Alternative careers

Degree in your hand, but not sure what to do next? Get some inspiration what (alternative) career options you have with a background in the natural sciences. Here you find a list with many possibilities.

Industry

Job fields

Industries

  • Chemical
  • Biotech
  • Pharma
  • Instruments

Academia

  • University professor
  • FH professor (University of applied science)
  • Teaching professorship
  • “Mittelbau” services: analytics, IT, teaching assistant, staff scientist, administration (e. g. research cluster/ project coordinator, science management)

Patent law

  • Patent lawyer in law firm or industry (German and/ or European patent lawyer)
  • National or European patent office
  • Patent engineer

Politics and goverment institutions

Job fields

  • Scientific advisor
  • Politician
  • Forensics expert (e. g. at the police)

Employers

  • International organisations: e.g. OPCW
  • Think tanks
  • Research and testing facilities, e.g. Bundesamt für Materialforschung und ‑prüfung (BAM)
  • TÜV
  • Stiftung Warentest
  • Industry clusters (e.g. biotech parks)
  • Foundations (e.g. Volkswagen- or Robert-Bosch-Foundation)

Consulting

  • Technical consultant
  • Management consultant

Publishing

  • editor
  • science writing

Teacher

Freelancer or company founder

Not sure what to do next? On the Science Careers homepage you can do the myIDP test for free. This test might help you explore career possibilities that fits you best.

Jobs in industry, part I: Documentation and regulation

shutterstock_200748086The term kafkaesque describes situations in which a helpless subject has to navigate an endless bureaucratic machinery, without ever getting to a meaningful outcome. What would the writer say to the group of jobs in this section? Would he be shocked that despite all the computers in use nowadays, we´re still printing out mountains of […] Read more

Jobs in industry, part II: Production

If industry as such is the „real life“, then production is the beating heart of this real life. Which challenges await a production leader, how does her everyday life look like?

The main task is carrying responsibility. That primarily refers to the production process itself, which has to run smoothly and often even 24 hours a day. That in turn only works with a sufficiently large team of engineers and technicians. The work is thus marked by large staff responsibility, which[…] Read more

Professorships at Universities of Applied Sciences

FH ProfessorWhen thinking about academic careers, we tend to only think of universities, while forgetting about the FHs. The differences between these two types of “university” go deeper than just the name: lectures, in-house research as well as permanent academic support staff are almost non-existent at FHs, so that the term college teacher describes these professors quite well. Teaching is the main part of the workload and due to the missing support staff, you´ll need to do more things by yourself. Bachelor and Master degrees can be obtained at an FH, the latter makes you eligible to do a PhD as a Master degree from a university does. Handing out PhDs, however, remains reserved to universities. Research internships and Master theses are typically done in partnership with industry, so that the FH professors need to bring along experiences and a broad network from outside of the academic world. […] Read more