Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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Science and IT

IRISH TIMES and THE INSTITUTE OF GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS

HIGHER OPTIONS CONFERENCE

 

WORKING IN SCIENCE AND IT

 

 

SPEAKER: DR ORLA DONOGHUE BSc, PhD

 

DEFINITION OF CAREER AREA: SCIENCE AND IT

 

TYPICAL DAY:
Working in a lab as an Analyst:
Setting up equipment, preparing samples for analysis, attending lab meetings, running tests, writing reports, analysing data, troubleshooting and problem solving, writing procedures and attending training sessions.
Management/Supervisory role: Preparing work schedules, attending and contributing to meetings, briefing the team, reviewing and writing reports, monitoring work flows, managing team performance and planning strategies.

Research: Reading and reviewing scientific literature, designing experiments, setting up experiments, writing up results, analysing data, attending meetings, writing research papers, presenting talks and posters at conferences.

Information Technology: Depending on the company, programmers write, analyse and test software code, attend meetings with clients, provide design solutions for software products. Database administrators use database software to manage how a company keeps information such as client records, orders and inventories. They may also be responsible for ensuring all data is secure and that there are backups in place.

Environmental Scientist: Visiting sites to check monitoring equipment, calibrating equipment, collecting samples, analysing samples in a lab, writing reports, analysing data, presenting results and meeting with clients.

SKILLS USED IN THE JOB:
Knowledge of subject
– An in-depth knowledge of a subject area is key

Practical skills – Depending on the subject area, skills in operating equipment, running lab procedures, writing software programs and managing databases

Analytical and Numeracy skills – An ability to interpret data, analyse results, perform statistical calculations

IT Skills – Computer literacy in packages such as MS Office, databases, e-mail and specialist software tools

Written and oral communication skills – Report writing and delivering presentations or chairing meetings

Problem solving and troubleshooting – Ability to solve problems and approach troubleshooting in a logical and practical way

Team player – Ability to use own initiative and work as part of a team

Time management – Plan work each day and work to tight deadlines

 

REWARDS

Financial – It takes a few years to build up the experience and specific knowledge required for significant financial rewards.

Job Satisfaction and Excitement – Technology is always changing and there is the challenge of learning new skills in science-related jobs.

Personal – Pursuing a career in a subject you’re passionate about is very rewarding.

 

ROUTES OF ENTRY

You can study for a BSc (Honours) degree in Universities such as UCD, TCD, DCU and UCC and in the Institutes of Technology nationwide. Most Honours degree Science programmes are 4 years long. An Honours Batchelor degree is NFQ Level 8.

 

CAREER PATH

The diversity of careers available to Science graduates is very varied so each career path is different. Many Science graduates take entry level positions in the pharmaceutical, information technology and banking sectors. After building up their skills and work experience graduates can then progress to more senior levels within the same company or move to a different company. For example, a Laboratory Analyst could be promoted to the position of Senior Analyst, then to Supervisor, then to Manager and even to Director.

 

DIFFERENT JOBS IN THE CAREER AREA

Depending on the subject you specialise in, the following are some of the jobs open to science graduates:

§         Analytical Chemist

§         Secondary School Teacher

§         Clinical Research Associate

§         IT Consultant

§         Microbiology Analyst

§         Validation Scientist

§         Environmental Officer

§         Trainee Actuary

§         Trainee Business Analyst

§         Technical Writer

§         Software Engineer

§         Medical Physicist

 

POSSIBLE TRANSFER OPTIONS

Science graduates can transfer their skills from one industry to another, for example from biotechnology to IT.

 

LIMITS

The job market is competitive so having a higher degree such as a Master’s or PhD is often required to be eligible for some jobs and for some promotional prospects within companies.

 

SALARY SCALES

There are many online salary surveys available for Science jobs. You can read a full salary survey for 2008 on jobs in Pharmaceuticals and IT at www.brightwater.ie For example, a Microbiology Analyst with one to three years’ experience could earn €26,000 – €35,000 and with three years’ plus experience could earn €35,000 – €48,000. A Chemistry graduate with one to three years’ of experience could start out as an Analytical Chemist earning between €30,000 – €44,000 and with experience and promotion could potentially become a Quality Manager on €55,000 – €75,000 or even a Director of Quality on a salary of €90,000 – €120,000.

 

ADVICE ABOUT CHOOSING THIS AREA

It takes years to build a career, develop your skills and move up the career ladder and you need to be open to learning new skills and adapting your knowledge to the core business of a company. With patience and hard work you can be well rewarded. Choose Science because you have a passion for it.

One Response to “Science and IT”

  1. I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information *;”

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