Is a Science Degree for You?
The key to earning the right bachelor's degree in science is to find a focused area of study suited to your specific career choice. Specialized areas include biology, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, environmental sciences, science education, computer science, forensic science and health science. Students obtaining the degree should also feel comfortable working with numbers and scientific language in an academic setting.
Advice for Earning Your Science Degree Online
Because science is such a broad subject, there are many different things to consider when selecting your specific focus. Individuals obtaining bachelor's degrees in science who want to become medical doctors, research scientists, or professors must continue their education into graduate school, pursuing either a master's degree or doctorate. Other professions that graduates of a science degree program may pursue require specific accreditations and certifications, such as a nursing certificate or pharmacist license.
Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in science usually participate in courses from several departments at their college or university. Science majors can expect basic classes in communications, English and history before moving on to more advanced ones in mathematics, natural sciences and applied sciences. Individuals wishing to obtain a bachelor's degree in science should be sure to develop a firm understanding of physics, calculus, biology, chemistry, anatomy, geology, astronomy, writing and statistics.
Common Career Paths
An important thing to consider is if the specific science degree you chose helps you reach your desired career choice. With science, you have so many areas to explore – i.e. chemistry, computer science, environmental sciences, and biology. Below are a list of popular career choices among science majors:
- Science Technician
A science technician helps scientists in a specific field set up experiments, observe and note all results, and provide a conclusion with their findings. They also work alongside scientists to create new lab procedures. Science technicians must possess a solid understanding of lab equipment and how to use and maintain it. The job opportunities and salary for science technicians are heavily dependent on the specific area of science you work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the median average annual salary in the federal government was $39,538 for biological science technicians, $55,527 for physical science technicians, and $42,733 for forestry technicians.
An astronomer performs research to comprehend the nature of the universe along with all things in it. Astronomers sometimes use their knowledge to fix any issues in satellite communications or navigation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median annual wages for astronomers were $87,260. The middle 50% earned between $57,790 and $126,250, the lowest 10% earned less than $48,710, and the highest 10% earned more than $155,480.
- Computer Programmer
Following the direction of software engineers and systems analysts, computer programmers create the code needed for computers to run software. Other job duties for this profession include updating, modifying, repairing, and expanding any existing software a company already uses. Computer programmers also use computer-assisted software engineering tools to systemize most of the coding process. Since programs can now rely more on computerized and preset functions, their roles are expanding to where they can work with software engineers to discover the needs of users, and in creating certain parts of computer programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median annual wages for computer programmers were $69,620. The middle 50% earned between $52,640 and $89,720 a year, the lowest 10% earned less than $40,820, and the highest 10% earned more than $114,180.