If you want to change the world, become a scientist. From putting a man on the moon to placing a mobile phone in the palm of your hand, scientists are behind many of the advances in technology and medicine we enjoy today.
One of the few positive stories to emerge from the pandemic has been the power of science to understand and shape our world. According to Katherine Mathieson, chief executive of the British Science Association, the pandemic has thrown a much-needed spotlight on lesser-known career paths. “Young people see that there isn’t just one path to take in order to contribute their skills to fighting global crises.”
Science graduates have diverse and interesting careers, but not all science graduates become scientists and a career in science doesn’t have to mean a white coat. You can use your degree as a springboard to any career where critical thinking, the ability to analyse and investigate new information, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Here are three science specialisations you can consider:
Biology is an exciting and fast evolving field with great relevance to addressing global issues such as disease and poverty, as well as biodiversity loss and climate change. The study of living things has accelerated in recent years, with disciplines including cell biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, and ecology advancing with the breakthroughs in technology.
In the first year of a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree, you’ll build a strong scientific understanding of biochemistry, genetics, physiology and ecology — mastering new practical skills along the way with advanced lab work. From there you can choose from a wide range of modules for your next semesters, from evolutionary genetics and infectious disease to neuroscience, reproductive biology or plant diversity.
Chemistry is an essential science. It impacts everyday life from brewing the perfect cup of tea to sending shuttles into space. It’s a vital science that can help better understand and create solutions to many of the challenges the world faces today and continues to make advances in areas including new materials, antibiotics, semiconductors and trace analysis.
A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry prepares students for careers as professional chemists and serves as a foundation for careers in other fields such as biology and medicine. The curriculum typically covers the general areas of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. More specialised courses include analytical, nuclear, and biophysical chemistry and chemical biology.
Physicists shape the world we live in, and are responsible for many of the world’s most important scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, such as televisions, computers, nuclear technology and lasers. Physicists have been at the helm of quantum theory, the theory of relativity, the big bang theory and the splitting of the atom. It is the driving force behind most new technologies, from radars to lasers, transistors to quantum computers and electron microscopes to advanced medical imaging scanners.
The overarching objective of the Physics major is to introduce you to the frontiers of modern physics via an emphasis on essential mathematical skills. You will learn the basis for making, interpreting and extending observations related to the behaviour and structure of matter. A Bachelor of Science in Physics typically covers mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, vibrations, waves, optics, and modern, quantum and statistical mechanics.