programme in one location, where you select to specialise in one of 9 areas in your 2nd and 3rd years. The 1st year is fairly general. You will also study for a masters in parallel.
- You may wish to join the pharmaceutical industry. There are numerous roles both in an R&D area and in more front line commercial roles such as medical reps or medical writing. R&D roles as well as biological and chemical lab work include, drug safety, health economics, imaging, regulatory affairs, clinical studies and others.
- Similarly the cosmetic industry has a range of roles for scientists both lab work as well as areas such as product, process & packaging, QA, sales & marketing, purchasing, manufacturing, research and perfumery.
- Pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies invest millions of pounds in new products before they come to market. Protecting their intellectual property is therefore critical. Being a patent lawyer is therefore a possibility for scientists and would involve you in all aspects of the business
- NHS Management. The NHS runs an excellent NHS graduate programme. It is a 2-year programme and you specialise in either: general management, health informatics, finance, or HR. They are looking to develop the leaders of tomorrow.
- You could pursue a career in forensic science. You do not have to have a degree in it, but it is preferable to study a masters. Forensic scientists tend to specialise in terms of fire, collision, medical, digital, scene of crime etc.
- You do not have to use your science degree at all. You can simple apply for the many roles that do not specify a particular degree. This could be in sales, marketing, purchasing, merchandising, media, supply chain, human resources, IT etc. across most industries.
- Consider becoming a psychologist or psychotherapist, dealing with people with mental disorders, physical health problems, learning disabilities, emotional problems, relationship problems, counsellors for people with cancer, drug addiction, genetic disorders, depression etc. You need to complete an HCPC approved postgraduate professional training course in order to practice.