By Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology
At the Society of Biology we have recently benefited from a number of interns, and it is rewarding to see young people develop at the start of their careers. But how do they get to this stage? For undergraduates we offer Life Sciences Careers Conferences, but decisions start at school age – what subjects to study at school, what work experience to do, where to go to university? As a member body of The Science Council, we are pleased to support Future Morph, their careers website for pupils, parents and teachers. This gives advice and ideas to secondary school pupils about the full range of careers in science and maths.
Taking a look at the jobs done by Society of Biology members makes it abundantly clear that biology careers can take on many different forms, whether it is monitoring water quality, working in a medical diagnostics lab, being a radiographer or advising on science policy. This means both that science careers suit a wide variety of people, and that it can be very hard to find out what careers are open to you.
To demonstrate the choices, the Future Morph website has case studies and videos about many different careers. Alongside this there are games and quizzes – try out the what you might be.
This week the UK Commission for Employment and Skills youth employment campaign is focusing on apprenticeships, so it is fitting to mention Future Morph’s case studies about apprenticeships and technical roles, from animal care to sports science.
There is no need to decide on a career while you are still at school, and many people will have multiple careers in their lifetime. However, knowing what your options are can help make decisions which will increase your employability in a broad range of areas. It is never too early to think about the skills and experience you will need, and biology has some very exciting options to offer.