What can I do with a science degree?

Want to solve the world’s problems? Keen to make a difference? Change the course of history? You can with science. To make science your career, you’ll need to study at university. So who better to talk all things science with than Charles Sturt’s Bachelor of Science course director and senior lecturer in chemistry, Celia Barril, and lecturer in chemistry, Lachlan Schwarz. They can answer the question for you: what can I do with a science degree?

But first up, why should you study science?

Science is fascinating! It helps us understand the world as we know it, but also further develops our capabilities. Like tackling COVID-19, or searching for life on Mars.  

Alright future scientists, let’s find out more about where science can take you. Shall we?

Should I study a science degree?

Biology, chemistry and physics. Will these subjects make it to your short-list for Year 11 and 12? Your subject selection for your final years of high school is a good indication of the types of degrees you might be suited to. Studying a science degree could be perfect if you:

  • love to do experiments in the school lab
  • know the periodic chart off by heart
  • can’t get enough of STEM
  • have a deep desire to understand the world around you.

So, Cecilia and Lachlan, who might be suited to a career in science and what could they study to get there? 

“If you’re naturally inquisitive, and like to know why things are (or work) the way they are (or do), then science is for you.”

“You should choose some Year 11 and 12 subjects in science or maths to further your interest, and see which discipline you like the most. Even if you don’t pursue a career in biology, chemistry, maths or physics, your Year 11 and 12 studies will support broader science studies at university. Plus, you’ll acquire transferable skills readily applicable to any disciplines, including the non-scientific ones.”

A Bachelor of Science is the perfect course because you can explore, mix and match different disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics.

Why is science so important?

Science makes the world go round. It unites people from around the world who are passionate about making a difference and creating a better future. Here’s just one example.

“Look at COVID-19. Scientists around the world are working together to respond to the pandemic and develop a vaccine. And it’s not just the one discipline – professionals from a range of scientific fields (health, virology, chemistry, pharmaceutics) all contribute to the welfare of our society.”

Where can a science degree take me?

Think outside of the box when it comes to career opportunities in science. Science-based careers extend way beyond working in the lab. You could be surprised at the interesting and innovative roles science could have in store for you, as our academics point out.

While scientists are often portrayed wearing a lab coat, science is much more than that! Most fields of study involve being out and about to set up experiments and collect samples/data. You could even get to fly in an AFP helicopter!

There’s a broad range of sectors and roles that you could work in with a background in science.

“Whether they are non-conventional, or just less apparent, science can lead to many careers. Science communication, policy making and teaching. Banking, data mining, astronomy, even beverage production and cheese making! Just to name a few.”

What can I specialise in?

So, you know you really enjoy science. And that’s a great start! But how do you choose just one path from the broad range of careers? Well, a generalist science degree like Charles Sturt’s Bachelor of Science is a fantastic place to start.

Our Bachelor of Science lets you go on your own exciting scientific adventure. You’ll have plenty to choose from, with five majors and a broad range of electives. Something for everyone, right? Yep, you’re spot on!

And Celia and Lachlan know that your passion for your area of specialisation can develop over time.

“It’s perfectly okay not to know what you’d like to specialise in at first. You can complete subjects in a few disciplines in your first year before deciding on a major.”

When you choose to study a generalist science degree, you’re in the driver’s seat. Your future career direction is in your hands. You get to choose what you’ll specialise in. Because it’s all about how you want to change the world.

What can I major in with Charles Sturt’s Bachelor of Science?

If you’re looking for flexible study with subject choices to suit your interests, you’ve come to the right place.

“The course is very flexible. Full-time or part-time. Online or with some on-campus subjects. There are five majors:

  • analytical chemistry
  • biology
  • earth science
  • mathematics
  • physics.

“There are also lots of electives so you can tailor the course to your interests and career path. You will have ready access to facilities, staff, research centres and industries. On campus or in the region, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience throughout your studies.”

“You can do this as extracurricular activities or as part of workplace learning. For instance, in the analytical chemistry major, one of the very few chemistry courses in Australia with integrated work experience. You can also complete studies overseas (as soon as travel is allowed, of course).”

So, which career in science do you have your eye on? Or maybe there’s a couple of areas you’d like to learn more about. Let’s take a closer look at some science careers that you may be interested in.

Careers in analytical chemistry

Analytical chemistry. What is it? Well, analytical chemistry is about performing controlled experiments to explore the chemical compounds of a substance. If you really enjoy exploring chemistry at school, this career path could be for you. Get set to spend your days working in the lab using special equipment to conduct experiments. Analyse samples to discover what they’re made of and how they react under certain conditions.

You’ll also work in office environments where you’ll use advanced software to collect data and report on your findings. Consider yourself a team player? Great! You could find yourself collaborating with research teams in analytical chemistry. There are further career opportunities in service-related jobs ranging from healthcare to petroleum and anywhere in between!

Career opportunities

  • Analytical chemist
  • Analytical scientist
  • Laboratory technician
  • Quality assurance technician
  • Research and development chemist

Careers in biology

Want to study living organisms? You can as a biologist. Biology is all about studying the natural world. Learn how we evolved as humans and help to develop ways to improve health. You could choose to focus on people, plants or animals. There are so many sub-disciplines of biology. A career in biology could take you around the world with options to work anywhere from labs, jungles, rainforests or zoos.

Want to make a real difference through conservation biology? You can! Develop strategies to manage land use so that we have the least harmful impact on the natural ecosystem. You could focus on ecosystem management, habitat conservation, wildlife preservation or specific animals to preserve biodiversity. Just think, with a career in biology you could be part of the team to create a brighter tomorrow for creatures great and small.

Career opportunities

  • Biological technician
  • Biologist
  • Botanist
  • Marine biologist
  • Zoologist

Careers in earth science

Want to make your mark on the world by helping combat climate change? Or help to protect communities by monitoring geohazards and predicting volcanic eruptions and earthquakes? You could even discover and manage the world’s resources like hydrocarbons and precious minerals. Do all this and more with a career in earth science.

Earth science can take you anywhere in the world. Work out in the field as an earth scientist, or explore a career as a geoscientist – in the field, lab or office. This could be the perfect career for you if you’re interested in learning about the earth from a physical and historical perspective.

Career opportunities

  • Geologist
  • Geoscientist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Paleontologist

Careers in mathematics

Want to turn your passion for mathematics into a career? Mathematics and statistics offer endless opportunities across all kinds of industries. Maths is the language that will help you solve the problems of tomorrow. Innovate new technology and be a leader in scientific discoveries. What’s the answer to solving some of the biggest challenges yet to be solved? You guessed it – maths!

Fancy a career as a computer and information research scientist? Or what about a career in financial or operational research analysis? There are plenty of roles to choose from. You could even be a high school maths teacher (with some additional teacher education training). How cool would it be to share your passion with the next generation?

Career opportunities

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Data or research analyst
  • Economist
  • Mathematician
  • Mathematics teacher

Careers in physics

Where would we be without physics? Well, there’s a vast range of technology that wouldn’t be the same without it. For instance, physics played a pivotal part in the development of the laser, television, radio and computers. Careers in physics are related to numeracy, problem-solving, data analysis and the communication of complex ideas. You’ll explore how the world works on a scientific and human level.

If you’re interested in a career in physics, you’ll need a strong head for numbers and foundational scientific principles. Want to make physical world discoveries? If you have all of these, you’ve hit the trifecta for what it takes for a successful career in physics.

Many physics graduates work in research roles spread across sectors such as education, automotive and aerospace, defence, the public sector, healthcare, energy, materials, technology, computing and IT. Phew – that’s a lot of options!

Career opportunities

  • Cartographer
  • Environmental scientist
  • GIS and remote sensing analyst
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Spatial scientist

Which science career is for me?

Check out our Bachelor of Science to explore where a science degree can take you. You can also take our quiz to find the right degree for you. But for now, get stuck into those high school science and maths subjects that are going to give you the best start at uni. We can’t wait to see what you’ll achieve with a career in science.