In the next decade or so, major technological advancements are going to lead to some exciting new career paths for those in the field of science and technology. Although seemingly far-fetched, Popular Science predicts that by 2020 there will be a need for space pilots to fly commercial airlines for chartered space “expeditions.” With Virgin Galactic’s plans for a 2012 launch, this seemingly science fiction fantasy may became reality sooner than we think. Keeping with the sci-fi theme, another emerging field will be that of human-robot interaction specialists. As robotic technology advances, highly trained individuals will be needed to remotely operate machines that will be used in place of actual humans in dangerous environments. the bottome line: advancement may be coming faster than you think!
Getting back down to planet earth, and the the more immediate future, many are also predicting there will be an increased need for more traditional positions in biological and forensic sciences. Most of these opportunities are expected to be best for graduates of applied science technology programs who are well trained on the latest equipment being used in laboratories and production facilities. the reality is simple, technology is continuing to advance. So, if you are looking to play in the science/technology space keep reading for some tips on how to focus your search.
THE FACTS ON SCIENCE JOBS
According to the job trending tool on Indeed.com, job postings related to “science” have increased steadily over the past five years for a total of about 3% growth. This is evidence that the field of science in general seems to have survived the long-lasting slump in the economy and has potential to be a bright spot as we begin the road to recovery.
When it comes to specific occupations in the scientific field, biotechnology certainly stands out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of biological scientists will grow 21 percent between now and 2018; a percentage of growth that is much higher than the average for all other US occupations. With an aging population and continued competition among pharmaceutical companies, the demand and drive for innovative health technologies should continue to expand.
For you CSI buffs out there, good news, because jobs in forensic science are expected to increase by 20 percent over the next decade, which is also much faster than the average growth for other US occupations. Although state and local governments have taken quite a hit, the BLS is projecting increases in applications for forensic scientists across the board.
Here are some links to resources that will help you on your way to finding a career in science:
- NatureJobs (Job search engine, career fairs, list of popular employers, etc.)
- Science Careers (Information and job search engine produced by the journal Science)
- NewScience (A bridge between the younger generation and the scientific world)
- USA Jobs (Science jobs in government)
Here is a list of some of the more promising and/or up and coming science-related career paths and positions:
- Simulation developer
- Animal migration engineer
- Human/robot interaction specialist
- World watcher (via satellites)
- Fusion worker
- Forensic scientist
- Thought hacker (advanced lie detector)
- Food scientist
- Conservation Biologist
GET OUT OF THE HOT SEAT!
Overall, science has always been a great field to get into for those with a proclivity for being at the forefront of innovation and progress. Overall, most science-related jobs provide you the opportunity to choose between working in an office, a lab, or out in the field. But you have to have at least a Bachelor’s for these mentally intensive jobs, and often a Master’s or PhD for mid to high level positions. For more information on the specific jobs positions and the experience and education needed for them, check out these articles from U.S. News and Popular Science.
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a coach and author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy. Dr. Woody is president of the consulting firm HCI, sits on the Academic Advisory Board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership, and holds a PhD in organizational psychology.