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Thread: Thinking of starting in Science

  1. #1 Thinking of starting in Science 
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    Hi

    After a few google searches I was at a loss. I'm from the UK and I'm long term unemployed and finding it difficult to find work as a wage slave.

    I'm currently thinking about starting a course at the Open University and think that the funding is available, at least for me in Scotland, and I should take advantage of it before its cut off.

    I'm torn between which Science to study, from an overall perspective weighted towards finding an employment i'd enjoy.

    I have no particular bias, though I do tend to hold the potential misconception that (even complete laymen seem to have) that Physics is 'more hardcore'

    I should add that I never really 'chose' a Science in High school, as after doing Chemistry and Physics at Standard Grade I picked out (Human) Biology for my higher science. (I embarrassingly got a C there)

    I'm quite excited about taking up a science at a higher level, since I think I can get funding that will pay most of the costs (if its an online course) but I have to consider the bottom line as well. If I work at this for years i'd like there to be a job at the end of it, and considering this is a science site (the first one on google for 'Science Forum' you'll be pleased to know) I was hoping there might be a few that have been there, and can give me pointers as to what the job prospects are for someone studying each science at various levels.

    Rather than 'choosing the one I like' which would probably be chemistry.. which I can see leading to offshore north sea oil work. Maybe.

    I just have so little information, and I need a clearer idea of what i'm working towards.

    Thanks,

    Scott, a Scot


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Beard Baron's Avatar
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    Hi Scott.

    A career in science is particularly difficult to achieve, since most science related jobs require a high degree. To work as a lab technician (here in Canada, anyway), you'd probably need at least graduate degree, and without a Ph.D. there is little hope of going very far in research. It may be different on the your side of the pond, mind you.

    What I suggest to you is grabbing a science degree, going to teacher's college, and becoming a science teacher! If you're excited about science and you've got a good overall attitude you'd probably be a fine teacher. Too often do kids lose interest in something as important as science just because they had one lousy teacher. Yet on the other hand, there are those teachers who are so cool and so much fun that they inspire learning. I'm sure you yourself have some experiences with an awesome teacher who made an otherwise dull class very enjoyable. Consider that for a career path.

    You wouldn't need to master your subject, a bachelor's will get you into teachers' college no problem, so you'd be able to get that well rounded education you want without needing to specify.

    I wish you the best of luck in whatever you chose.


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  4. #3  
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    That's something I never considered, but it seems that it might be a viable path even if I start working towards higher levels. Goodness knows a teaching salary would be pretty good to help pay for future studies.

    I'll consider it, but the School System here is terrifying.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    You should consider vocational courses that qualify you for certain technical jobs, like medical or dental technician. A trade school would also provide you better returns for fewer years, my father made more money as a plumber than I'll ever make as a lab technician.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  6. #5  
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    The problem is i'm pretty socially awkward and prefer to do my interactions with the outside world through computer text. I just sort of fell out of social life, mainly because School was quite terrible. I was never popular or good at sports and that's stuck as confidence issues.

    One of the reasons i'm so interested in re-learning is that I don't like whats on offer as entry level work for someone with a decent set of normal qualifications. It feels like you need to crawl and scrape and utterly demean yourself, first to get a job, and then to keep it.

    Sometimes, as in my last job its both. Having to listen to customers justifiably raging at a terrible companies service is just as bad as when it isn't justified. Call Centres are absolutely terrible, and its honestly like purgatory.

    I'm trying to get the dream scenario where I can find a job that I enjoy. Since my initial expectation was that you spend part of the day working, part of the day having fun and it just wasn't like that at all. I came home honestly too tired to have anything resembling fun.

    Ah.. i'm rambling. Basically it seems like the only thing my moderate grades get me is jobs that are literally for the lowest in society. Those that have their working hours changed on a whim and have to sound happy all day.
    :?

    I don't know why I think it would be different with science, but hey, people expect scientists to be a little odd, right?
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  7. #6 Re: Thinking of starting in Science 
    Forum Freshman jsloan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    I'm torn between which Science to study, from an overall perspective weighted towards finding an employment i'd enjoy.
    For job satisfaction, geology rates highly.
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  8. #7 Re: Thinking of starting in Science 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    I'm torn between which Science to study, from an overall perspective weighted towards finding an employment i'd enjoy.
    For job satisfaction, geology rates highly.
    Could you elaborate a little?
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  9. #8 Re: Thinking of starting in Science 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    I'm torn between which Science to study, from an overall perspective weighted towards finding an employment i'd enjoy.
    For job satisfaction, geology rates highly.
    Could you elaborate a little?
    Geologists tend to really like their jobs.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Remember that only a very small proportion of people with science degrees actually do 'real' science. That is not an argument against getting a science degree, but a heads-up on what you could expect on graduation.

    Where I work engineers and Earth scientists fill technical support roles within the oil and gas drilling indutry. Only a handful of the geologists ever worked as a geologist. Their degree is simply a key to get through the employment screening. My immediate colleagues, involved in technical training include persons with degrees in geology, physics and business administration.

    The opening level courses at OU will give you some insight into what you may eventually prefer to focus on. I recommend taking a subject you enjoy. At the very least, that way - even if you are poor - you will be happy. :wink:
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  11. #10 Re: Thinking of starting in Science 
    Forum Freshman jsloan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    Could you elaborate a little?
    In polls ranking various jobs, geology often comes near the top.

    Here's some information on careers in geoscience: http://www.agiweb.org/workforce/brochure.html
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite

    Where I work engineers and Earth scientists fill technical support roles within the oil and gas drilling indutry. :
    About what I expected, and thanks!
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  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman Daisha Moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker View Post
    Hi

    After a few google searches I was at a loss. I'm from the UK and I'm long term unemployed and finding it difficult to find work as a wage slave.

    I'm currently thinking about starting a course at the Open University and think that the funding is available, at least for me in Scotland, and I should take advantage of it before its cut off.

    I'm torn between which Science to study, from an overall perspective weighted towards finding an employment i'd enjoy.

    I have no particular bias, though I do tend to hold the potential misconception that (even complete laymen seem to have) that Physics is 'more hardcore'

    I should add that I never really 'chose' a Science in High school, as after doing Chemistry and Physics at Standard Grade I picked out (Human) Biology for my higher science. (I embarrassingly got a C there)

    I'm quite excited about taking up a science at a higher level, since I think I can get funding that will pay most of the costs (if its an online course) but I have to consider the bottom line as well. If I work at this for years i'd like there to be a job at the end of it, and considering this is a science site (the first one on google for 'Science Forum' you'll be pleased to know) I was hoping there might be a few that have been there, and can give me pointers as to what the job prospects are for someone studying each science at various levels.

    Rather than 'choosing the one I like' which would probably be chemistry.. which I can see leading to offshore north sea oil work. Maybe.

    I just have so little information, and I need a clearer idea of what i'm working towards.

    Thanks,

    Scott, a Scot
    Hi Scott

    If you want to pursue a career which will fetch you a job at the end then go for a vocational degree course. Medical Lab tech course is one of the best career which lot of opportunities. The competition in this field is less as most of the people are opting for nursing, RN or PT career. This may be due to limited awareness about this career. This career pays very well. You will also find it interesting and dynamic while working with various medical tools and interacting with various patients. There are many college which are also offering online courses in medical lab tech course along with various scholarship and financial aid programs. If you want to know more information about this career and its job prospects, just go through the following site.
    Medical Lab Technician Career Description | Medical Lab Technician School.org

    Hope you'll find the above information helpful in deciding your career.
    You are definitely capable of doing what you think you can't!
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  14. #13  
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    Ophiolite is totally right, the real "scientific" jobs are rare. I have a degree in Geology, I did wellsite geology (good ol' time, isn't it, Ophiolite ? 6000 ft of shale to describe and 200 ft of reservoir). I work also in office to make regional and field studies which seems to require a bit more science knowledge. Presently, I am writing technical paper, at least 1-2 every years, mainly on uncertainties, data mining and artificial intelligence all applied to Geology. All in all, I cannot pretend I was the Lyell or the Hutton of this century... Although I am still having more scientific production than friends who decided to shift in environment or in IT.

    Also, when I compare my way of working to other colleagues, the one who studied sciences have a more rigorous, systemic approach, making it easier to understand and solve challenges. They are often more creative (strangely) than the non-scientifics.

    About geology, I have to say that most of us love our job and our science. One can study maths or sociology and later put as a job on visa request: sales manager or HR director. I keep putting Geologist. And after asking other earth scientists, they do similar.
    "LÓ, tout n'est qu'ordre et beautÚ,
    Luxe, calme et voluptÚ."
    (Baudelaire, L'Invitation au Voyage)
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott John Walker
    Could you elaborate a little?
    In polls ranking various jobs, geology often comes near the top.

    Here's some information on careers in geoscience: Careers in the Geosciences - Online Brochure
    Geology is a great choice:
    (i) there are more jobs than there are decent candidates.
    (ii) it is incredibly interdisciplinary, which means that you get to dabble in physics, chemistry, and biology. If you prefer chemistry then you can take a more chemistry heavy path, but you can hold off making that decision for as long as you like. This is great because you end up being a well rounded scientist. Geologists are good at looking at the big picture, and are good at inferring missing data, this quality makes them good candidates for other industries such as finance or any other field where you have to make a decision based on patchy data.
    (iii) it is 'easier' than some more hardcore sciences, in the states they call it "rocks for jocks". This is because you look across the sciences in an applied way, as opposed to thinking deeply and narrowly about something very abstract and theoretical as you would do in physics for example. The concepts are all quite common sense and really graspable.
    Don't bother visiting my Earth Sciences forum, it died a death due to lack of love
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