Future-Proofing Your Science Career

Remain relevant in this era of automation and great change.
The gradsingapore Team
The gradsingapore Team
Future-proofing your science career

With Industry 4.0 bringing about a paradigm shift in business and industry, the future of work in the sciences looks unsettlingly uncertain. But while it may be hard to tell what lies ahead for science graduates, fear not. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the opportunities that come your way!

#1. Always keep learning

More than ever before, it’s crucial to pick up a technical skill or two to give your resume an edge. Do some research to figure out which skills are sought in your field of choice, or simply go with your passion and take the first class that catches your eye. Think of these extra skills as new additions to your toolbox – although your job might not call for them on a daily basis, you may come across a few scenarios where they can come in handy.

More than that, some acquired skills are universal. For instance, soft skills that make you a better employee and team player can be acquired from joining a club or society, or from taking on a part-time job. Don’t forget to make the most out of university presentations and use them as practice as well; there’s bound to be a time where you have to speak to a crowd for work.

And with how rapidly things are changing in our time, adaptability is a key skill to have, and it’s one you can pick up by stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things you find to be challenging.

These skills won’t only help you from the beginning to the end of the recruitment process, but will also see you through your career as they’re considered essential life skills too.

#2. Conduct your own market research

Naming your salary and negotiating it right may help you land you your dream position. Start by doing research to find out how much you should demand in monetary benefits, and then move on to find out how much you need to live comfortably. It’s also a good idea to provide a salary range before opening negotiations, though. At the same time, you must be sure that you aren’t demanding an unreasonably high salary, as it may put off some employers.

Take some time to read up on what other companies are offering for similar roles as well, and take stock of your own experience. This way, you can be sure that you’re asking for just enough.

#3. Consider up-and-coming careers

It would be wise to turn your attention to roles that’ll experience demand in time to come, rather than what’s currently successful. It’s also strategic to look at jobs that’ll be less affected by automation. Here are a few key areas that’ll be promising in the future:

  • Healthcare
  • Food technology
  • Data science

#4. Know what employers look for

Recruiters are always looking for motivated employees; they want candidates who are genuinely interested in the job and in working for them. Before you even apply, you should look into the company to give yourself an idea of what they do and how you can fit in. If you’re invited for an interview, talk about what you read of them and ask relevant questions – it shows that you’ve done your research and that you’re a person who puts thought into their work.

Employers also love candidates who have some work experience and, as such, tend to prefer hiring their own interns for entry-level positions.

#5. Hone your interview skills

There are many articles in this website that are specially geared to prepare you for interviews and assessments in the STEM sector.

#6. Be open to advice

Seek advice from everyone you know in your field, and absorb all the information you can. Hear what they have to say as everyone has some insights into the industry, regardless of seniority or whether or not their occupation’s one you’re interested in. They all have something valuable, and that’s their experience.

Heed someone more seasoned and take their advice on how to be a better employee; listen to someone who’s still green about their newbie days. Even talking to someone who works in human resources (HR) or sales can give you an idea of what other candidates are like, or how the market is currently doing.