Many professional bodies and careers services run specialist careers fairs.
Larger scientific recruiters offer a structured graduate training programme, with an application deadline often in the November, December or January of your final year. Non-science graduates can also apply for places on these programmes to work in areas such as human resources, IT and finance.
Smaller companies tend to recruit throughout the year.
Vacancies for PhD and post-Doctoral entrants are usually advertised as they occur.
Many science jobs, particularly at PhD level, are found through networking. You can develop your network by:
Places to find job advertisements are:
Find out more about applying for jobs.
Because of the technical nature of most jobs in the science sector, employers state that applicants for specific posts need particular qualifications and grades. Beyond that, the exact skills employers look for depend on the nature of the job.
The bioscience sector has greater skills shortages and gaps than other sectors and has a high demand for relevantly skilled technicians, graduates and postgraduates. Priorities within the bioscience sector include:
Generally, employers in the science sector look for evidence of:
You can acquire relevant transferable skills by getting involved in sport, university societies and voluntary organisations. It may also be possible to mentor other students on your course or join a staff/student committee.
Relevant work experience can be crucial in landing your ideal job. If your course includes a placement, this can be a real advantage. Otherwise, try to arrange a one-year or vacation placement. Larger recruiters run formal work placement schemes. Check their websites to find out how to apply. If no vacancies are advertised, make informal enquiries or apply speculatively.
Experience and insight developed through work shadowing or voluntary work are also useful. Remember that any work you do will be to your credit, especially if you demonstrate that you have developed skills, e.g. IT and teamworking, that are vital in your chosen career.
There are links for industrial placements available on some professional body websites, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) .
An increasing number of jobs require a postgraduate qualification.
In industry, a PhD is often an advantage for longer-term promotion and professional development. For certain roles it is mandatory for employees to obtain professional accreditation or qualifications.
Employers generally support professional development by encouraging employees to obtain postgraduate qualifications, so they often cover tuition fees and grant study leave.
Generally speaking, the science sector offers lots of opportunity for career development. You are more likely to find a structured career path if you work in industry. Advancement is usually by obtaining further qualifications or professional accreditation, by changing role and/or by taking on significantly more responsibilities, usually in management.
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