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Aiming for Your Dream Job in Science Means Going a Bit Sideways

Science Jobs

Tips to Get a Job in a Field of Science

There are many fields of science and many exciting things happening all the time: medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, health, communication, computer and environmental science are all places where new things are happening and where it can be exciting to think of making the next big mark. However, actually landing a job where you do exactly what you want, solving the problems you care about, and coming out with breakthroughs the world needs is a lot harder than it sounds.

With American universities churning out far more Ph.D. students than the job market needs and with many graduates ending up in very different jobs than they envisioned, landing a job in science is less a science and more an art-and often requires compromise and flexibility. So instead of aiming for that job in biotechnology or instead of dreaming of curing a disease, you may want to rein the impulses in and go to school for something that is parallel to science without letting you get stuck in a glutted field.

We’ll show you how to aim yourself a little sideways of your goal so that you don’t get stuck and you can make a difference while still doing what you enjoy.

Choosing an In-Demand Field Parallel to what You Want to Do

Do you love the idea of nanotechnology? Or maybe you want to work in medicine? Well then the goal is not to work towards being a nano-tech superstar or necessarily a highly specialized doctor who then has to find a niche, but instead something related.

Here are some of the in-demand careers which let you do a wide range of things and will probably include what you’ve been dreaming of doing while still giving you a broader base of experience you can leverage into a good job:

Engineering: Many, many scientific jobs want people with some sort of background in engineering. Having this degree opens up all kinds of doors

Marketing: At first glance, it doesn’t look related; however, many people hiring in the sciences like people to have some marketing experience, particularly if you want to work in medicine, quality control or any field where you will be producing something for consumers. In this same line, focusing a bit more on your communication skills (writing, presentations) is a good idea.

Environmental Science: Whether you want to work with water, land, air or some combination therein; whether you want to work with the oil, coal and gas companies or against them; whether you want to work with animals or you prefer to work with trees, you’ll want a background in environmental science. This is one of the few purely scientific fields that are expected to grow in the next several years with resource exploration, resource management, and resource protection.

Biology: With a solid background in biology, you can work towards becoming a biologist (duh), biochemist and medical scientists, all of whom are expected to boom in job demand

Chemistry: Pharmaceuticals, biochemistry and medicine all ask for some kind of background in chemistry. Get a leg up and some flexibility by getting an education here!

These may not lead you directly on the path to your dream job in science, but they will get you on the path to a job in science which gives you experience and the ability to move towards your dream job. Hey, no one said it would be easy!

Do it for Love

Many senior scientists in the right fields make six figures, but most of them don’t. It’s important to note that most scientists-particularly entry level-make about $28,000-$36,000/year and then slowly improve from there. Only a small percentage make in the six figures and then, only in the right fields. Therefore, it’s important to do what you love as well as what there are jobs for so that you are working on something you enjoy and you feel less sour about the paycheck. This is good advice no matter what, but in the case of sciences where the competition can be stiff and the paychecks floppy, it’s even more important.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t aim yourself for a field that is actually in demand because obviously that’s what you want to do. But make sure you’re going for a field that’s both in demand and in line with what kind of impact you want to make in the world. After all, there’s not much point in going into the sciences if you don’t dream of doing something to change the world you live in!

Finding a job in science isn’t easy, but if you come at it a bit sideways, do what you enjoy doing, and are willing to work towards your goals, it’s very achievable. Good luck making your mark on the world!