Ethan O'Farrell

Science Careers?

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What are the leading careers in science today?

Edited by Ethan O'Farrell
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Academic positions: Time is spent between teaching, administrative work, leading a research group, writing and not sleeping. Requires PhD, highly competitive, so-so compensation.

Staff scientist: Depending on institution it can be organizational (managing facility), providing service and/or conduction research projects. Often time-limited. Permanent positions exist but are extremely rare. Most of the time PhD is required.

Industrial positions: typically the vast majority of available jobs. Can range from technician/analyst (usually MSc required) to the equivalent of project managers (i.e. diverse roles).

 

There are few pure science careers per se (and most are academic in nature), rather, there are jobs that require science degrees.

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Government research establishments is an interesting 3rd way between academia and industry. Normally less teaching than academia but also less freedom to explore your own direction. These are often quite confined and less inclined to do the big blue sky research than academia. But rather the next step somewhere before industry might pick it up. 

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There are plenty of career opportunities for Graduate R&D scientists with a Bachelor's or Master's degrees. However, if you are seeking a long term career in industry, then it is advisable to study for a PhD, as without one it may difficult to gain promotion in organisations such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies and government laboratories. 

In my experience, I found the following sectors offer very good opportunities for graduates within the current market:

  • Research & Development
  • Forensic Science
  • Toxicology

 

 

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