by Simon Lythgoe
Life science is a diverse and exciting sector, which offers a very wide range of options for anyone considering this as a career path. While the range of choices might seem overwhelming at first, finding the right one in simple when you know what you need to consider.
What do you want from a career?
Life sciences jobs present a broad array of options so it’s important to narrow down what it is that you’re looking for from your career. Identifying how you want to work, where and with whom can be a useful starting point. For example, you might want to consider the following:
Opportunities for travel or being based in one location
Working as part of a team or mostly under your own steam
Work-life balance and family considerations
How much you’re looking to earn
Where your benchmark is in terms of what you want to earn as compared to the hours that you’re willing to work for that salary
What are you good at?
It’s also key to match up your skills to the roles that are available in life sciences. It’s a common misconception that life sciences careers are based either around teaching or research. Both of these are options for a job in this sector if that is where your skill set lies. However, many other roles exist that will enable you to use a broad spectrum of skills and expertise. For example, if you enjoy writing you could also look into a life sciences journalist job, or an editing role for a sector specific publication. Start by identifying what your key skills are so that you can match them to the role that is likely to be the best fit.
What are the options
You don’t need to work through every single life sciences opportunity but knowing those that are the most common can be helpful. These are:
A role in life sciences research could extend across a very wide area, from studying what makes us human to finding cures for illness and disease. If you love to learn and excel in an academic environment this could be the path for you.
Becoming a life sciences teacher gives you the opportunity to share a passion for the subject matter with the next generation. There are lots of different ways to do this, from being a school teacher to a university tutor.
Working for a private company
Biotechnology is an innovative and burgeoning area. This type of role can be more fast paced than others in life sciences – it’s essential that you’re comfortable with the drive for profit if you opt for a private sector role.
Writing and editing
From editing a technical journal to covering life sciences for a national paper, a passion for this industry combined with a love of communication is ideal for writing and editing life sciences roles.
A medical career
Although medical training is long and tough it can also be incredibly rewarding if you’re passionate about the practical application of life sciences.
These are just a few of the things to consider if you’re looking at a career in life sciences. Find out more by getting in touch with one of our team today.