Careers for Life Scientists: inside and outside of STEM, a non-exhaustive guide

You’ve finished your undergraduate, graduate and PhD or stopped at any of these stages. Now, what’s next? You’re to enter the career world but you don’t even know where to start looking?

Here’s a short guide to potential job options for Life Scientists:

  1. Researcher: You’ve completed your PhD and have the following attributes: a passion for your field, a thirst for problem-solving, a desire to communicate science, a fascination for data collection and analysis? Committing to a research career may be the right option for you. But will you do so in an academic or industrial setting?
  1. Bioinformatician: You love statistics, mathematics and engineering. You want to develop methods and tools to process biological data more effectively? Plunge in the digital world and become a bioinformatician!
  1. Industrial Pharmacists: Use the latest technologies and processes to develop drugs and medications. Look into this, if you are interested in topics such as drug action, pharmacy law and ethics or diagnosis and monitoring. This may be great for those wanting one foot in industry and the other in medicine!
  1. Forensic scientist: A Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or crime based series fan? Guess what? You can use your scientific background to assist prosecution in criminal cases by: conducting post-mortem investigations, analysing blood patterns or tracing drugs in body fluids. 
  1. Doctor: Are you drawn in by patient-centered professions? Do you want to bridge leadership, innovation and critical thinking to improve health care in communities? Graduate medicine may be the perfect path for you. Bear in mind that conversion to medicine from STEM backgrounds is a competitive route but passion can take you a long way!

Featured Courses

The CPD accredited courses are carefully crafted to help you gain in-depth knowledge on a topic of your interest.

Careers outside STEM with a STEM degree?

  1. Science writer or journalist: Do you have a passion for writing, engaging with people or delivering impactful messages? Opt to write for newspapers, magazines and websites either as a freelancer or via publication houses!
  1. Consultant: You love giving advice to solve complex problems. You want to conduct market research, analyse statistics and improve a company’s business profitability? Join a Life Sciences consultancy company where you can apply all your scientific rigour and expertise to help businesses reach their goals!
  1. Lawyer: Areas like IP litigation or patenting may draw you in. Remember that your acquired scientific skills are transferrable and will allow you to join almost any law practice domain! If areas such as commercial, international or environmental law interest you, think about a conversion path in law after your Bachelor or Masters.
  1. Banking and Finance: Are numbers, data analysis and problem-solving your fortes? Worried that you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree in commerce or accounting? Rest assured, employers strongly value STEM students for their critical and analytical thinking, resilience and innovation. Give it a shot!
  1. Entrepreneur: Dreamt of starting and running a business? Now could be the time. A few tips before you get started: work with the perfect team, make sure you can take the personal or financial risks, jump onto opportunities, network and enquire!