Science degrees can open a wide range of career options for those who are passionate about exploring and understanding the natural world. From studying the fundamental principles of the universe to investigating the mechanisms of the human body, science offers possibilities for those who are curious and driven to learn. In this blog, we will explore some of the many career paths you can pursue with a science degree as well as what to study to become a scientist.
Science is a broad field that encompasses many different areas of study, from biology and chemistry to physics and engineering. So, if you find yourself asking the question, What can you do with a science degree? this blog will provide the answer. Choosing the right area of study is critical to becoming a successful scientist, as it will determine the type of research you can pursue and the industries where you can work.
In This Article:
- What To Study To Become a Scientist
- A Science Major's List of Career Outcomes
- Overall Career Potential for Science Degree Graduates
What To Study To Become a Scientist
If you are passionate about science and interested in pursuing a career as a scientist, you may be wondering what degree you should pursue. The truth is that there is no single "right" degree that will guarantee you a career as a scientist. However, there are several degrees that can provide you with a strong foundation in the scientific principles and skills needed to succeed in this field.
In this section, we will explore some of the most popular areas of study for aspiring scientists and provide guidance on how to choose the best field of study based on your interests, skills and career goals. Whether you're a high school student just starting to think about college or a working professional looking to change careers, this guide will help you take the first steps toward becoming a scientist.
Learn More About:
- Bachelor’s degree in a science-related field
- Master’s degree in a science-related field
- Doctoral degree in a science-related field
- Medical degree
- Engineering degree
Bachelor's Degree in a Science-Related Field
A bachelor's degree in a science field, such as biology, chemistry, physics or environmental science, can provide you with a solid foundation in the scientific principles and methods used in your field of study. With a bachelor's degree in a science field, you may be able to work as a laboratory technician, science writer or a science teacher. You can also pursue graduate studies in your field of interest to set yourself up for possible career advancement.
Master's Degree in a Science-Related Field
A master's degree in a science related field can provide you with more specialized knowledge and advanced skills in your area of interest. A science degree at the masters level can prepare you for leadership roles in industries such as research, education or government. Graduate programs in science may provide you with opportunities to connect with professionals in your field that may lead to future job opportunities.
Doctoral Degree in a Science-Related Field
A doctoral degree, such as a PhD or a Doctor of Science (DSc), is the highest degree you can earn in a science field. It is often challenging and intellectually stimulating, requiring a great deal of perseverance and critical thinking. Doctoral degrees can offer numerous benefits, such as enabling you to use your expertise to develop new theories on solving scientific problems, designing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting results. Earning a doctoral degree in a science field may allow you to work in academia at universities, developmental positions allowing you to discover new products, technologies or scientific innovations, public health, research and advocacy, environmental, national security and other various industries.
If you are interested in becoming a physician as well as a scientist, you will need to earn a medical degree, such as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Medical school prepares you to become a licensed physician who can practice medicine, prescribe medication and perform surgeries. MDs typically complete a residency program that can take anywhere from three to seven years to complete, depending on the specialty and university. This doctoral degree could also allow you to lead a research team and make new discoveries, but those types of positions are usually only open to MDs or DOs who have also gained a substantial amount of research training alongside their medical training. This is also true for doctors in Physical Therapy (DPT), doctors in Pharmacy (PharmD) and other clinical doctoral degree-holders.
Engineering and science are closely related fields, and many of the skills and knowledge required for success in one field are applicable to the other. If you are interested in applying scientific principles to solve practical problems, you may want to consider studying engineering. Engineers use science and math to design, develop and test new technologies, products and systems. Depending on which engineering degree you pursue, you may find work as a research engineer, product developer or systems analyst.
A Science Major’s List of Career Outcomes
As you can see, there are a number of degrees that you can consider if you want to become a scientist. Whether you pursue a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a science-related field, or a medical or engineering degree, the key is to choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals. With the right education and experience, you can build a career as a scientist and contribute to the advancement of knowledge and innovation in your field.
Now that you know what to study to become a scientist, let’s learn about specific careers for science majors. The skills and knowledge you acquire in a science degree program can open up a wide range of career opportunities in various fields. From healthcare and research to technology and education, there are many different career paths for science majors to explore. Below are some of the potential careers for science majors along with insight into the many career paths available to you as a science major.
Learn More About:
- Research scientist
- Environmental scientist
As a research scientist, you will use your scientific expertise to investigate and solve complex problems. Research scientists work in a variety of settings, including academic institutions, laboratories, research institutions, government agencies and private industries. As a research scientist, you will design experiments, collect data, analyze results and communicate your findings to a wider audience. Research scientists are an integral part of advancing our understanding of the natural world and developing new technologies and treatments.
Research jobs can be highly specialized and require advanced degrees in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. To be a researcher, you should have strong analytical skills, close attention to detail and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Science majors can also pursue careers in education, working as teachers, professors or education administrators. The number of science teachers needed is projected to grow, particularly in areas such as physics, chemistry and biology.1 Science educators have a passion for teaching and mentoring, as well as excellent communication and organizational skills.
Technology is another field that offers many opportunities for science majors. Science degree graduates can work in areas such as software development, data analysis and product development. Many tech companies are looking for candidates with a strong background in science, as well as experience in programming and data analysis.2
Environmental scientists study the natural world and the impact of human activities on the environment. They investigate issues such as climate change, pollution and habitat loss, and develop strategies for mitigating these problems. To be an environmental scientist, you should have a strong foundation in science, as well as excellent problem-solving and communication skills that can prepare you for work in government agencies, non-profit organizations or private industry.
Overall Career Potential for Science Degree Graduates
If you’re wondering what you can do with a science degree, a wide range of potential career paths are waiting — from healthcare and research to technology and education. These are just a few examples of the many career paths you can pursue with a science degree. The skills and knowledge you gain through a science education can be applied to a wide range of fields, and the opportunities for exploration and discovery are endless. Whether you are interested in research, education, policy or industry, a science degree can open doors to a career you may find rewarding and fulfilling.
If you pursue a science degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU), you can be equipped with a powerful set of skills and knowledge that can open a world of opportunity. With your science degree, you have the potential to pursue a wide range of exciting careers in fields such as research, healthcare, education, technology and many others. If working in a laboratory, helping to develop new treatments for diseases or designing technologies sounds interesting to you, a biological science degree from GCU is an excellent start to achieving your goals. Start exploring your options today and see where your science degree can take you!
1 Feder, T. (2022). The US is in dire need of STEM teachers. Physics Today. Retrieved on June 6, 2023.
2 Dominus, S. (2022). Tech Companies Face a Fresh Crisis: Hiring. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on June 6, 2023.
Approved by the associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology on June 2, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.