• Question: Do you have any advice for pursuing a career in science. I'm considering doing genetics - is this good?

    Asked by morganxmas18 to Tomas, Richard, Reka, Paul, Omar, Oliver, Kevin, Judith, Hannah, Gemma, Emma, David, Bobby, Anthony on 7 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Gemma Chandratillake

      Gemma Chandratillake answered on 7 Jan 2019:


      I did a genetics degree for my undergraduate and loved it. Whether something is good or not is really specific to the person doing it; you need to like what you do if you want to use it as the basis of a career as you will be doing it a lot. That said, I think genetics is and will continue to be a pretty useful degree to have. You could go on to become a researcher (need to do PhD afterwards), or work in a hospital laboratory doing diagnostic testing, or use it as a stepping stone to graduate entry medicine, become a biology teacher, or totally change tack and do something where a quantitative degree is of value e.g. finance.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 7 Jan 2019:


      There are many ways to pursue a career in science, but a degree in a subject you enjoy would definitely be a good place to start! Some degrees can be more flexible than others (here’s where I plug biology in St Andrews, where I work: in the first year you study biology all the way from molecular to marine subjects, then specialize later), but if you know what you enjoy already there are some really good specific degrees as well (mine is in Cellular Pathology, which is pretty specific!!).

      I would suggest finding out as much as you can about potential careers and courses: most people are very happy to talk about their jobs (good and bad) if you ask them. Some universities will also put you in touch with their current students who can tell you what it’s really like to study there.

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