Sunday, April 7, 2013

Science Businesses Create Career Options Beyond Technical Roles

When considering career options, many scientists look at a wide variety of technical companies... and the ones that don’t, should! But above and beyond the pure science roles, these companies and many related industries offer a variety of potential jobs to people with basic science training all the way to deep research experience.


If you look around a lab, there is a variety of equipment, reagents, tools, instruments, and even basic things like lab furniture and the safety equipment. Every one of these items was made and somehow sold by companies that either directly or indirectly focuses on serving technical customers. These companies make up industries that include not only manufacturers, but the distributors, service supporting companies, and then a wide variety of supporting firms that provide consulting, logistics, specialized IT, and all kinds of other functions.

And then there are “normal” products and services that target scientists. These range from dating sites, http://www.scientificsingles.com/, to crafts: http://www.fortheloveofscience.com/.

And every one of these companies will value a technical background for more than just the science skills. Understanding how scientists work, make purchasing decisions, or special things about the products are all important to as varied functions as marketing, logistics, operations, and customer service. In other words, working for one of these companies is a great way to get opportunities to move to a non-science role while still keeping in touch with the science. Alternatively, career switchers or science trained graduates looking for entry level roles outside the traditional bench roles should all look to these industries for ways to break in to different functions. 

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