Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Alternative Career Options for Scientists

Credit: flairimages/Adobe

Credit: flairimages/Adobe

By Tim Nielsen

A research career doesn’t suit everybody, but the skill sets of scientists can lead to rewarding careers beyond academia.

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It’s increasingly well-documented that workplace conditions and career opportunities for scientists have eroded over the past 20 years. This has left more of today’s young scientists with little choice but to look outside of academia for career fulfilment.

One of the major problems encountered by scientists seeking to make the transition from academia to other industries is that, after spending many years in the lab, it can be difficult for them to conceive of any “real world” applications for their skills, often leading to the self-limiting belief that they are not suited to anything else.

As part of my interest in highlighting the challenges faced by Australian scientists in the current political and economic climate, I have been fortunate to meet a number of former academic scientists who have successfully side-tracked into other related fields, often without much further study or reduction in income required. To provide some inspiration for those of you looking to make the leap out of the lab, I would like to share some of their success stories with you here.

Regulatory Affairs Coordinator

Regulatory affairs is one of the lesser-known fields where the expert scientific knowledge and meticulous attention to detail that comes with being a scientist can have valuable applications. Regulatory affairs professionals work in various industries to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.