Science Does Not Stop at Research

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Students of the sciences tend to find themselves buried in their work. Science involves a great deal of research into the unknown. Many individuals who study science will end up as researchers, making new discoveries and adding to the knowledge of the world. However, for many fields and any variety of scientists, job opportunities go well beyond just research. This applies whether it is an applied field, such as performing the job of an expert, utilizing their expertise in many differing careers, or perhaps as a teacher, helping to usher in a new generation of scientists. There are many paths besides research for the new scientist; jobs willing to make use of their knowledge.

A fairly new kind of career for the scientist that has emerged in the last decade is that of quantitative analyst, or “quant.” A quant basically applies their scientific and mathematic rigor and technique to the financial industry, predicting the behavior of stocks using mathematical and stochastic reasoning, as opposed to following hunches and well-known trends. The quant can simulate the effect of differing factors on the market with a good deal of accuracy. This career path is very lucrative for those who put in the extraordinary amount of work required of the position.

For the marine scientist, jobs are plentiful beyond pure research. On our blue and green planet, under the oceans lie the last unexplored bits of land and sea. There are countless species of aquatic life to discover, as well as numerous plants and other creatures. Beyond research, marine biologists may find themselves attached to an underwater archeology crew. This sort of career involves examining underwater shipwrecks, coastlines that have geographical significance, and so on. This work may be for the purpose of education, but it can just as easily be for scavenging lost treasures.

Marine scientist jobs also have the potential for a great deal of income in the fishermen’s world. A good deal of the world’s population gets their protein and sustenance from fish, and marine scientists can apply their trade towards maximizing yields while preserving populations for future fishing. If a species gets over fished, then in a couple years’ time the species will disappear if no preventative action is taken. Further more, when it comes to fishing, it is good to know where the fish are. This is much more important for fishing in high-risk areas such as the Bering Sea, where a boat load of crab can fetch over a million dollars, knowing where they are means that the fishermen will not have to stay out as long.

Many scientists feel a civic duty and go on to applying their trade in the field of forensic science. Within this field there are many individual tasks needed in the forensic process. One such example is biologists who examine biological matter, analyze DNA, and identify traces and materials. There are possibilities for forensic physicists who can identify the mechanics of what events occurred in a given situation. Chemists are especially suited for the forensics field, as many tasks require a good knowledge of chemistry. Forensic science is a vital part of civil enforcement, and scientists are a key ingredient.

When it comes to finding a job outside of research, it is important to be open to how skills can be applied to a career. In training to be a scientist, even with just a bachelor’s degree, one will pick up a number of talents. The scientific process itself is a valuable asset that has application to administration, finance, corporate positions, and so on and so forth. There are a plethora of other skills that the scientist will learn, especially some computer skills, advanced math skills, and a set of reasoning skills that enable the scientist to tackle a problem. Further more, the process of develops the skills needed to learn other trades and skills.

What is important, then, is to not go into an interview with an air of over- or under-confidence. You have the skills to excel in many careers, and should keep an open mind with regard to what you can do and what you can learn. It is equally important not to be overconfident, and assume that your specialty and associated skills are the only things that matter. This sort of reasoning is a sure way not to get the job you seek. You should apply for a position with an attitude like you have a lot of potential to mold yourself into the shape the company may need.

No matter what your discipline is—be it physics, biology, chemistry, or any other discipline—there are a number of potential job opportunities that are outside of research. What it will take to land these jobs is a sense of flexibility in one’s capability to take on new skills and adapt to a new job and skill set. There are many possible jobs that directly use your skill, but much more that are simple to adapt to and can be very lucrative in the long term. Sell yourself as someone who will be dedicated and loyal to the company and you will find a career in no time.
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