Science and Technology Jobs: A Comprehensive Career Guide
13th Jun 2022
Science and technology is at the forefront of innovation and it is one of the most exciting careers. This guide will show you how you can find employment in the industry, some of the jobs that you can find and where to look to find them. You will also be given some information and advice on CV writing and how to develop your career.
Science and technology is an industry that is evolving at a rapid pace. New technologies are being introduced often and existing systems and technologies are changing fast. As a result, this industry is one that is set to grow significantly in the coming years as technology is used to transform the world in which we live and work. There are four main areas when it comes to finding work in the science and technology space:
Information Technology - This area is responsible for developing and managing computer systems, networks and databases.
Biotechnology - Biotechnology is the application of living organisms and systems to produce products or services.
Environmental Technology - This section of the market is concerned with the development and application of technologies to help protect and improve the natural environment.
Engineering Technology - Engineering technology is the application of scientific and engineering principles to the design, analysis, manufacture and maintenance of systems.
Science and technology jobs are some of the most sought-after positions in today’s job market. They offer challenge, excitement and the opportunity to make a real difference in the world. If you’re considering a career in science or technology there are some exciting job opportunities to explore and career prospects to discover. Science and technology jobs are found in all sectors of the economy, from healthcare and manufacturing to education and government. In recent years, there has been a strong focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs as they are seen as vital to the success of the economy.
Some of the typical job roles in the science and technology space include:
Engineer - Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economic solutions to technical problems.
Scientist - Scientists conduct research to increase our understanding of the world around us.
Analyst - Analysts use data to understand and predict trends.
Technologist - Technologists apply technology to solve problems.
Typical Work in Science and Technology
The work of scientists and engineers is varied and can range from conducting research to developing new products or processes. They may be involved in designing, developing, testing and manufacturing products or systems. Scientists may also work in fields such as healthcare, agriculture and environmental protection. Engineers may work in construction, transportation or energy production.
The work of analysts is focused on understanding and interpreting data. They may work in fields such as marketing, finance or human resources. Analysts use data to identify trends and make predictions about the future.
The work of technologists is focused on applying technology to solve problems. They may work in fields such as healthcare, education or business. Technologists develop new ways to use technology to improve the way we live and work.
Types of Positions and Job Titles in Science and Technology
Within the science and technology space, the job types are endless with so many options and avenues to pursue. The top 10 include:
The role of an avionics technician is to install, maintain and repair the electronic systems used in aircrafts and missiles. Their work will involve repairing aircraft components, replacing defective equipment and parts and becoming familiar with repair procedures.
To become an avionics technician, you will need a technical degree in subject areas such as chemistry, physics, maths or computing. Employers may also look for engineering certificates and qualifications as well as experience in troubleshooting and installation of systems such as NOV/PULSE, autopilot, audio and GPS. Knowledge of aviation safety practices and technologies are also sought after.
Computer Support Specialist
A computer support specialist provides technical assistance to computer users. They answer questions and solve problems related to computers. They may also provide training to users on how to use new software or hardware.
Employers will look for candidates who have detailed knowledge of systems, applications and programs they use such as Microsoft, Cisco and Linux. As an applicant, you should demonstrate through your application logical thinking, knowledge of software and systems, problem solving and customer focus.
Environmental Science Technician
An environmental science technician collects data and samples to help scientists monitor and study the environment. They may also assist in developing plans to clean up contaminated sites. Duties will involve:
· Installation and servicing of instruments to collect field data
· Maintenance of lab equipment
· Safe disposal of hazardous material
· Supporting team members during research
Employers want applicants with a degree in a science related field as well as skills in critical thinking, science, observation and communication
Some of the other roles in science and technology include:
A microbiologist studies microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. They may also develop new ways to prevent or treat infections.
A cartographer creates maps. They use data from surveys, satellite imagery and aerial photography to create accurate maps. Cartographers must develop detailed knowledge and understanding of advanced software to create maps, illustrations and graphs.
An environmental scientist studies the environment and the effects of human activity on it. They may also develop plans to protect and conserve the environment.
Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst studies an organisation’s computer systems and recommends changes to improve efficiency. They may also design new computer systems or develop plans to upgrade existing ones.
An environmental engineer designs systems and plans to protect the environment. They may also develop new technologies to clean up contaminated sites.
A biomedical engineer applies engineering principles to the medical field. They may design new medical devices or develop new treatments for diseases.
A medical scientist conducts research to improve our understanding of human health and disease. They may also develop new treatments for diseases.
There are many different types of jobs in the science and technology field. The job you choose will depend on your skills, interests and qualifications. There are jobs for those with a scientific background, as well as those with a technical or engineering background. There are also jobs for those with a background in data analysis or computer science.
Entry, Middle and Senior Roles in Science and Technology
If you are looking to pursue a career in science and technology, it makes sense to be aware of the different tiers that exist from entry level, intermediate through to senior level.
For beginners, or those just starting out their careers in science and technology, entry level roles might be a great place to start. These roles can offer on the job training, or the chance to learn new skills while working. Entry level roles can also lead to more senior positions over time. They will include roles such as:
-Environmental Science Technician
-Computer Support Specialist
For those with a few years of experience under their belts, middle management roles might be the next step. These roles will require more responsibility, and might involve managing a team of staff. They will include roles such as:
-Computer Systems Analyst
For those looking to take on a leadership role, senior management roles might be the answer. These roles will involve strategic planning, and making high level decisions. They will include roles such as:
Requirements for Science and Technology Jobs
At the most basic level, if you are looking to establish and progress in a science and technology career, you must have excellent problem solving skills, the ability to solve problems and work independently. Other requirements for the science and technology industry employers look for include:
· A bachelor’s degree in a scientific or technical discipline
· Experience working in a scientific or technical environment
· Knowledge of computers and software programs related to your field
· Strong communication and interpersonal skills
· Independent thinking, initiative and problem solving
· Logic, reason and attention to detail
· A willingness to stay up to date with new technology and developments
· Commitment to continuous learning and advancement to keep up to date with changing technologies and practices
Recruiters and Employers for Science and Technology Jobs
As you start your job search in the science and technology field, there are several places you can look for work which combine recruitment agencies and employers directly. In the UK, science and technology recruiters and employers include:
Jobs Boards – One of the most effective ways to search for job vacancies, job boards can be searched by keyword and/or location. You can also upload your CV for fast applications to jobs that you find on the platform.
Recruitment Agencies – There are many recruitment agencies which specialise in finding candidates for science and technology roles . Some of the leading agencies include:
· Network Scientific
· LiCa Scientific
· CY Partners
· Robert Half
Some of the leading science and tech companies in the UK include:
With the right skills, experience and qualifications, you could be well on your way to a successful career in this exciting and ever-changing industry.
Science and Technology Interview Questions
If you are invited to interview for a science or technology role, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some of the most common questions asked in interviews for science and technology roles:
· What drew you to this particular field/role?
· What do you think sets this field/role apart from others?
· What would you say are your key strengths?
· What do you think makes a successful scientist/technologist?
· Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
· What do you think has been the most exciting development in your field in recent years?
· What do you think have been the biggest challenges facing your field in recent years?
· Do you have any experience of working with XYZ software/equipment?
· Can you give me an example of a time when you had to solve a difficult problem?
· Can you give me an example of a time when you had to work under pressure?
As part of the interview process you may also be asked to participate in a psychometric test. This is a test which assesses your suitability for the role based on your skills, abilities and personality. Psychometric tests are often used in science and technology roles as they give employers an insight into how you think and how you would approach problem solving. If you are asked to take a psychometric test, it is important to practice beforehand so that you are familiar with the format and the types of questions you will be asked.
Employers in science and technology roles must be very selective about the candidates they appoint and psychometric tests are one of the most effective ways they can assess the suitability and aptitude of an applicant.
What to Highlight In Your CV
The science and technology field is particularly competitive so your CV must capture the attention of potential recruiters. The more information you can provide that will set your application apart from the others the more chances you will have at securing an interview or moving to the next stage in the recruitment process. When writing your CV, it is important to highlight your skills and experience in the following areas:
· Scientific knowledge
· Technical skills
· Problem solving
· IT skills
Rather than just telling the recruiter you have a particular skill or area of knowledge, show the recruiter what you did and the result it had. This is one of the most effective ways to write your CV or any application document.
It is important to remember that when applying for science and technology jobs an employer or recruiter may ask you to complete an application form rather than submit a CV. Where an application form is used, it is still important to tailor your application and highlight the relevant skills, knowledge and experience required for the role. There may be an extended section towards the end of the form that asks you to demonstrate your suitability for the role. Use the person specification (where provided) or job description as a guide for your answers. Use the STAR framework as you develop your answers. The STAR technique is a way of answering questions that allows you to structure your response in a way that is both clear and concise. It stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Rather than just stating what you did, show the employer what you did, how you did it and the result it had.
How to Develop Your Career in Science and Technology
For those looking to make science and technology a lifelong career, it is important that you explore career development opportunities. There are many ways in which you can expand your knowledge, develop your skills and increase your level of experience by:
Finding a mentor - A mentor can help to support and guide you as you develop your career. They can provide advice, share their experience and knowledge with you, and help you to identify opportunities for development.
Joining a professional body - Joining a professional body relevant to your field can be a great way to network, learn from other professionals and keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of specialism. Professional bodies will always keep up to date with the emerging trends and they will communicate this to their members. .
Attending training courses - There are many training courses available that can help you to develop your skills and knowledge. These can be either short courses or longer programmes such as postgraduate qualifications. It’s particularly important in the science and technology space to keep your knowledge refreshed and up to date. Web technologies and science are changing all the time so it’s important to be as up to date as possible.
Taking on new challenges - By taking on new challenges, you can stretch yourself, learn new things and develop your skills. This could involve taking on additional responsibilities at work, volunteering for new projects or taking on a new role or job.
Self Study - There is a wealth of information available online and in libraries. Self-study can be a great way to learn new things and keep up to date with developments in your field. You can self study in lots of different ways such as listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos relevant to your industry, reading books and trade publications, consuming blog content from authoritative people in your industry or taking CPD courses.
Science and technology is a rapidly evolving field so keeping up to date with the latest developments, technologies and advances is essential. There are many ways to do this including reading trade magazines and journals, attending conferences and seminars, and networking with other professionals. This guide has introduced you to some of the top jobs and opportunities in science and technology. You should have a good foundation on how, where and what you need to do to find employment in this interesting and innovative industry.
Further Reading and Resources