Beyond the Lab


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Beyond the Lab

  1. 1. beyond the lab The many ways you can use your Bachelor of Science in the new world of work
  2. 2. introduction Which undergraduate degree will provide you with the broadest career opportunities down the road? I t’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Bachelor of Science is the foundation degree that provides students with the skills essential to a wide-ranging career in the industries of the future. Sure, over a four-year program, a B.Sc student will focus on developing applied knowledge in a particular technical field, but – regardless of whether they major in math, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy or another science – there are a myriad career options available to them upon entering the professional world. Scientific progress is one essential key to our security as a nation, to our better health, to more jobs, to a higher standard of living and to our cultural progress. A Bachelor of Science prepares graduates for more than just work in a lab – skills such as critical thinking, strategic analysis and communication are in demand by all sorts of employers across a range of industries. Government, academia, large corporations and small industry all seek top talent with the structured and methodical approach to project work that comes with an undergraduate science degree. So, if you’re looking to carve out a career that not only taps into your knowledge, but also complements your personal skills and interests, a Bachelor of Science may just be the degree for you! In this e-book, we discuss the top growth employment markets and the reasons they’re hot; the return on your education investment; why the field of science needs women in its ranks; and the four steps for making it in a science profession. 2 Audrey MacLean, interviewed by Adrianna Gardella for the NY Times
  3. 3. The world needs STEM, and STEM needs workers In our world, the innovators that drive economic growth and competition are rewarded for their efforts A s our society continues to gather momentum in its race towards a more efficient, cleaner, safer, brighter future, so too does the demand for knowledge, skills and abilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In this, the knowledge economy, STEM industries fuel the engines of growth and productivity. In fact, the US Department of Labor predicts that STEM workers will be responsible for more than 50% of our nation’s sustained economic expansion.1 Whether they involve developing the sophisticated technology through which we communicate, or forging medical advances in response to the aging population, or even finding ways to conserve our planet, STEM jobs are critical to our national competitiveness – they are the jobs of the future. It follows, then, that STEM is one of the fastest-growing occupational categories in the developed world with Scientist careers rewarding professionals with salaries ranging from $56,100 to $95,740 per year on average.* Depending on your major, the skills you need to develop will vary. If you are a Biochemist major, operating scientific equipment, handing and organizing information, practical knowledge and biology theory and statistical awareness are important. Food Scientists on the other hand need to possess analytical thinking skills, mathematical aptitude, scientific and mechanical abilities. The five reoccurring critical skills that all scientists need to have to succeed are: oral and written communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, technical skills and team work. Diane M. Barker, Director, Center of Excellence – Science, Kelly Services 1 3 US Department of Labor
  4. 4. global stem concentrations As a percentage of employment, the following countries have the highest share of Human Resources in science and technology (HRST): Luxembourg Sweden Denmark Switzerland norway The U.s. (ranked 12th) Source: OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 4
  5. 5. Out of the lab and into the world A Bachelor of Science opens gateways you’d never expect. S cience is the ‘S’ in STEM. It constitutes 19% of the overall STEM employment The top ten life, physical and social sciences occupations by employment category, and of the industries that fall under the STEM umbrella, life and physical are as follows: sciences have the highest educated workforce. Nearly 40% of science workers • Clinical Counseling/School Psychologists hold a graduate degree, which is almost double the proportion in computer, math and • Medical Scientists engineering jobs. • Environmental Scientists/Specialists, including Health • Chemists A Bachelor of Science degree provides graduates with the foundation for • Biological Technicians many career paths, including: • Chemical Technicians • industry-based jobs (biochemistry, forensics, pathology) • Life, Physical and Social Science Technicians • information jobs (patent attorneys, science journalists) • Natural Sciences Managers • broader health care industry-based jobs (health policy development, public • Urban and Regional Planners health workers) • Geoscientists • biomedical research • work in the medical industry Firms in the Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Consulting industries rely heavily on • work in the education and training industries this scientific talent. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche and • sales jobs GlaxoSmithKline are in the business of innovation and will perpetually seek workers with • work in non-science industries where a science degree/background is required the right mix of skills and knowledge in order to remain competitive. • entry into professional study (medicine, veterinarian science, dentistry) Currently, the industries with the highest concentrations of science workers include: • Scientific research and development services • Government (Federal, State and Local) • Colleges, universities and professional schools 5
  6. 6. A perfect time to get your foot in the door There is more focus on jobs in science than ever before. Many of the highest paying and fastest growing professions are found in these fields. T here are a great many rewards to be had for the most successful science 6. Physicists – There are many specializations within the field of physics, from the professionals, but things can get competitive. The good news is that many of philosophical to the practical, but all are concerned with the study of motion and the highest paying and most rewarding careers in science are also the fastest matter. The median salary is $105,430 and 14% job growth is expected by 2020 for growing, so it could be the perfect time to get your foot in the door. Top List of Careers in Science According to Projected Job Growth This science career list is based on figures regarding projected growth, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook report. 10. Materials Scientists – These scientist careers involve studying both natural and synthetic materials, and how they are composed, in order to improve them or create new materials. The median salary is $69,790 and 4% job growth is expected by 2020 for chemists and materials scientists. 9. Atmospheric Scientists – As an atmospheric scientist, you would be involved with monitoring the atmosphere of the Earth and how it is behaving. The issue of global warming is an area of focus in this field right now. The median salary is $87,780 and 11% job growth is expected by 2020 for meteorologists and atmospheric scientists. 8. Microbiologists – These scientists study the development of various microscopic life forms and how they act together with their environment. The median salary for this profession is $65,920 and 13% job growth is expected by 2020. 7. Astronomers – As you may know, astronomers study celestial bodies and spaces, including planets, the sun, other stars and galaxies. The median salary is $105,430 and 14% job growth is expected by 2020 for both physicists and astronomers. this profession. 5. Hydrologists – As a hydrologist, you would be dedicated to studying rainfall and bodies of water. The median salary is $75,690 and 18% job growth is expected by 2020. 4. Environmental Scientists – This is among the fastest growing jobs in science today. The field of environmental science involves researching and helping to protect animals, humans, plants and all natural resources. The median salary is $61,700 and 19% job growth is expected by 2020. 3. Geoscientists – These types of scientists aim to understand the origins, characteristics and evolution of the Earth. The median salary is $82,500 and 21% job growth is expected by 2020. 2. Biophysicists/Biochemists – These scientists are concerned with how living organisms are affected by physics and chemistry. The median salary is $79,390 and 31% job growth is expected by 2020. 1. Medical Scientists – These jobs involve studying diseases and health in humans in the effort to discover/develop new preventions, treatments and cures. The median salary is $76,700 and 36% job growth is expected by 2020 – which is much higher than average.
  7. 7. The payback on investing in a Bachelor of Science The returns for your commitment to an undergrad degree in science are many. A s with the other STEM industries, science knowledge and qualifications continue to top the list of the most sought-after skills from employers. STEM degrees are generally known to show positive ‘return on investment’ to employees for the effort and cost that’s required to achieve them. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the fastest-growing science careers are: • Medical Scientists (Except Epidemiologists): 36.4% estimated growth rate through 2020. • Biochemists/Biophysicists: 30.8% estimated growth rate through 2020. Graduates with chemistry majors who choose to work in that field, for example, will enjoy low unemployment prospects (less than 2%) and a vast array of job opportunities – and not just the expected vocations such as lab technicians or research assistants. Industry employers also seek chemistry majors for positions such as technical writers, sales representatives and even managers. • Survey Researchers: 24.1% estimated growth through 2020. • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Including Health: 23.6% estimated growth rate through 2020. Of course, work in a number of these jobs will require post-graduate study; however a Likewise, biology majors can choose from a wide range of technician jobs in research Bachelor of Science will provide you with the necessary foundation to start out on these and development, veterinary science, biotechnology or pharmacy. They can also look and many other paths. further afield and work as high school biology teachers, for example. 7
  8. 8. Why science needs women Diversity is key to innovation and balanced decision-making. E ven though they represent almost half of the overall US workforce, women Recently, the NSF introduced reforms around the administration of grants, with the aim hold fewer than 25% of STEM jobs. They are well represented in some fields, of increasing flexibility in the workplace and encouraging female science professionals to including the life and physical science areas where they hold up to 40% of remain in the field. roles. For the most part, workers in science are male — and they’re also older. Almost one-third of science workers (31.4%) are over the age of 55, compared to less than one- Achieving a greater proportion of women in scientific fields is essential to narrowing quarter (22.2%) of all other workers. the impending skills gap in STEM, and also to exposing these industries to the benefits of a more diverse workforce. Organizations know that diversity is key to innovation and Women’s underrepresentation in STEM has nothing to do with their ability, interests or skills. Instead, external factors such as culturally prescribed roles and stereotypes, a lack of women in leadership/decision-making roles, and organizational constraints of academia negatively impact the diversity of the science workforce. In short, these factors often prevent women from choosing to pursue a career in a STEM field, and hamper their advancement when they do. 8 balanced decision-making.
  9. 9. 4 tips for making it in a science career 1. Consider post-graduate education: 3. Work on your ‘people’ skills: Some science jobs (such as a physicist, for example) require post-grad qualifications. Generally, employers are seeking employees with the following soft skills: If you’re considering pursuing further education in the hope of increasing your salary/ a. active listening employment prospects, or standing out from the BSc crowd, it’s worth checking to b. cooperation and teamwork ensure you will realize a return on your investment—a Master’s does not necessarily c. creativity/innovation guarantee higher pay. d. leadership 2. Create a network: e. organization/attention to detail f. written and oral communication Become involved with professional organizations. A few you might consider include: a. Association of Clinical Research Professionals 4. Stay up to date: b. Drug Information Association As the world of work has adapted to globalization and ongoing technological c. The American Chemical Society (ACS) innovation, to give yourself an edge in the science employment market, it’s worth d. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) developing ‘emerging’ soft skills, such as: e. Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) a. cross-cultural competency f. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) b. new media literacy c. emotional/social intelligence d. trans-disciplinary skills e. virtual collaboration 9
  10. 10. References Next steps for female scientists: • • How to use biomedical science degree: • • • Bachelor of Science Career Possibilities: • What kind of jobs can a biology major get? • What can you do with a Chemistry Degree? • Top paying science degree: • 10
  11. 11. Did you know that Kelly® puts a scientific contractor to work every 30 minutes? And, every four minutes a Kelly employee is hired permanently by a Kelly customer. Kelly is dedicated to helping you find your ideal job. As a world-class staffing organization, Kelly® is dedicated to connecting job seekers to their ideal job. Get started today by searching our jobs at Kelly Career Network®, joining our Talent Network, or by visiting to learn more. 11
  12. 12. About the Author Diane Barker is director, Americas Product Group, Scientific for Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB), a leader in providing workforce solutions, headquartered in Troy, Michigan. Ms. Barker is responsible for brand management, product strategies, and development of innovative scientific workforce solutions in the Americas for Kelly Scientific Resources, a specialty service of Kelly Services®. In addition to working for Kelly® for over 20 years, Ms. Barker has an extensive experience in workforce solutions consulting with many Fortune 500 companies. Prior, Ms. Barker was the Midwest regional director of Kelly Scientific Resources. In this role, Ms. Barker held a variety of sales and operations responsibilities within the Midwest region. Ms. Barker holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Louis University. About Kelly Services® Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 560,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2012 was $5.5 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Download The Talent Project, a free iPad app by Kelly Services. This information may not be published, broadcast, sold, or otherwise distributed without prior written permission from the authorized party. All trademarks are property of their respective owners. An Equal Opportunity Employer. © 2014 Kelly Services, Inc. EXIT