The Value of a Science Degree

Although science degrees are not as ‘hot’ as certain degrees out there today, your piece of paper that exclaims you completed a Bachelor of Sciences can be used for more than just a drink coaster or mouse pad.

The countless science classes you enrolled during your post-secondary education in may have granted you transferrable skills for the career world. And these skills aren’t necessarily restricted to science-related careers either. They may stretch beyond the laboratory bench, and can hold some use in office and/or business environments.

Critical Thinking

Those science courses you took probably forced you to look at a problem in science and propose a solution via critical thinking. Your professor has told you to critically analyze a piece of literature, or has asked you to critically propose a solution in groups. You may have done a thesis and was instructed to critically interpret your data in your reports.

The ability to critically think holds merit in the workplace.

A critically thinking individual can provide new ideas for a project. The critical thinker may also become a well-informed member of society, tapping into unconventional resources to derive relevant information for any occasion.

Communication

Communicating ideas is important to any workplace, and science students have gained this trait through countless projects.

There is a lot of information that can be presented in the sciences, but there is never enough time to present it all. Through 10-minute seminar presentations or a 1-page summary of a specific topic encourages students to present only the most relevant information in a succinct manner, while ensuring that his or her peers understands what they’re actually talking about.

Although challenging, mastering this skill is applicable to jobs that involve grant writing and workplace meetings.

Group Work

Ugh, the dreaded group work.

It can be excruciating, but learning to work as a team is vital in any work place. As a team, working towards a common goal requires mutual respect amongst peers, to ensure productivity.

Working with a group is often better than working alone. When collaborating with others, you are also combining diverse skills  to propose the ‘best’ solution to a problem. By learning to work with others, you are also expanding your professional network (and can help you land that dream job you’ve always wanted)!

Statistics

The world of business and even applied mathematics needs you to understand the fundamentals of statistics. Analyzing data is important, in order to organize numbers into a meaningful story that can be understood by anyone.

By grasping an understanding of statistics, you’ll also be skeptical next time the media throws random numbers in your face about medical ‘breakthroughs’ and recent survey studies that suggests an ‘unhappy’ society fueled by relentless reliance on technology.

The Jazzy Science Lingo

You’re appalled when people tell you that evolution is just a theory, or that the Law of Thermodynamics is just a magical hypothesis. You may evade the word natural, because even after getting your science degree, you’re still not sure why food companies insist that their products are ‘natural’.

Whether you pursued a degree in biomedical sciences, geochemistry, or genetics, all those hours spent studying for these courses have granted you the understanding of their lingo. You understand the literature when they refer to tenfold serial dilutions, or calculations relative to a working standard. If other people can’t understand the ‘scientific vernacular’, you can pass on your understanding to intellectually curious individuals.

Communicating information to the public are important for careers that require social interaction, such as teaching-related professions. Science is a discipline that should be understood by all, and you have the power to make that possible!

Rethink the Value of a Science Degree

It may not immediately land you a dream job right from the get-go. But having a science degree has given you a ‘toolbox’ of skills that are just waiting to be developed with new experiences.

Your degree may just be a piece of fancy paper, but the work required to obtain it was a reward in itself. Your degree is not a golden ticket for automatic employment. Rather, it is a reflection of the potentially intellectually-driven individual that obtained it.


Renee C. has received her B.Sc. in Honours Life Sciences at McMaster University. She loves educating others about different topics in science, and has developed a passion for scientific outreach. When she’s not writing articles for Hemtecks, she’s either volunteering or checking her social media accounts every 20 minutes. Along with Tiffany (Tianhemtecks), she also facilitates the blog’s Facebook page. 

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