Science, Math & Engineering Career Options

Biological Science
Biologists learn how living things work, how they interact with one another, and how they evolve. They may study cells under a microscope, insects in a rainforest, viruses that affect human beings, or plants in a greenhouse. Their work increases our understanding about the natural world in which we live and helps us address issues of personal well being and worldwide concern, such as environmental depletion, threats to human health, and maintaining viable and abundant food supplies.

There are several career paths that those with a background in the biological sciences can follow, including research, health care, environmental management and conservation, education, biotechnology, forensic science, and business & industry. In fact, there are many career options for biologists who want to combine their scientific training with interest in other fields.

According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment in the biological science fields is projected to increase by 31 percent by 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. More professionals with a background in the biological sciences will be needed to use the knowledge they have gained from basic research to develop biological products and processes that improve our lives.

Chemistry & Biotechnology
Chemists often refer to chemistry as the central science, because chemistry plays a vital role in nearly every other scientific field. As a result, a degree in chemistry can prepare students for a wide variety of careers, some of which you may have never considered. The bulk of chemists at all levels are hired to work in the chemical industry either as chemists working in the plant or on the bench, or as technically knowledgeable people who work in the business side of the company. These careers offer a wide variety of paths for both entry and advancement, from careers in industrial chemistry (research, production and technical services) to academic careers (teachers in high schools, colleges, or research universities) or careers in related fields of science (such as forensic chemistry, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental science, or health professions).

This survey from the American Chemical Society shows a breakdown of where 2004 B.S/B.A. chemistry graduates found employment or continued their education: http://uwf.edu/chemistry/careers/documents/chem_grad.pdf

According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment in the fields of biotechnology, biochemistry and in the chemical science industries are projected to increase by 31 percent by 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. More professionals in the biochemistry and biotechnology fields will be needed to use the knowledge they have gained from basic research to develop biological products and processes that improve our lives.

Engineering
There are many branches of engineering, including (but not limited to): Aerospace, Agriculture, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer Hardware, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, Mechanical, Mining, Geological, Nuclear, and Petroleum. Engineers held nearly 2 million jobs nationwide in 2010 (source: bls.gov), with most of those falling into civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and electronic engineering.

As entry level engineers gain experience and knowledge, they may work more independently, making decisions, developing designs, and solving problems. With further experience, engineers may become technical specialists or supervisors over a staff or team of engineers or technicians. Eventually, they may become engineering managers, or may move into other managerial or sales jobs.

In general, engineering employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018, although outlook will vary by branch.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that biomedical, environmental and civil engineering will experience much faster than average growth, while employment in petroleum engineering, industrial engineering and geological and mining engineering will grow at a faster than average rate.

Math
Northampton's program prepares graduates for immediate employment as laboratory aides or technicians, as scientific assistants, or in technical sales. Graduates of the two-year program, however, are heavily influenced to continue their studies by transferring to a four-year program. Four-year graduates who have transferred to one of NCC's partner institutions have earned degrees in fields as diverse as chemical or geological engineering, mathematics, and oceanography.

Mathematicians and physicists work in the federal government and in private science and engineering research. They work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals.

According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment of mathematicians and physicists is expected to increase by 16 percent by 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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