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Science, Mathematics and Statistics



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Maths and Statistics


Biochemists research biological processes and problems - designing and conducting experiments to investigate them and look for solutions. They may work and do research and/or investigation in one of a range of sectors including manufacturing, medicine, agriculture and the environment.

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of living things. Biochemists identify and analyse biological processes and problems, and develop techniques to investigate them.

Biotechnologist design and conduct experiments, make observations and analyse data, and develop products that have a biological ingredient or action, such as vaccines, antibiotics, hormones and washing powders. They work in a range of areas, including medicine, agriculture, food and drink, the environment and the chemicals industry.

Chemists work with materials and chemicals, designing and conducting experiments, taking measurements often as part of research and development or production and quality control.

They work in a range of areas, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food and drink, developing new materials and forensic science.

Clinical Scientists work with patients or supporting clinical staff in laboratory work, testing and interpreting results, working out scientific solutions to problems and research. They use a wide range of complex techniques and sophisticated automated equipment, microscopes and other technologically advanced laboratory equipment.

They specialise in a particular scientific areas such as audiology, biochemistry, cytogenetics, embryology, immunology, microbiology, molecular genetics, histocompatibility and respiratory physiology.

Cosmetic scientists work in cosmetics manufacturing, researching, developing new ingredients and products, and safety testing cosmetics, including make-up, skincare products, hair-care products, toiletries and perfumes.

Ecologists work in the area of the ecosystem that they have studied in depth, often to postgraduate level, for example freshwater ecology, marine mammals, birds, river and wetland ecology, microbial systems, fauna or flora. The organisms that ecologists work with vary in size from microscopic bacteria through to whales. Depending on their employer they may do field work, practical countryside management, advise on the impact of development on ecosystems, and use computer modeling to analyse problems and suggest solutions.

Food scientists and technologists both work with food production, sales and manufactureFood scientists mainly work with food safety and quality whilst food technologists produce food products such as ready meals from raw foodstuffs. They tend to work mainly for employers such as food manufacturers, retailers and supermarket chains.

Forensic Scientists provide impartial scientific evidence to support civil and criminal investigations. In a criminal case, for example, they may examine, test and analyse traces of evidence such as blood and body fluids and materials from the crime scene giving their finding in a formal statement or report. They may need to go to Court to testify on a case. They work for a range of employers including the police, commercial forensic science service providers, such as the Forensic Science Service (FSS), or for government agencies.

Laboratory technicians work on routine laboratory tests and technical work to support the work of scientists and technologists with their work.  They work across all areas of research and development including healthcare, food and drink development, pharmacology and biotechnology.  They also work in education supporting lecturers, teachers and students with practical activities undertaken as part of scientific and technological subjects.

Materials Scientist work in many industry sectors and look at how materials perform under different pressures, temperatures, stress etc and also develop new or modified materials including those formed from recycling materials. Some work with one type of material and their job title may reflect this for example metallurgist (metals), polymer scientist (polymers) or ceramist (ceramics).

Physicists may work in a wide range of areas including electronics, energy, space, transport, medicine, defence and materials science. Their work can involve experiments, simulating problems and conditions and making a series of observations used to solve problems. Many physicists work in teams with other scientists, including chemists, materials scientists, geologists, computer systems analysts, engineers and technicians.

Remember too that many jobs in the Science grouping above need mathematical and/or statistical skills and qualifications.

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians apply mathematical theory and techniques to real life problems. They work as analysts, programmers, consultants, modellers, designers, engineers and statisticians not just in science and engineering sectors but also in government and business and finance. For example they may be involved in the production and design of computer games, computer software, cars, aeroplanes or food, developing mathematical models to forecast future trends in the financial market, the weather, diseases, or population growth.

Operational researchers work as mathematical modellers using specialist computer software to compare the likely outcome of solutions to problems. They work in all different types of industry and business using their methods to advise decision makers in an organisation - for example for a transport or supply chain company to model how to make more profit using differentials such as journey times and routes, staffing and size of transport used or for advising government departments on facilities and resources that will needed in the future.

Statisticians work with numerical information (statistics) that has been collected, or needs to be gathered, about things like sales, population growth, transport usage, economic growth or downturns and diet and health trends. They usually work with colleagues or clients to decide what kind of statistics should be collected and how.  This helps employers such as local and central government, health services, large retail outlets and manufacturing companies spot changes and put in place any plans to respond. 

Want to know more?

The information in this jobs section is a summary of what's involved in each of the jobs and only a few jobs are highlighted to give a snapshot of this sector.

You can also use the National Careers Service website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more........