Scientist looking at a plant.

Science drives – and is driven by – human curiosity as we attempt to understand everything from our bodies to our environment. We look to the stars and deep within ourselves – developing new ideas, disrupting industries, and revolutionizing daily life with new technology and methods that will impact lives for generations.

So, how can your love of chemistry, biology, or physics translate into a successful career? Let’s look at some of the opportunities that will shape careers for future science grads, like you.

The fundamental job of scientists has been – and will continue to be – research.


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Scientist doing an experiment.

Research will shape the future

The fundamental job of scientists has been – and will continue to be – research. Research jobs are available in all fields, industries, and organizations: universities, private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and government. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a researcher; there are new technologies, new discoveries, and new frontiers to be explored.

  • Nanosciences: the study and manipulation of individual atoms and molecules has wide application in all sciences
  • Bioinformatics: the growing amount of data (2.5 quintillion bytes per day!) available to help scientists analyze everything from biological information (such as mapping the human genome) to chemical computation
  • Sensors: the development of new, more sensitive sensor technologies to monitor physical and environmental stimuli
  • Quantum mechanics: an emerging science that examines the properties and behaviour of subatomic particles – the smallest scales of energy

As a research scientist, your options are as open as your imagination and interests; research happens across all sectors, all over the world! You might study lasers and win a Nobel Prize, or help create a quantum computer. Your research may lead to new pharmaceutical methods to help Alzheimer patients, or deliver nano-treatments to glaucoma patients. Your career could also be above the earth studying black holes, galaxies, or on board the International Space Station as an astronaut.


Two pilots in a small cockpit. Earn a Bachelor of Science and your commercial pilot's licence.

Up, up, and away!

You can be an astronaut with a science degree. You could also be a pilot. A science degree is well suited to aviation and aerospace careers. After all, aerodynamics is based on principles from physics: gravity, lift, drag, thrust.

With supplemental education in cartography, climatology, geographic information systems (GIS), or the addition of chemical science, you could be well on your way to a career in aviation.

Aviation is a career path with promise! There’s a global shortage of pilots looming as current qualified pilots retire. It’s estimated that Canada alone will need 7,000 pilots and 55,000 aviation workers by 2025.

Worldwide, almost 800,000 pilots will be needed, and the industry is making an effort to include female pilots in what was once a male-dominated job.

 

A model of a human head.

Healthy people

There are more seniors than there are children under the age of 14 in Canada. In fact, there are 8.2 million Canadians who are – or soon will be – seniors.

While Canadians are living longer, and have better health care than many other countries in the world, we still face challenges in preventing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. These diseases account for 65% of deaths in Canada and are the leading cause of death globally.

The increasing number of people with dementia (including Alzheimer’s) – 47.5 million people worldwide – is also a growing concern as our population ages. More research is needed, and scientists are searching for a cure or better ways to manage this illness.

The demand for health care professionals, researchers, and technical specialists is going to increase by as much as 18%.

Discovering new methods to maintain health, treat, or even cure disease will be increasingly important. The demand for health care professionals (e.g., doctors, pharmacists, optometrists), researchers, and technical specialists is going to increase by as much as 18% by 2026.

There will also be increasing demand for policy makers and public health experts to collect, analyze, and advise governments and business on the strategies needed to maintain or improve health and health care.

Environmental Science students collect water samples in a stream

Healthy planet

Climate change, pollution, and global warming are serious concerns. They can negatively affect our population health, the natural environment, food and water supplies, and biodiversity.

Organizations like the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and Waterloo's Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change work with governments and environmental professionals around the world to address economic, social, and environmental issues.

Scientists in earth and environmental sciences, geophysics, as well as materials science, study the physical, chemical, and hydrological aspects of our planet. They work to monitor, manage, and change practices, policies, and tools used to predict catastrophic events, access or extract resources like water or rare materials, and remediate landscapes that have been altered by natural or human events.

In Canada alone, 100,000 new environmentally related jobs will be created from 2017 to 2024.

Careers for science grads interested in earth and environmental sciences will include everything from mining to water protection.

  • Mining: Geophysicists will use digital technologies to find new sources of materials (like terbium and dysprosium, rare metals needed in your cell phones).
  • Energy: Clean energy is predicted to create up to 28 million jobs by 2050. Career prospects will be diverse: creating and managing wind, water, and solar infrastructure, or developing advanced rechargeable batteries.
  • Environment: Geoscientists will help manage the world’s water supply or quality. They can monitor the health of species and communities and our impact on the world’s natural resources. In Canada alone, 100,000 new environmentally related jobs will be created from 2017 to 2024.
 

A student in the science and business degree program works in a lab.

The science of business

University programs that include both science and business give you the freedom to combine your love of science with your interest in subjects like finance, accounting, economics, and marketing.

You’ll be able to talk science and translate between scientific discovery and business needs.

You’ll be able to talk science and translate between scientific discovery and business needs: skills that biotechnology, medical device, pharmaceutical, and health firms need to succeed.

Combining a Bachelor of Science degree with entrepreneurship is also a career option. With the right support, you can take your ideas to market and make a difference in the lives of people all over the world. Waterloo Science students and grads have already created some amazing products.

The business of science

Science is big business. We’ve already talked about mining and energy, but there are other industry sectors where science grads can find big opportunity.

The global biotechnology market will be worth over $775 billion (USD) by 2024.

Biotechnology manufacturing sectors employ over 30,000 people in Canada, and has grown 10% in the last five years. The global biotechnology market will be worth over $775 billion (USD) by 2024, with big growth expected in bioagriculture, nanobiotechnology, and biopharmacy.

There’s also growth in the medical technology sector – with over 1,300 medical technology companies in Ontario earning $12.2 billion in revenues each year. These firms create wearables, hardware, and software to improve the health of people in Canada and around the world.

These are just some of the growing sectors that require science grads skilled in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, and life physics to help shape products, services, and processes vital to business.

     

    There’s plenty of opportunity to mesh your passions with what the world needs – and to develop the skills to discover and create the innovations and disruptions that will change tomorrow.


    Bachelor of Science programs

    Science is a large, dynamic field of study. There’s plenty of opportunity to mesh your passions with what the world needs – and to develop the skills to discover and create the innovations and disruptions that will change tomorrow. Remember, the sky is not the limit! Science grads go beyond the Earth into the cosmos!

    Your education needs to give you opportunities to learn, develop, and explore. With a world-class education and hands-on experience, supported by Waterloo's labs, workshops, co-op work terms, and entrepreneurship opportunities, your future is what you make it. These Waterloo programs make a great first step for your career.

     

    A Bachelor of Science degree can lead to many careers

    • Environmental scientist
    • Brewer
    • Data analyst
    • Energy manager
    • Exploration geologist
    • Lab supervisor
    • Respiratory specialist
    • Chemist
    • Staff scientist
    • Operation management
    • Clinical researcher
    • Gaming analyst
    • Research associate
    • Nurse
    • Financial analyst
    • Microbiologist
    • Optometrist
    • Teacher
    • Risk analyst
    • Pharmacist
    • Pilot
     

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