While you are completing your degree in science communication, we strongly encourage you to start thinking ahead and preparing for your career. There's a number of things you can start doing while you are still studying.
In both the undergraduate and postgraduate science communication degrees you will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement with a relevant employer. Work experience allows you to try out jobs and see if they are right for you, build your portfolio with examples of your work, network and find employment. Many of our work experience students have secured paid employment with their host after they finish the unit.
Employers view volunteer experience in relevant industries nearly as highly as paid work. Your volunteering demonstrates that you are capable of doing the job, you have relevant skills and you are passionate about science communication. Visit our volunteering page for opportunities in science communication.
It's estimated that 60% of jobs are obtained through who you know. Despite this, 80-90% of new graduates only apply for jobs through public advertisements. In addition, science undergraduates meet an average of just one potential employer during their degree!
In science communication, you will work directly with clients, work placement hosts and guest lecturers who are all potential employers. Don't be afraid of introducing yourself and asking for opportunities for further work. Attend ASC Events and any other science communication event you can find, and introduce yourself to everyone you meet.
Keep up to date with what is happening in the science communication community by following social media pages. Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping up on trends and job advertisements. Obviously you should follow us on Facebook, but you should also ask to join some of the group pages such as ASC, Science Communication Outreach and Science OF Science Communication.
Update your social media
Nearly all graduate recruiters are on LinkedIn and most employers now screen the social media of people they are thinking of hiring. Make sure your online profiles are up-to-date and professional. UWA students can attend training sessions on using LinkedIn and other social media for careers; log into Career Hub to find the next event.
Finding job ads
Make sure you sign-up for job alerts so that new openings are emailed directly to you. As well as the normal job boards, you may want to sign up for the following mailing lists:
NRM jobs: Conservation communication jobs are sometimes listed
Keep in mind that 86% of new jobs created in Australia are part-time, casual or fixed-term. Don't rule out jobs just because they aren't permanent; many employers may upgrade your contract later or a casual job can lead to more work and networking opportunities.
Ask for written references
While you can list your science communication lecturers as referees on your resume (ask us first!), keep in mind that this begins to look out-of-date very quickly after you graduate. Written references and letters of support can be used for longer.