Life after a science degree

Georgia Bladon – Student Blogger

For many of us, the time has come to think about life beyond the student bubble.  In in my final year of  physics and philosophy, life is far from unchallenging, but it is free from the worries of unemployment, doing something you don’t enjoy or not having the money for the next rent instalment. These are the problems that come to mind when I think of the years to come and the decisions I should be making. Like many I am torn between what is sensible and what is risky. There is the appeal of the potential financial security of engineering set against my probably unrealistic idea of freelance journalism.

I recently went to the ‘science, engineering and technology’ careers fair and found myself largely unimpressed by what was on offer. The direction that scientists seem to be nudged toward is not one that appeals to me or many of my peers. But do not fear if you find yourself in this situation. There are other paths out there that avoid the fancy graduate schemes in banking, oil or weapons development. Not to say you shouldn’t choose this if it appeals to you but it is reassuring to know it is not the only choice. Even within the engineering companies I came across there is an opportunity to go into the environmental sector or smaller companies that concentrate only on environmental policy and engineering. One of which I did work experience with over the summer. A job like this would usually require a science graduate to have a masters in engineering.

A second option, which you can look into with or without post graduate training is science communication. Working in areas like science journalism, work at museums and festivals and science policy work.  The list of potential graduate careers and post graduate education for science graduates is immense and although it might require supporting yourself off waiting jobs for a couple of years any of them is achievable with the right amount of motivation. If there’s one thing I have learnt in my struggle to decide what to do next it’s that you should spend time thinking over the options before setting your sights on a career you could have for a very long time. Have I actually come to a decision yet? Well… not necessarily. But I do have a much better idea of what I don’t want to do, which is definitely progress. If you’re in the same position, I wish you luck.

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