Businesses, health organizations, and governments rely on the expertise of scientists to serve the public. Bringing new products to the market, developing new medications for patients, and protecting citizens from environmental hazards are just a few of the services that scientists provide to society. Because of the limitless benefits that scientists bring to society, science majors are highly valued by employers in any industry.
Areas of Study in Science
Science is a broad subject that encompasses many different disciplines. These fields are among the most popular areas of study for science majors:
Biochemistry is crucial to new discoveries in health sciences. Biochemistry students will learn to use the tools of chemistry to analyze the structure of cells. A biochemistry degree prepares students for careers in biomedical research or in biotechnology.
Biochemistry Courses:Courses that biochemistry students take include organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology.
The study of geology draws from concepts in physics, chemistry, and biology to analyze and understand the composition of the Earth. A geology degree prepares student for careers in education, private industry, or the government.
Geology Courses: Courses that geology students take include geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology.
Oceanography is a multi-discipline study that increases our understanding of our oceans and ocean life. Marine biologists, petroleum engineers, and commercial fishers are among the many professionals who benefit from the discoveries of oceanographers.
Oceanography Courses:Courses that oceanography students take include marine biology, polar oceanography, fluid dynamics, and ocean technology.
The goal of physics is to increase our understanding of the physical world. A physics degree program introduces students to the laws that govern behavior of objects in nature.
Physics Courses: Courses that physics students take include mechanics, magnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics.
Careers in Science
Careers in the sciences can be financially rewarding. According to the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, the median earning of biology and life sciences majors is $50K. The median earning for physical sciences majors is $59K.
Your potential earnings can vary depending on the field of study you pursue. These areas of study bring in the highest earnings:
Median Income: $70K
Median Income: $70K
Median Income: $60K
- Biochemical Sciences
Median Income: $53K
While many positions in research and academia require a master’s degree or Ph.D., there are several occupations that science majors can pursue with a bachelor’s degree. These fields include:
- Biological Technicians
Median Salary: $39K
Biological technicians help biologists and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments. Openings for biological technicians are projected to increase by 14 percent.
- Chemists and Material Scientists
Median Salary: $69K
Chemists and material scientists are hired by private industry to help research and develop new products. These professionals use their knowledge of chemistry to develop new processes and materials to satisfy the needs of consumers.
- Environmental Scientists
Median Salary: $61K
Environmental scientists analyze environmental problems, such as air pollution and water contamination. Environmental scientists use their expertise to help mitigate health risks and environmental hazards.
Median Salary: $82K
Geoscientists are typically hired by petroleum companies to help locate underground sources of oil. They can also use their knowledge of geology and meteorology to aid construction companies and government agencies.
Median Salary: $65K
Microbiologists are employed by laboratories to analyze the microorganisms on plants, animals, and other materials. Openings for microbiologists are projected to increase by 13 percent.
These are just a few of the rewarding paths that students can follow with a science degree. Whether students obtains a bachelor’s degree or continues on to graduate school, they will find that their learned skills are in high demand.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Biological Technicians.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Chemists and Material Scientists.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Environmental Scientists.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Geoscientists.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Microbiologists.
Georgetown Public Policy Institute. (2011). The Economic Value of College Majors – Biology and Life Sciences.
Georgetown Public Policy Institute. (2011). The Economic Value of College Majors – Physical Sciences.