5 Career Paths With a Bachelors Degree in Science
You are studying for a Bachelors degree in science and realise that you don’t want to pursue further education in that subject through a Masters or PhD. You just want to complete your Bachelors degree in science. Maybe you are feeling fearful about the logical next step in your career. And you might still want to keep a link to science in the working world. You could even be having a crisis on what alternative choices there are. Is there no choice but to study more?
Whether you are at the undergraduate stage now or graduated a few years ago, realise that there ARE options for you if you only have a Bachelors degree in science. Your science degree means you have a wealth of transferable skills that any employer would value. If you have taken the academic route and want to make a change, these options can apply to you too.
Here are 5 career paths you can consider with a Bachelors degree in science:
As a sales representative, you will be representing a company and their products to healthcare providers such as GPs and pharmacies. You will be out on the field, driving around to various locations within an allocated geographic area. This means you require a driving license and should enjoy meeting new people every day. It's the kind of job that gives you some flexibility to work from home. Although, you are often on your own so can get lonely. You need to have confidence in communicating with people and the ability to pick up medical knowledge behind products.
You also need the ability to learn about the commercial aspects of the company you are working for. There will be times where you have to present to groups of medical professionals so strong influential skills are necessary. You may have to handle rejection along the way. If you enjoy meeting new people, are resilient and don’t want to be stuck in an office, this may be a good option.
Environment, Health & Safety
Consider this if you have a Biology or Engineering background. You can use your technical knowledge to help the environment by reducing pollution and waste produced by organisations. You could also work on the health and safety side where you oversee operational aspects of a company. This includes assessing risks along the way. You could be on a manufacturing site or in a lab environment. You will also need to understand the commercial aspects of running a business and how this affects the environmental or safety decisions of a company. It is a good way to combine the application of your technical knowledge from your degree with a business mindset. And its becoming increasingly important for companies to demonstrate their levels of sustainability and environmental impact in their operations.
Teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) fields are in high demand, and teaching can prove to be a rewarding career for those that pursue this path. This career path can give you a level of flexibility with your time due to the school holidays. However the workload can offset this. Teachers have to prepare for lessons and other school activities during the holiday period and weekends.
There are also often other roles that teachers are asked to take on, like becoming the careers lead for a school. This can add some variety to the role but also can result in more planning and meetings outside of teaching hours. You will not only need to teach classes but manage behaviour, and should be confident standing up in front a group of people and conveying subjects in a way that is easy to understand. As a teacher, you are playing a role in inspiring young people and building the foundation for their future by equipping them with skills for life. This is the most rewarding aspect of a teaching career and is why a lot of teachers choose to stay in this role long term.
If you are interested in working in an educational role but not directly as a teacher, you could consider science outreach or education. In this area, you are likely to be working for a charity or specialist institution. Here, your job is often to engage the public with scientific concepts. There are a variety of different ways you could be doing this. For example, you could be working in a museum in an events team, to put on shows for families. Or, you could be in an association working on delivering science festivals where companies are invited to display their work and engage visitors with their activities. This can often be a fun option as a career path.
A lot of these organisations may be charities and so the salary is likely to be lower than working in the private sector. It can offer you lots of variety and can be a great option if you are good at turning complex concepts into fun, simple and engaging activities. Having good project or event management skills can also come in handy in these types of roles.
This is an option for you if you would like to influence government policy when it comes to making scientific decisions that can have an impact on society. You could therefore be working for a governmental department or for a charity. A lot of your work may be research based, along with producing reports and papers analysing the latest policy issues. It may also involve data analysis and interactions with the press. A policy role could be for you if you enjoy research, writing and data analysis. And if you would like to do work that could impact decision making at high levels.
This list is just a starting point for you if you weren’t sure what options you have with a bachelors degree in science. You can still keep a link to your science degree but pursue options where you don’t need to gain further academic qualifications. Consider your skills and the type of organisation you would like to work for. Think about the type of work that plays to your strengths and excites you. If you need more experience to pursue your chosen path, see our article on volunteering roles.
If you are ready to take your career outside the lab and want to know how to start, book a Beyond the Lab Breakthrough Session here.