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Finding a Job for Your Natural Science Degree

Tags:  Looking for work, College major, Life after college

If you have a passion for one of the sciences, but aren't sure you want to spend the rest of your career in a laboratory, know that you have other options. Degrees in anthropology, astronomy, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geography, geographical sciences, or physics might have you feeling like you're relegated to a career in a lab or classroom, when you actually have many other choices.


Here are just a few ideas for some of you natural science majors.


Animal Care


Entomology, zoology, and marine biology are all areas of science that lend themselves well to jobs dealing with animals and in many cases the great outdoors. Consider opportunities in zoos and aquariums, fish hatcheries, wild life preserves or parks, or veterinary hospitals.


Graduates with degrees in the sciences are needed for jobs in animal care or training, medicine, conservation, education and even administration.


Creative Arts


If you love science, but hate the idea of being tied to a classroom or lab, you may want to try your hand at photography, technical writing, or scientific illustration.


Publishing companies, newspapers, museums, research centers and even the federal government need graduates with a strong understanding of biology, botany or chemistry in addition to solid photography, graphic illustration and writing skills.




Some natural science degrees such as biology, biochemistry and chemistry have great application to the healthcare field. Use your undergrad degree as a jumping off point for medical school or further your education and become a pharmacist. You might even want to pursue additional training in occupational or physical therapy.


Consider the career of Sue Falsone, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, who works for the Los Angeles Dodgers as the only female physical therapist in Major League Baseball.




Want to combine your love of science with a law degree? There are jobs out there for this great combination. Patent law, environmental law, agricultural law, regulatory affairs or lobbying are all areas where a degree in natural science and your JD have application. Or if you enjoy what you see on CSI, you might want to try your hand at a career in toxicology or other investigative work.


Quality Control


All manufacturers are required to monitor the quality of their consumer products, especially if they are chemical based like cosmetics, food items, petrochemical, and paint. The idea behind quality control is to make sure your organization manufactures all products on a consistently high level in accordance with established standards.


Don't think you want to work in manufacturing Q.C.? Quality control positions with an environmental twist might be right up your alley. How about working in soil and water conservation or wildlife biology?


Research and Development


Natural science majors have so many choices when it comes to not only the focus of research and development jobs, but also the employers.


Rewarding areas of R & D include biotechnology, genetics, environment, mineralogy, quantum mechanics, astrogeology and space science, just to name a few. These types of job can be found in a variety of manufacturing industries where you might develop new synthetic materials or solve environmental issues.

Or consider jobs at universities, in the government (think Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Agriculture), or in private research.


While you'll probably have to start as a technician or assistant, the more education the higher up the career ladder you can climb.




Love science and people? Many sales careers provide you with the opportunity to use your technical know-how while further developing your great customer service skills. Consider just a few of the product areas where you can utilize your science background: pharmaceutical, agricultural, medical supplies, cosmetics, paint, petrochemical and chemical.




If academia is your passion, consider getting your teaching certificate and working with elementary school students. Or get your masters or PhD and check out teaching careers at secondary and post-secondary levels. And if you don't immediately feel comfortable in front of the classroom, consider taking public speaking courses to bolster your confidence.


Whatever career path you choose, know that you have options. Whether your degree is in business or natural science.

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