Choosing a career stream is one of the most path-breaking moments of an individual’s life. It defines the future course of their professional and personal journey and is a stepping stone to the millions of dreams they have harbored. Career options for science students are abundant.
The study of the three streams of science, namely physics, chemistry, and biology opens up a whole new world of opportunities ranging from the study of space and nuclear particles to the study of the sand and soil.
Gone are the days when becoming a doctor or engineering were the only career options for science students to pursue. Even today, in common parlance, one only hears the mention of the conventional professions to pursue. New age professions are often shadowed or considered economically unreliable. Thus, pushing a large number of aspirants into the same rut of the mad rat race.
To resolve this issue for you, we have listed down ten exciting and unconventional career options for science students. To help you in your decision making further, we have also provided some trustworthy resources where you can learn more about these professions.
Career Options for Science Students
1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
With rapid digitization creeping into almost every function of modern living, professionals who can understand this are going to be priceless. AI and machine learning are not only innovative and exhilarating but also greatly in demand. Moreover, large corporations are also investing huge amounts of money in people who have expertise in these processes. Thus, making it an extremely commercially viable profession as well. A lot of universities in India are offering these courses as a degree program.
To pursue practical AI and machine learning as a career, a degree in computer science with additional courses in AI and ML can suffice. You can also pursue a Master’s program in AI/ ML post your undergraduate degree. Though, if you are someone who has already crossed the degree program stage, you can refer to courses like the machine learning program offered by IIIT Bangalore and other management institutes that are brought to your doorsteps by upGrad.
An approximate salary that an AI/ Machine Learning professional can make in India ranges from 6 lakh to 8 lakhs at a fresher level. Experienced professionals can take home quite a higher package. Up to approximately 16- 18 lakhs an annum.
2. Data Science
Data Science simply is the study of different kinds of data by the application of scientific methods, processes, and algorithms. As AI and machine learning, this is also one of the new-age career options available for science students to practice. In today’s time, data is considered the most important thing in an organization. Companies are relying on mining and decoding of high-quality data to implement in their operations.
It has become a benchmark for driving growth for investors and corporates alike. A mixture of computer science, math, and analytics, data science helps a professional to forecast future business numbers and other technical data. This can be very helpful for companies in planning future operations.
Some industries where data science has key significance are risk management, farming, and forensics, and fraud management.
You can become a data science professional by simply pursuing a degree in computer science at the undergraduate level and then pursuing a short term course or post-graduation in data science for additional expertise. If you are keen on studying data science but want to avoid going to a physical college, there are various online courses also that can help you achieve your goal. Courses on data science offered by IIIT Bangalore through upGrad are especially good in this domain.
Speaking about salary, in India an entry-level data scientist can cash in up to INR 6-7 lakh rupees an annum, rising steeply with the accumulation of year on year experience and skill development.
3. Business Analytics
Though used alternatively in various contexts, data science and business analytics are not the same. While business analytics and data analytics, both are the study of data, the nature of data studied varies. Data Science is the application of algorithms and mathematical formulas to study data later used in devising mechanical processes whereas business analytics is the study of business data used to make key decisions of the company.
Data science involves the study of structured and unstructured data, while business analytics studies highly structured data to bring in important changes in business decisions.
A profession in business analytics is highly technical and intellectual in nature. It involves dealing with the top rung of a company’s management and is hence, considered highly rewarding.
You can pursue a career in business analytics by obtaining a specializing in business analytics as part of your undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
Top companies in India, hiring business analytics professionals to reward them handsomely. With salary ranges from INR 7 Lakhs to 17 Lakhs depending on the level of experience and market conditions. Some big corporates where business changes are more frequent and radical are also known to go beyond the 17 Lakh figure in compensation.
To conclude, MBA in Business Analytics is an up and coming area of expertise that is gaining increasing traction in all sectors of the industry. The specialization shows a positive and promising outlook, and for those of you who have long been skeptical about choosing this career path, you can go ahead and start your MBA journey in Business Analytics!
4. Blockchain Developer
After the bitcoin revolution in the late 2010s, blockchain and professions associated with it gained great prominence. Blockchain is something that has enticed every young individual in the country with blockchain developing becoming a sought after profession.
To the unintended, blockchain is simply an offshoot of Data Science, where the data is organized in blocks. These blocks are then connected with each other using cryptography. This is a very complex and new-age technology, famous for creating cryptocurrencies and other important statistical documents.
With the increasing awareness in cryptocurrencies and its trading, the demand for blockchain developers has grown exponentially. An interesting field, blockchain development requires a high level of understanding of complex computer software, mathematics, statistics, and algorithms.
Since this is also a tech-based profession like the ones mentioned above, to become a blockchain developer you need to possess a degree in computer science and software with an advanced specialization in blockchain and its development. These courses are offered by sophisticated universities as part of their post-graduation programs and by online platforms like upGrad.
The average salary that a blockchain developer in India can expect has a wide range. With more and more corporates using this technology to streamline their processes, a profession in this field can expect anything between INR 5 Lakh per annum to INR 50 Lakh per annum. Depending on prevailing market conditions, level of experience, and complexity of tasks performed.
Additionally, if entrepreneurship is your dream, you might also be able to follow in the footsteps of Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) and create your own cryptocurrency using this technology.
5. Software Designing
If your interest lies in making innovative programs, software, and apps that make life and processes easier for people. Then this one’s for you. Similar to the professions mentioned above, software designing and development also involves advanced knowledge of computer programs and languages.
A highly creative field, software designing can enable you to let your imagination flow freely to create useful software for individuals and companies. Through this vocation can be pursued by graduates from other fields as well, a degree in science is preferred.
Software designing is very easy to study and practice. You can pursue it even while you are studying for your undergraduate degree. However, for a more substantial and profitable career, you may want to do a specialized course in the field.
Since the volume of software designers is very high and this profession requires a lesser amount of specialization like the others, the returns are considered average. However, software designers with an enviable portfolio and good experience can easily rake into a few lakhs a month.
While being a doctor, engineer, biologist, pharmacist, are some undisputed career options for science students, the interest in the sciences of space is also slowly rising in young adults. Nevertheless, now with technology becoming integrated with almost every field of study, space tech is surely gaining momentum.
Space tech basically is the application of digitization and technology to create tools and machines that can be used in operations related to outer space and the solar system. Space technicians create vehicles, machines, and other tools that help scientists research outer space better.
A highly specialized field, to practice in the space tech industry you would ideally need a degree in space sciences and mechanical engineering. Though however, this is an interesting career option for individuals interested in decoding the mysteries of outer space.
Individuals practicing space tech and space sciences can earn anything in the range of a few thousand per month to a few lakhs. The scope in this field is still growing, hence making the opportunities for growth endless.
If rocks, earth, soil, and land are your area of interest, then Geology is for you. Geologists are scientists who specialize in the study of the earth and soil. These specialists study an area and forecast any potential threats like earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. Based on this study they draw up plans for builders and construction companies to create structures.
Geology is an important but underrated and unconventional field of science. To become a geologist, one can pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree in geology along with a master or doctorate for further specialization.
As mentioned above, since it is a very underrated and unconventional field of study, the salary is not as high as the professions mentioned above. However, this is a passion-driven profession, and earning does rise as one gains more expenses. Starting salary can be in the range of INR 3.5 lakh to 5 lakh per annum.
8. Forensic pathologist
Forensic pathologists are doctors specializing in dead bodies and their secrets. Their role is to basically help the lawmakers in finding criminals by decoding clues from a dead body. Forensic pathologists spend hours doing the post mortem of a dead body to identify the causes of death and any other clues. Interesting isn’t it? A simple MBBS with a specialization in forensics can take you here.
Forensic pathologists usually work with government agencies and are very well paid. An average forensic pathologist can make an approximate amount of up to INR 25 – 30 Lakh an annum.
Also Read: Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in India
9. Technical writer
With content slowly becoming the king for consumers, technical writing has grown more than ever. Technical writers are authors who have specialized knowledge in a field and create content and opinion pieces around that field.
The barriers to entry in this field are typically negligent. You can sign up as a writer for a specialized science-based magazine or create your own independent content through Youtube or Instagram.
As regards salary, technical writers are paid for their knowledge on a per word basis. This amount can be anything from INR 5 to 10 per word. For more experienced and proficient writers, this can be even more.
This one’s for all the astronomers, stargazers, and The Big Bang Theory fans. Astrophysics is a field of science where principles of chemistry and physics are employed to study matters in outer space.
Ring a bell? These scholars deeply study the birth and death of stars and cosmic matter and base their research on them.
These scientists usually have a doctorate degree in Astrophysics and are paid anything between INR 15- INR 50 Lakh per annum by leading corporates and research institutes in India.
Listed above are some of the best career options for science students to pursue after their 12th grade. Based on factors like innovation, level of study and average pay, students can prioritize these as per their interests. These options are not exhaustive. There is a whole wide universe of other career options for science students that are related/ unrelated to science.
These are in no way lesser or less valuable to a career in science. Thus, a student and other stakeholders associated with them should focus on their interests as the one and only thing while choosing a career stream. This will help them excel at whatever they pursue and make them step in the revolutionary and specialized courses of the future.