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The usefulness of a science degree : the 'lost voices' of science trained professionals
journal contributionposted on 2007-09-03, 00:00 authored by S Rodrigues, Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, L Darby, Peter Hubber, David Symington, J Edwards
This paper reports a study of science graduates who are employed in positions outside their discipline specialisation. The research was designed to uncover the reasons for them choosing to study science at university, the competencies they utilise in their work and their lives, and how these relate to their undergraduate education in science. The study is seen as important in that already about one-half of science graduates are in such positions and it is argued that there is a need in scientific and technologically based societies to have a greater representation of such people in decision-making positions in government and industry. The directions for the science degree that can be drawn from the data gathered are congruent with those arising from other relevant studies. That is, attention should be paid to widely used skills, such as communication and problem-solving, and to developing an understanding of science within its social and ethical context. An argument is mounted for considering the way the science degree is presented to potential students and to the general public.