Home Student Funds/Bursaries Top Careers in Life Science and Geography

Top Careers in Life Science and Geography

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This article gives you an insight on everything you need to know about pursuing a career in Life Science and Geography.

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Science is vast yet very interesting. It gives us the opportunity to explore the world around us through experiments in order to better understand life and all it entails. Life science and geography are two different aspects of science that are partially related.

Life science is a very important aspect of science that deals  with life in general. Those in this aspect of science are  involved with working in laboratories to help increase scientific understanding in areas such as genetics, fertility, plant life and the cause of disease development.

If you pursue a career in this area, you will most likely be working in hospital labs, academic institutions, clinics, pharmaceutical companies or specialist clinical research organizations. This is a massively broad area of work and the clinical research scientists that work in the life sciences  are employed in many different organizations.

This means that  as one in this field, you will most likely be conducting vital research studies and experiments to help doctors diagnose illnesses and treat people in the best possible way. You could become a clinical biochemist and spend your time analysing blood, semen, and urine samples; You could also pursue a career as a toxicologist and investigate the effects of chemicals, drugs and other substances on humans; or you could become an embryologist and be required to use techniques such as IVF treatment to help people with infertility problems, etc. This is to mention but a few.

As a life scientist, your daily responsibilities  will vary depending on your area of specialization. However, in whatever line of work you choose to pursue, you will be spending the majority of your time conducting experiments as well as  analysing your findings and presenting your conclusions to  colleagues and medical experts. You may also be required to attend conferences on a regular basis to present your research papers to other scientists.

The majority of life scientists have a degree in a relevant medical science field, such as biology, , biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology or pharmacology.

On the other hand, geography is a branch of science that goes beyond the study of the earth component as is perceived by many individuals. Geography careers offer opportunities to develop solutions to some of the most pressing modern societal issues including climate change, natural disasters, urban expansion, multicultural integration and overpopulation.

The career path you choose may depend on whether you studied physical geography or human geography. While natural science focuses on the Earth’s physical materials and processes, the social science focuses on issues relating to human communities and cultures.

Just like laboratory experiments are essential in life science, fieldwork is a useful way of developing  practical skills and gaining hands-on experience in geography.

If you’re a science lover and hopes to build a science related career in any of the aforementioned science fields, then continue reading to learn about the careers in both fields.

List of Careers In Life Science

There are numerous career opportunities in life science. Some of them are outlined below:

1. MEDICINE

This is an applied field with a combination of, biology, chemistry and life science. As new equipment and modern discoveries evolve, developments in medication and other treatments are drastically improved in all areas especially in the care that patients receive.

Students who are passionate about caring for the sick and probably looking to take on an active role with patients can choose to become physicians, like surgeons, anesthesiologists, oncologist, radiographers or gynecologists. All of these professionals specialize in a different aspect of diagnosis and administration of treatment for injuries and diseases.

Preventive healthcare is a major focus of many doctors due to the importance of keeping patients healthy and active. In addition, many medical professionals work as nurses or nurse practitioners. Positions are also available in medical laboratory science. Other medical careers include positions in pharmaceutical and medical research.

Choosing this career in life science can be very rewarding. However, it requires a lot of dedication and seriousness. Becoming a doctor requires completion of four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school and then up to eight years of residency and internship programs.

Working as a physician also requires state licensure and certification. Nursing careers may only require a bachelor’s degree plus a state-issued license. Other medical research careers may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in microbiology, biology, zoology or a related field. The path to Medicine may seem challenging but it’s worth every bit of the challenge.

2. BIOLOGY & ECOLOGY

Biology is the examination of living organisms and life while ecology is a sub-discipline of biology that deals with the study of living organisms and their relationship with the environment as well as with each other. The knowledge of ecology can be applied in environmental restoration and the maintenance of soil, water, and forests.

Biologists perform research for businesses, government agencies or schools. Science technicians or research assistant positions are also available to those with a biology background.

Ecologists can find careers in conservation and forestry. Conservation scientists help farmers and government agencies to conserve water, soil and other natural resources. Ecologists in research positions collect and analyze data from soil, food, water, etc.

3. BOTANY

Botany is the study of plant life. Individuals in botany degree programs can learn to identify poisonous plants and research the medicinal and edible plants that can be used to help humanity. It is an important career in life science.

Most careers in botany center around teaching and research. Botanists may perform research for pharmaceutical companies, Agricultural firms, environmental conservation agencies and other organizations. They may also teach at the high school or college but this is dependent on the educational qualification.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

This career specializes in carrying out research to develop solutions to problems  faced in the immediate environment, including pollution and global warming. There are numerous  degree programs and job opportunities are available to environmental science professionals. In order to choose wisely, make more research on  available options.

5. BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE

Biomedical scientists examine medical samples otherwise known as specimens. Examples are, blood, urine, semen, etc. With their roles, they help doctors to diagnose and treat diseases. They use their knowledge and test results to advise and support doctors and other medics. Biomedic scientists are required to have an in-depth   knowledge of areas such as pathology, anatomy and physiology, toxicology, etc

6. BIOTECHNOLOGY

Biotechnologists combine biology, the science of living things, with technology in order to provide solutions in other fields. They do this by making research and developing the use of biology to solve problems in areas such as health care, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, agriculture, food production, etc.

7. EPIDEMIOLOGY

Epidemiologists examine the causes of diseases and public health problems. Epidemiologists can help many people at once by finding the source of a disease, identifying how it spreads, and developing data-driven public health measures to control it.

Epidemiologists are scientists and public health experts who study disease, disability, and death across populations. They spend a lot of time gathering medical and health data, researching historical data, and analyzing all of that information to identify trends that can be used to track diseases, develop public health initiatives, and find new ways to treat or prevent diseases.

In other words, epidemiologists spend their days figuring out how and why people get sick and what steps we as a society can take to stop that from happening.

8. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

An analytical chemist, uses various methods to investigate the chemical composition of substances and life’s processes at the level of molecules. The aim is to identify and understand the substance and how it functions in different conditions.

They research and develop new products and processes to benefit a wide range of areas, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, health care and agriculture.

You can work in various areas such as:

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  • Drug formulation and development
  • chemical or forensic analysis
  • product validation
  • process development
  • quality control

Responsibilities

As an analytical chemist  job roles can vary depending on the setting but  typically you’re to:

  • Analyze samples from various sources to provide information on compounds or quantities of compounds present.
  • Use analytical techniques and instrumentation, such as ion chromatography, spectroscopy, etc
  • report scientific results
  • At a more advanced level, you’ll be likely involved in documentations for product licence applications and setting specifications for finished products.
9. RESEARCH SCIENTIST

As their name implies, they make new discoveries, develop cures, treatments and diagnostic techniques. Research scientists can work in nearly every industry, not just healthcare.

Do perform well in this field, you’ll need a genuine love for your research as well as patience and good lab skills. As a medical research scientist, you’ll plan and conduct experiments to increase the body of scientific knowledge on topics related to medicine. Molecular level research may be carried out using appropriate cell and animal models, or human volunteers may be used to study the clinical effects of various factors.

Responsibilities

The role or duties of a research scientist varies depending on the setting, but much of the work is laboratory-based. In general you’ll be required to:

  • Organize and run trials to test the safety of new medicines and to ascertain if they work well.
  • Plan and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret the results.
  • Use specialist computer software to analyze data and to produce diagrammatic representation of results.
10. BIOINFORMATIC

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that basically develops method and software tools for understanding biological data. As an interdisciplinary field of science, it combines computer science, mathematics, statistics and engineering to study and process biological data.

These are just a few career opportunities in life science.

List of Careers In Geography

1. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANCY

People in this field ensure that their commercial or government clients comply with regulations or laws. They also address a variety of environmental issues. Environmental consultancy offers the opportunity for a structured career path with the potential of specialization in an area of interest.

However, work experience is very essential for entry in this field, with potential employers including water-related organizations and the government institutions.

2. CARTOGRAPHY

Cartographers are involved in developing and producing different types of maps, as well as producing related diagrams, spreadsheets, charts and travel guides. Their responsibilities  may also include the restoration of old maps and historical documents.

A Cartographer  can equally work within a variety of areas, including  surveying, conservation and publishing. Recently, cartography has advanced in technology by incorporating  geographical information systems (GIS) and digital-mapping techniques.

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3. TOWN PLANNING

As a town planner, you will be required to put your analytical skills and knowledge of the environment into use to improve existing infrastructure and find solutions to environmental issues, and also ensuring that new developments are in line with various policies and regulations.

A large part of your job will be to satisfy the needs of businesses and local communities and cities while ensuring sustainable development as well as  seeing to maximum preservation of natural environments.

4. GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS OFFICER

These set of professionals tend to solve environmental issues by working with data, analytics and computer systems. Geographic information systems (GIS) are computerized systems used for the collection, analysis, storage, management and presentation of complicated geographical information, radar being an example.

Geographical information systems officers carry out the gathering and examination of geographical data generated by GIS. The data can be applied in a variety of areas, such as defense, meteorology, oil, gas, telecommunications and transportation, to make decisions which are beneficial to the environment.

For entry into this role, you may find it useful to have previously studied GIS as a module during your degree or through a special course or training. Postgraduate degrees are very necessary in this field.

5. CONSERVATION OFFICER

In this career your duty is to protect a natural environment and create awareness on the ways in which the local community can enjoy its settings without having a negative impact. Also, a sustainable development officer would promote their particular employer’s sustainability practices in the local area. As a sustainability consultant, your work also involves evaluating the impact a company is having on the environment.

To increase your chances of pursuing this career, it is very important to gain some relevant work experience, through paid or voluntary work. A postgraduate study in sustainable development may be useful too.

6. LOCATION ANALYST

Location analysts are involved in many areas of business operations. Their  jobs include site research, marketing, market intelligence, property planning and research, operations, planning and acquisitions, producing geo-location data to support development of reports, mapping dynamics of areas, manage location of business ventures, producing sales forecasts for new stores and extensions, searching for opportunities for investment by analyzing location types to support successful investment and meet strategy plans of the company and lots more.

Numerous private companies use location analysts to decide on new store locations and other business decisions. If you want to ascertain if your cosmetic company will do well in a given location, employ the services of a location analyst.

7. ARCHIVIST

An archivist is an information professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to records and archives determined to have long-term value

Archivists perform a wide variety of tasks. In smaller archives, a few individuals may do everything while, in larger archives, archivists may specialize in specific aspects of the work. Archivists organize items such as documents, manuscripts, books, and artifacts, and are often employed by organizations which work with historical documents.

The archivist may also have to take note of the conditions of various items and put them in storage systems to prevent damage or decay. Writing and typing skills are important as development of content for public-facing websites is also part of the job specification.

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However, computer skills are necessary, as there will often be some sort of database of all cataloged items. Audit and conduct quality assurance of collections, including preservation and storage.

8. TEACHING/LECTURING

You may also like to pass on your geography skills and knowledge to the next generation as a geography teacher in a secondary school, college or University. This requires completion of a specialized teaching qualification or postgraduate study. You’ll need excellent communication skills, creativity and commitment to your subject.

These are just some of the careers in geography. Thus, If none of the above geography careers are appealing to you, there are still plenty options available.

Conclusion

There are numerous careers in life science and geography. To get an entry level job, much is not required. A bachelor’s degree is a standard requirement for most professions in the life sciences and geography field. However, some careers, such as being a physician, require advanced studies. The specific career path being pursued will determine which specific type of degree is required.

Depending on the education level, students can enter the field of research, teaching or medicine in both life science and geography respectively.

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