B.Sc – Beyond Science Courses: What to do after graduation?
You’re graduating with your Bachelor of Science. Now what?
On the 1st day at UBC in my 1st year biology class, the professor posed the question “Who is here wanting to go to medical, pharmacy or dental school?”. Almost the entire class put up their hands. Four years later, the graduating class had one of the most diverse career prospects I could have ever imagined. So what can you really do after you graduate with a B.Sc?
One of the most common reasons people graduate with a B.Sc is to go on to professional school to become a health care professional, such as a nurse, physician, dentist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist or counsellor. While these may be very fulfilling careers, it is important to realize that almost all of these careers require extensive additional schooling and exams, not to mention quite a hefty financial contribution for tuition. Despite this though, I have rarely heard anyone regret going through the pre-requisites and extra work as they work towards their goals of professional school. The best thing to do if you are considering professional school would be to research as much as you can about admission to the school and to talk to people in the field! Chatting with and maybe even shadowing students or professionals in these fields is a great way to find out if this is something you really like. Not sure where to find students in these fields? Just check out the NSN’s National Young Leader mentor profiles and you might just find what you’re looking for!
Graduate school involves research either in pursuit of a Masters or Ph.D degree. Research is a very diverse field and provides lots of opportunities for self-discovery and professional growth. If you are curious, self-driven and like getting into the nitty-gritty of how things work, then research may be a great opportunity for you. After graduate school, most people either continue research as their full time job, go into industry, or become professors to teach aspiring undergraduate students! Just like professional school, the best way to figure out if graduate school is something you like is to try it out! To learn how to get involved in undergraduate research, check out articles written by NYLs here and here.
Following graduation, one of the most exciting fields to pursue is technology. Technology is changing the way we interact with the world and it is no different in science. Technology companies employ innovative methods in science and engineering to solve some of the most complex social and health problems. As such, it is definitely something to consider!
Science students are some of the most passionate people, and many graduates take this passion back to elementary and secondary schools to educate the next generation. Graduates with a B.Sc teach a variety of subjects, ranging from grade 8 math all the way to Advanced Placement biology, chemistry and physics. Graduates usually need to go back to school to get an education degree, but this is a small price to pay for someone passionate about teaching and youth development. If you love working with kids, passing on knowledge and seeing people’s face light up when they learn something cool, teaching is a very noble profession to be a part of!
Education doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Science outreach and education is everywhere, such as at community centers, local science centers and even in public office and government. Graduates with a B.Sc offer competitive skills to work in these capacities, and in return, employers often offer comprehensive work benefits and stable employment. If you like making a difference at a population level and like working in policy and advocacy, public outreach may be for you!
Whatever You Like
Ultimately, the world is your oyster after you graduate with a B.Sc and you should pick something you like. I have had many friends who go on to do amazing things in business and other non-science related fields, such as law. Your science degree is not only about the science content you learned, but it’s also about the skills you gained throughout this process – dedication, determination, hard work, time management, networking – the list goes on and on. The important thing is to choose something you like doing; something you look forward to doing when you wake up. It’s also important to realize this might not happen overnight. It may be a progress of self-discovery and reflection, but ultimately, always go for your dream!
You are surviving post-secondary education and are achieving a B.Sc – you can do anything you set your mind to!