4 Key skills (ex-) scientists bring to the private...

4 Key skills (ex-) scientists bring to the private sector

Business and science, on the face of it, can seem like entirely different sectors. Of course, they aren’t because science is a vital part of many businesses concerning product development, productivity, and manufacture, and conversely science needs business to drive ( and sometimes funds) its discoveries. Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily say that a scientist and a business person had similar jobs, would you? Well, they might be more alike than you first thought, and this is something that can help you cross the bridge between the two fields and make a successful career move. Read on to find out more.


First of all, as a scientist, you will have been used to be taking an objective viewpoint. Objectivity is a brilliant skill in the world of business because it means you are much more likely to be pragmatic about decisions and choose the option with the most useful or practical outcome. Something that can help save the company that you are working with money, as well as make things more efficient for them.


Slicing up pieces of the brain for further examination through a microscope requires a certain level of precision, as do the majority of scientific research tasks.  Of course, precision is a skill that has many applications in the business world, including helping you to produce accurate information that reports on current success and failures.

Also, this eye for precision can be hugely useful in a manufacturing sense, because of even a small deviation in the process, can over time result in a great deal of wastage and addition, unnecessary cost.

Then, that same eye for precision can be used in the buying sector to ensure that all the items and components needed to create your company’s product, like a Piezo Transducer, for example, are as high quality as possible. After all, high-quality components matched with efficient manufacturing processes will result in the best product to deliver to your customers.

Analytical skills

Next, those of us with a science background can thrive in a business environment because of our fabulous analytical skills.

Yes, you may be looking a sales figures instead of experiment results, but that keen eye for patterns, trends, correlations, and even possible causation can be invaluable in a commercial setting. Especially with big data being something that more and more companies are now taking the time to invest in.


Lastly, those with a background in a scientific field know the value of being able to work in a team efficiently. Yes, I know that the stereotype of a researcher is a lonely sole stuck behind a microscope without any colleges nearby, but of course, for most of us, that isn’t the case.

In fact, scientists need to know how to accept direction, delegate, and communicate effectively if they are to be successful. All skills that have a direct application in the commercial and business world and that clearly demonstrate that those coming from a scientific field can be a valuable asset within the private sector.


Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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