Most Life Science students go through their university lives believing that when they graduate they will have to get a science job (if that’s what they want) that won’t pay very much. In fact a lot of them think that they will have to work in the lab.
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Both of these statements are not true. There are many science graduate jobs that will pay graduates, even with as little as six months experience, quite a lot of money but also, will be based in an office or on the field (and not in the lab). It’s sad to say that many gradates have no idea what these jobs are and no one who should be in the know is willing to tell them about it. So in many cases, it is not until a life science graduate starts working in the Pharmaceutical Industry before they find out about these amazing science jobs. But normally, at this point, they have already embarked on a career path which will not bring them the big salaries they want. So they either have to re-apply to positions where they have no experience or just continue along the path that they have already started on.
The problems life science graduates face is that most of them have no idea what types of science jobs to apply for in industry and they have no idea what they should expect in terms of salary payments. Given this situation, many science graduates end up either doing another degree straight after graduating in the hopes of improving their employability or they apply to completely unrelated fields so that they can get the types of salaries that they would like. It’s not difficult to see why these options are so attractive, especially since most students live in debt and graduate with even bigger debts. They have to pay these back as soon as they graduate, so a science job that pays between 15-20K is just not enough to take care of all their living expenses.
The thing that life science graduates need to understand is that the pharmaceutical industry is vast and has enough jobs or careers to cover every salary expectation imaginable. It is possible to be able to match some of these huge salaries that the graduates get paid by getting jobs within the pharmaceutical industry. As incredible as it sounds, getting paid about four thousand pounds per month after tax, doing a science job, is achievable with only six months experience. There are thousands of graduates in science jobs that pay this and more. The trick is to know exactly which jobs within the industry will allow a new graduate to reach these amounts in a short period of time.