When most people think about science jobs, they think about someone trapped in a windowless lab, running endless experiments involving rats, beakers, and bunsen burners. This could not be further from the truth. Today's scientists work in pharmaceutical companies, with geological surveys, on long-haul sailing ships. Most astronauts must have a science background. Automobiles and nuclear power plants are designed by the same scientists working on futuristic green power technologies. There has never been a better time for young people to examine the field of science as a future career path.
Science Preparatory Courses to Take
In high school, the most important basic courses to focus on are not science – rather, math is the foundation of every science field. Do not just take every math course you can; master them. Develop a relationship with your teacher, and find out what you can do to learn more on your own. While some career paths only need knowledge on paper, in science it is critical that you really understand the math, all the way to the bottom. In addition, take courses in computer science at every level, from basic programming to advanced database applications. Your most critical tool as a scientist will be the computer.
Go ahead and take a variety of science courses, wherever you have decided which field to go into or not. All the science fields are related, and you'll be surprised at how many places biological sciences intersect with geological ones, or at how important physics can be to understand how your cells function.
Do not overlook your other subjects. Scientists write a lot, so English is important. Because science is a very creative field, a wide base of knowledge in the humanities – history, art, music, literature – will always help expand your possibilities.
In any of the science careers, you'll be able to find something to do that matches your activity level. Like to climb mountains and go caving? Geology, biology, and meteorology all need field scientists who love activity. Prefer to sit in a lab and crunch numbers? Every science field needs lab rats.
Here are a few ideas:
Artifact dating technician: this person can take a pottery shard and, using a variety of techniques from carbon dating to tree ring analysis to spectrography, determine where it was made and sometimes when it was discarded.
Automobile designer: this career uses the science fields of engineering, aerodynamics, physics, and mechanics to create vehicles to address many different needs, from construction to racing.
Volcanologist: One of the most demanding scientific fields, volcanologists place and read monitors to gauge volcanic activity. Their goals may be prediction, harnessing volcanic energy, or simply studying the causes and effects of volcanoes.
Geneticist: Genetics is one of the most wide-ranging and rapidly growing fields of science careers today, with opportunities in cloning animals, curing cancer and other genetic diseases, creating bacteria that do things like eat oil slicks, or trace the history of human migration. In almost every field …