Think-Lab's Guide to Careers in Science Communication
We think that communicating science is the best field that anyone can work in. OK, so it doesn't offer the same career structure and opportunities that we'd have had in science, but we get to talk about the most exciting research and meet all sorts of amazing people all the time.
In fact we look like we're enjoying our work so much that we're always being asked how to get into the field. Here's what we say...
1. Think about your decision hard
Many jobs in science communication are short term and relatively poorly paid - don't be suprised to see graduate+ jobs on one year contracts being advertised at as little as £14,000 (not at Think-Lab though!)
2. Get some experience
Employers always want evidence of your skills and committment and there are lots of ways of getting the experience that might clinch the job - try writing for your college or local newspaper, get involved in hospital radio, volunteer at your nearest museum of science centre, offer to give a talk to a science class at your old school.
3. Get Qualified
If, after trying it out, you're still keen to work in science communication, think about taking one of the courses in science communication that are available (more details here). Not only do they teach you valuable skills and help you to make useful contacts, but they introduce you to the 'body of knowledge' that forms the academic underpinning of what we do. Scholarships are offered by the Wellcome Trust and ABSW, and some of the courses are part-time, so you needn't go bankrupt in the process.
If you don't want to committ yourself to another year's study, at least read our capsule library - if our selected readings don't interest you, then science communicaiton probably isn't the career for you!
And don't forget to join the Young Science Communicators' Network and Psci-com to keep in touch with lots of others doing the same thing.