If you love science, you are at the right school! Rice University earned its reputation as a trailblazer in the field of science and innovation. From the discovery of Buckyballs to 3D printing organs, Rice is an amazing place to start your career in Sciences and Health, but what does a future in this career cluster mean? This cluster includes careers in biology, chemistry, ecology, earth science/geosciences, environment, global health, medicine, mental health, pharmaceuticals, physics, public health and research. Because these fields are all so robust, we will only focus on a few on this page. If you are interested in learning more about this cluster, you can find jobs and internships in this cluster on 12twenty!
Recruiting Timelines and Methods
Recruiting timelines within this cluster vary significantly depending on the type of position you are seeking and the size of the organization. Some firms hire on an as-needed basis and therefore do not interview on campus, while others are more active in the on-campus recruiting process.
Whether you are interested in smaller or larger firms, to ensure you do not miss out on any opportunities to connect with an employer or job application deadlines, check 12twenty for job and internship postings and networking events. Develop a list of target companies and routinely visit their websites for job posting and other opportunities.
Networking is a critical component in successfully securing a job or internship in the industries that fall within Health & Sciences. Connect regularly with classmates, professors, alumni and personal contacts to develop relationships with individuals who work in these industries. Throughout your time at Rice take advantage of the fact that Rice is located just steps away from the largest medical center in the world!
There are so many things you can do with a degree in a scientific discipline. Rice graduates from the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Social Sciences have had successful careers as consultants, bankers, lawyers, doctors, and educators. There is really nothing you can’t do with a degree in the scientific disciplines, it all depends on what you want and how you can market yourself.
This page is specifically for careers that you can pursue that are within the science arena post graduation. If you are interested in pursuing a career in a scientific field, we suggest that you read this page, check out our resources, but also do your own research and figure out which path is the best for you. This page only scratches the surface of what scientists can do and we hope it helps you in your exploration!
You can learn more about careers in science by exploring the Jobs and Internships page in 12twenty. If there is an area that we missed or if you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com and we would be happy to answer your questions.
If you do not like research, some of the careers in the Sciences and Health Career Cluster may not be for you, however, there are still many ways you can contribute to these fields outside of a lab.
Please note that, if you wish to pursue a career that involves research, you will most likely consider going to graduate school to get your PhD.
The Rice Pre-Medical Society has built a research database with over 800 labs across multiple fields of study at Rice ad the Texas Medical Center across a variety of disciplines that may or may not have hosted Rice undergraduate researchers. These faculty are only a subset of those that may be willing to host students. Rice students identify new hosts each semester, so don't be afraid to reach out to research faculty not on this list. Additional resources can be found at the BioSciences Opportunities Canvas Site.
Scientist in a Biological or Life Sciences Field: There are many different types of biologists in several different disciplines but all biologists study a wide variety of living organisms. Biologists can work in a lab or in the outdoors, depending on their research. Biologists can work in a private lab, at a university, with a government agency, or another type of organization all together! The most important tip of entry is to take bio-focused classes in college to gain knowledge of the material and passion for life sciences. It is also recommended that you explore research opportunities throughout your time in college so you can learn more about this career path and develop your skill set.
- Resources for Biotech Instructors
- Firsthand Guide: Biologist
- Science Buddies: Biologist
- A Day in the Life: Entry-Level Scientist in Biotech
Genetic Scientists: genetic scientists strive to increase our knowledge of our genetic material so as to best combat genetic diseases; address genetic defects; and breed new crops and livestock among other applications. Unlike other fields within life sciences, genetic scientists spend most of their time in a lab, isolating genes and conducting experiments to see how genetic material behaves. The most important tip of entry is that there is no easy 1 tip for entry into this field! Genetic science is so broad that career paths within this specialty can differ widely. We advise students that are interested in this field to do their research and talk with professors and other scientists in the industry.
Bioinformatic Specialists: Bioinformatic specialist study, diagnose, and treat genetic diseases; add in the development and implementation of new drugs; and other medical applications. Bioinformatic specialists design computer databases in order to best collect and analyze medical data. In fact, many professionals in bioinformatics have a background in mathematics and computer scientist rather than in biology. If you are looking for a future in scientific research that allows you to continue your passion for data analytics, bioinformatics may be the field for you! Please be sure to do your research before pursuing this profession.
Environmental Sciences/Earth Sciences
Environmental Scientist: Environmental scientist study and assess the effects of human impact and natural interactions to the environment. There are several areas that Environmental Scientist specialize in such as air, soil, water, etc. These scientists use physics, biology, ecology, chemistry, and earth sciences (such as geology) to study the effects of climate change, energy exploration, the disposal of waste, the spread of infectious diseases and more. Environmental Scientists can be geologists, oceanographers, meteorologists, hydrologists, and more. Environmental Scientists use a variety of tools in their day to day including digital mapping, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS). If you are interested in learning more about this profession or building a career as an environmental scientists, tap into the Rice alumni network to learn more about the industry and search for opportunities such as a research assistant or field analyst to develop your knowledge and skill set.
- Firsthand Guide: Environmental Scientists
- Firsthand Guide: Geologists
- Firsthand Guide: Oceanographers
Physicist: physicists examine the relationship between matter and energy. Physics is the study of the behavior of the universe and the laws that help define these behaviors. As a physicist, there are many different fields of study within physics you can explore: atomic physics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, high-energy physics, solid-state physics, medical physics, etc. Many physicists engage with research and work at a university or in various industries, such as petroleum, manufacturing, communications, etc. There are many different paths that you can take as a physicist, but one avenue for this future is pursuing a PhD. Make connections within this field and find out what are the best next steps for you.
Chemist: chemists use and pursue new knowledge of chemicals in order to develop new procedures or products. There are many specialities within chemistry that chemists can study: analytics, biological, organic, in-organic, and physical chemistry to name a few. Most chemists work in research and development laboratories but they can work in a number of different industries including but not limited to higher education, pharmaceuticals, forensics, the food industry, hospitals, automotive industry, government, and cosmetic companies. Like physicists, chemists may want to consider pursuing a PhD if they would like a future doing research.
Anthropologist: an anthropologist studies the origin and evolution of humans. Anthropologists can focus on many different aspects of human development such as language, values, customs, culture, social patterns, way of life, and physical characteristics. These various fields (and many more) are what make anthropology so exciting but also so robust as a career path. The majority of anthropologists work at colleges and universities, teaching and conducting research. If you are interested in becoming an anthropologist, we encourage you to look into anthropological research opportunities during your undergraduate career and exploring various PhD programs that can help you excel in this field.
- Firsthand Guide: Anthropologist
- Career Girls: Anthropologist or Archeologist
- American Anthropological Association: Becoming an Anthropologist
Sociologist: sociologists study the behavior and interaction of people in groups. There are many different careers that you can explore with a major in sociology, but, if you would like to become a sociologist, the majority of your colleagues will be conducting research and teaching at a university. There are so many different fields you can explore within a career as a sociologist, but most of these start with undergraduate research and enrolling in a PhD program.
- Firsthand Guide: Sociologist
- Be a Behavior Sociologist: Education and Career Roadmap
- Career Explorer: How to Become a Sociologist
Economist: economists study how societies use resources to produce goods and services for consumption and production. The fields within economics are very diverse but all economists analyze and collect data that can tell them more about economic trends. Economists can work in the political sector, in higher education, or in a corporate setting. To pursue a career as an economist, you may want to consider enrolling in a PhD program after you finish your undergraduate career. We also suggest you work on building your network and finding the best place for your career to start.
Additional Science Resources:
- How to Become a Scientist
- Top 10 Alternative Careers for PhD Science Graduates
- What Can I Do With This Major?: Geology
- What Can I Do With This Major?: Marine Sciences
- Research Roadmaps
Sustainability is a movement that doesn’t just entail careers in biodesign or clean energy, but also plays a role in many other industries, each with their own green career options. This resource package is designed to be a comprehensive guide on looking into “greening careers’, complete with general tips on how to be more eco-friendly, alumni advice, career timelines, and a litany of other resources. Click on the link below to access resources that are designed by students, for students:
The health industry is robust amongst Rice alumni and in the Houston community. Within walking distance of the Texas Medical Center, Rice students are perfectly positioned to explore a career in health. Though there are many fields within this industry that Rice students can pursue, we will focus on the larger buckets: public health careers, medical careers, and careers in wellness. Please note that all of these professions will most likely require a secondary degree.
It is important to note that we do not address companies or organizations that are health focused. Because of this, we did not include information on hospitals, insurance companies, think tanks, and public health driven nonprofits. You can learn more about careers in health by exploring the Jobs and Internships page in 12twenty. If there is an area that we missed or if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer your questions.
People who are passionate about public health want to educate and improve the health and lifestyles of individuals and societies. There are many disciplines within public health and so many different careers you can pursue. Many individuals interested in public health work to improve community health, work in the government, work for private healthcare, non-profits, or in a research capacity.
Epidemiologist: epidemiologists study the cause, spread, and control of diseases and injuries within an affected group of people and the overall population. There are two main types of epidemiologists: research epidemiologists and applied epidemiologists. Research epidemiologists, like their name suggests, conduct research and work at universities or in federal programs (like the CDC). Applied epidemiologists often work with the state and local government, educating their community about public health issues. Careers in epidemiology require a Masters or PhD, so we encourage students to do plenty of research on their career interests and graduate programs.
Community Health Worker/Health Educator: Health educators teach their community how to develop and implement strategies that can improve their health. They collect data, discuss health concerns, and are the link between healthcare workers and the community they serve. Students interested in this career should build their network and find the best next steps.
Emergency Management Specialist: Emergency Management Specialists are the first line of defense against disaster. Specialists work hard to develop and implement training within a community in order to minimize damage in the event of a disaster. They collect and analyze data, communicate regularly with the public and with government officials, and stay abreast of all emergency procedures and protocols. If you are interested in this career, we suggest that you look into certification programs and build your network to acquire your next step.
Additional Public Health Resources:
- Public Health Career Guide
- 100 Things You Can Do With a Masters in Public Health
- Public Health Degrees and Careers
Medicine is an amazing place for Rice students to pursue a career (especially considering the large expected growth in the industry over the next decade). Please note that all of these careers will require additional education.
Physicians: physicians use their knowledge of science and health to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the human body. There are many different specializations for physicians (you can learn more about these specializations in the resources below). Physicians can work anywhere their skills are required but many choose to work in hospitals or private practice. In order to become a physician, students must go through medical school, residency, and any other steps necessary in order to reach their goal. If you are interested in becoming a physician we suggest that you talk to physicians in your network in order to learn more about this career path, discuss how to prepare for the medical school admissions process with the CCD and OAA, and begin studying for the MCAT (it’s never too soon).
Nurse: If you are interested in becoming a nurse, congratulations -- your skill set will be heavily needed in the US very soon! With ⅓ of nurses approaching retirement and the need for nurses ever-growing, you may find many open doors in your future. Nurses provide direct care to patients, assist physicians and other medical professionals, educate families and the community on public health matters and much much more. Similarly to physicians, nurses are required anywhere their skills are needed, including, but not limited to, hospitals, private practice, schools, retirement communities, the military, and non-profit organizations. RNs have a very demanding but also very necessary job. If you are interested, your next step will be to enroll in a nursing program and volunteer as much as you can with medical organizations, in order to prepare yourself the best you can for your career ahead.
Dentist: Dentists maintain the health of their clients’ teeth through preventative and restorative practices. Though some dentists are specialists, most dentists are general practitioners. Dentists often find their career path very rewarding and, if you are interested, we suggest that you check out the resources below to learn more. Please note that dentists are required to graduate from dental school, which is a separate, but by no means shorter or easier process, than medical school.
- Firsthand Guide: Dentist
- Mouth Healthy: Dentistry Career Resources
- American Dental Association: Career Options
- American Dental Association: 10 Reasons to Consider Dentistry
Veterinarian: veterinarians treat sick and injured animals (medically and surgery), prevent the spread of diseases, and advise owners on the proper care for pets and livestock. About 75% of veterinarians are employed either solo or with a medical veterinary practice. There are many fields of speciality within veterinary studies, including livestock, support animals, and many more. They can work on a corporate level as well and with pharmacological companies who work with animals in their research. In order to become a veterinarian, students will need to gain a postgraduate degree in veterinary medicine (Rice does not have a veterinary medicine school). We encourage students to connect with professionals in this field and participate in research and internships in order to gain more knowledge and grow your skill set.
Psychologist: psychologists teach, counsel, conduct research, and study how people understand themselves. Psychology is a vast field of possible career options. Psychologists can work as school counselors, do clinical work, hold positions in the government, and contribute to corporate research. Many psychologists who teach and conduct research pursued a doctorate of psychology after their undergraduate career. If you decide that a PhD is not for you, you may want to consider a Masters program and/or a certification program. We advise you to explore your interest, conduct research while at Rice, and understand that a career in psychology is one with a bright outlook.
Wellness is an exciting industry full of great career prospects! With more and more focus on self-care and wellbeing, wellness is an incredible environment for your professional development. Below, you will learn more about a few careers you can pursue within the wellness industry, but know that there are so many options and this industry is only growing. We encourage you to dream big!
Kinesiologist/Kinesiotherapist: kinesiologists are healthcare professionals that development and execute exercise programs that help their clients maintain and gain endurance, mobility, strength, and coordination. As a kinesiologist, you will be helping children to professional athletes to people in physical rehabilitation or differently abled individuals. This is a very rewarding job and we advise any student who is interested to do their research on the field and contact members of the Rice community to help them begin their career in kinesiology.
Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapist: Occupational and physical therapists work with their patients to restore maximum function to their physical abilities. These fields share similarities but they are also radically different -- occupational therapists work with differently abled individuals and physical therapists work with individuals who have been injured and are currently in rehabilitation. Both of these careers have outstanding outlooks and, those who enjoy OT or PT careers, find fulfillment in their positions. Next steps for any Rice students is to identify trainings, programs, and secondary degrees that can help you start your careers in OT or PT. We also recommend you connect with members of the Rice community who may be able to tell you more about these fields.
- Firsthand Guide: Occupational Therapist
- Learn How to Become: Occupational Therapist
- American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Resources
- Learn How to Become: Physical Therapist
Dietitian: dietitians provide dietary advice to help their clients improve or maintain their health. There are many different types of dietitians include nutritionists, who require less training than dietitians. Overall, dietitians teach, see private clients, or work closely with professionals in the food and beverage industry. We encourage any students interested in this field of work to continue their education in nutrition and health and to pay close attention to the materials you need for certification. This may change depending on the state you plan to practice in.
Additional Wellness Resources: