Young male student in a science lab pouring a liquid into a test tube.

June 1, 2021, by indybamra1

A Glance at the Science Labour Market

By Cyrielle Mevel, Employability Education Projects Officer

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 impacted the graduate job market. However, according to the latest Institute of Student Employers (ISE) student survey, the number of graduate vacancies is on the rise again, which is comforting news!

Whether you are looking for a lab-based career or a career outside the lab, the science sector offers some rewarding opportunities.

Overview of the sector

According to High Fliers, the pandemic has had a negative impact in sectors such as professional services, the public sector and within some industrial companies. However, job vacancies are already starting to climb in some of these harder-hit sectors.

According to the recent Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy report, the pharmaceutical and bioindustry sectors have been recruiting well and have the potential to create over 130,000 jobs over the next 10 years in both large and SME organisations, research institutes and universities.

The Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) identified key skills gaps including engineers (involved in chemical and/ or process control) who understand both digital and pharmaceuticals and can drive process and efficiencies. With uncertainty over the long-term effects of Brexit, some pharmacies could also be in short supply of clinical pharmacists therefore the NHS plans to increase its intake over the coming years.

What did the ISE – have to say?

At ISE’s latest 2021 conference, Early Careers Manager at Centrica, Gabriella Stannah, (alongside panel members from FirstGroup, BAE Systems and nucleargraduates) emphasised they are looking for graduates from all degree disciplines. Especially those who can handle data, understand people by bringing data to life, communicate what the data means for the company and help organisation decision-making processes.

What is happening locally around Nottingham?

The Derby-Derbyshire-Nottingham-Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) recently published a local skills report. It highlighted the East Midlands as the third largest for life science research and development. Information, communication, professional, scientific, and technical services remain under-represented. The region is looking at improving its supply of digital skills due to its struggle to recruit graduates in the information and communication sector, including IT engineers and technicians.

Therefore, if these areas are of interest, think about searching locally.

How you can keep up-to-date with labour market trends

Below are various ways you can enhance your commercial awareness and find jobs. These are only a selection, so also look at our sources of vacancies webpage for further resources.

MyCareer – We advertise over 4,000 vacancies each year targeted at Nottingham graduates. You can search by keywords, vacancy type and location.

Laboratory work – Visit our webpage for a list of organisations offering graduate jobs and work experience opportunities

Gradcracker – Register on this specialist website to search for the latest STEM graduate job opportunities.

Cogentskills – This specialist science industry recruiter works with companies in areas such as life sciences, industrial sciences, and nuclear.

National job boards – View sites such as Prospects, TARGETjobs and Graduate Jobs.

LinkedIn – Build your profile on the biggest professional network. Follow companies of interest and research alumni via the University of Nottingham alumni LinkedIn group and talk to them to find out more about a role, gain tips or mentoring.

Sign-up to industry or employer associations and news updates including professional organisations such as the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) or the Institute of Physics (IOP).

You can also look at our scientific careers and our science beyond the lab webpages to understand what your options are as a science student.

It’s a good idea to get to know your chosen industry, take a look at our recent blog post to pick up tips on how to do this.

How you can successfully transition into the job market

Focus on what YOU want, not what others think you should be doing.

Develop your self-awareness so that you can make informed career decisions by completing this 30-minute interactive exercise. It is designed to help you explore and understand what your values, preferences, interests, strengths, and motivations are.

Reflect on the areas in which you may need support and how you could develop them by using our personalised learning engine magpie.

Remember to be kind to yourself, celebrate the small wins and reflect on the challenges you face along the way. You can build resilience by seeking feedback wherever possible to help you be more confident in the next recruitment process that you enter. If you need help with a job interview, your CV, or an application, then book an appointment, with one of our career advisers.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceGraduating in 2021InterviewsLabour Market Insights