Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Scientific careers


As a science student, you might assume that your options for using your scientific knowledge upon graduation either involve working in a laboratory or teaching. 

You aren't alone in that assumption, but you couldn't be more wrong! Most job adverts rarely specify a particular degree, but we do know that science graduates are in demand across all sectors. 

To help you make sense of your career options, read on.


Making sense of your options

Working in a lab, in the field or in a computational setting

Our graduates have embarked on diverse scientific careers in academic research, environmental consultancy, analytical chemistry, software engineering, pharmaceutical statistics, livestock nutrition and even space operations.

If you think that your future lies in science, a great place to start would be to take the Science Council's quiz to find out which of the 10 types of scientist you are:

Which type of scientist are you?

Spotlight On: Science into Business

Kiri Granger, PhD alumna and Director of Neuroscience at Cambridge Cognition, talks about her job role and working in a commercial setting.




Science beyond the lab

While you might have enjoyed your subject while studying, you might not want to work in a lab. Many of our graduates chose a career in a sector outside of science, but where the transferable skills they have gained from their degree – problem solving, researching and analysis – are in demand.

Explore our seven alternative careers for scientists to give you a flavour of what else is out there.

Science careers beyond the lab

Going even further afield

Understanding how you can use your degree across a range of different occupations and sectors associated with STEM such as life sciences, food and drink, engineering, the games industry or the environment can help generate career ideas.

Outside of science and technology, take a look how the skills and experiences you have gained while at University can help you secure your dream job working in international development, or even the sports industry.

Other occupational areas

Further study

Perhaps you are considering embarked on a masters degree or PhD after your undergraduate degree? Use our further study pages to decide if postgraduate study is right for you.

Choosing further study as an option


There's no 'one career path' in science

In Careers we're often asked, "what can I do with my science degree?" The answer is anything you want as most job adverts rarely specify a particular subject discipline.

However, you may find that such freedom of choice can actually be constraining if you're trying to make sense of what your options are.

A better starting point might be to consider where your interests lie and what you enjoy doing.

In other words, what are your career values?

Useful questions to ask yourself could be:

  • Do I want to use science in my job?
  • Do I want to be hands-on and do something like research?
  • Would I prefer working in an academic or industrial setting?
  • Would I enjoy applying my scientific knowledge in an alternative career such as science communications, policy or regulation?
  • Could I successfully apply my transferable skills, such as attention to detail, data analysis and problem solving, to a career outside of science altogether?
  • Would I like to be my own boss and look at starting up my own company?



Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
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