What Science Communication Jobs Are Out There?
Science communication jobs are an increasingly popular field for science graduates to explore. This is the case for those with a bachelor’s degree or PhDs who want to make a career change. There is also more emphasis for scientists to communicate their work as part of their duty to the public. Science communication can be an exciting field to work in and often attracts those with a science background. It offers the chance to use your degree in a different way, and the opportunity to work in interesting industries. The field of science communication is quite broad. There are many different ways you can become a ‘science communicator’. What you do depends on what skills you want to use, and what industries interest you. Here is a list of the main science communication jobs you can do:
If you enjoy putting pen to paper, you can explore roles which require you to write directly about science. If you would like to write about science in a technical way, a medical communications role could be for you. Reporting on science to the public might sound more appealing to you, in which case scientific journalism could be more suitable. There are also general communications roles for science-based charities where you have to write content for their marketing materials. Think about the type of writing you most enjoy and what audience you would like to write for.
This is a separate category because although there are general science education roles, museums can be a very specific environment to work in. You can also categorize a wide variety of roles in museums as 'science communication'. Some roles are specifically titled ‘Museum Education Officers’ which may involved general planning and delivery of educational activities to various audiences. You could also work in specific roles such as curation and exhibition management. There are also other roles in events or learning departments that involved organising activities to educate visitors about specific topics. All the topics are likely to relate to the theme of the museum and the exhibitions on display.
If you enjoy organising events, there are a few ways you can do this in the science communication field. The general aim would be to educate or engage specific audiences with research or a scientific concept. You could do this in a museum, as mentioned in the previous category. You can also do this type of role for science festivals, universities, other academic institutes, or charities. Some healthcare charities may have events related to explaining their research to the public. Each organisation will have different aims, so think about what scientific field interests you, the type of events you want to organise and the kind of company you would like to work for.
Your skills and interests may lie in the media industry, where you could be editing or producing materials for a TV show or podcast. In this field, researching is also required and, if you like being in the spotlight, presenting a show is also an option. Again, there are a variety of roles within the media industry. Perhaps wildlife and conservation interests you, and would like to produce content in this area. This is also an area where you could create your own work, for example starting your own podcast. It could be something that you grow to pursue full-time, or a side project that you can show as evidence of your skills in interviews.
You may find roles that are called ‘Public Engagement Officer’ or ‘Public Engagement Manager’ quite a lot in various science-based companies. These roles are usually more general science communication roles where you will be doing a broad set of tasks. They can also often be compared to PR and Marketing roles at other companies. Look closely at job descriptions as the requirements can vary. If you want a mix of writing, event organising and other types of content creation, this could be a good option. You may also engage with and train researchers in communication, and there could be a variety of audiences involved. There are many different science communication jobs out there, and it’s a growing field with an increasing level of popularity. It’s a good idea to think of the sector you would like to work in e.g. healthcare, charities, museums, societies, universities etc. This will help you narrow down your exploration and understand what roles are available in each sector.
If you are ready to take your career outside the lab and want to know how to start, watch our webinar on How Science Graduates Can Get a High Paying Job Outside the Lab Even if You Have Little to No Work Experience.