As a student, it can be difficult to choose a career path that suits your ambitions and personality. This may feel especially true when you find yourself pulled toward both science and humanitarian efforts. However, despite what some may believe, these two fields aren’t mutually exclusive — far from it, in fact.

If you’re intent on pursuing a professional scientific role that allows you to also focus on helping others, it can help to look at some roles that fit these criteria. Having some guidance around which roles could be perfect for you to pursue can help take some of the pressure off of the process of choosing a career path.

Here are scientific career paths that focus on social good.

Epidemiology

Though you may have heard the term thrown around before, you may not know exactly what it means. Essentially, the role of epidemiologists is to study the effects of particular health ailments on populations and find ways to improve their health outcomes. Typically, epidemiologists study a specific population, such as a city or even an entire country.

By stepping into this role, you would gain the expertise to engage in scientific pursuits at a high level while also having opportunities to improve the lives of masses of people. As a result, this is an amazing career path you should consider if you have an interest in aiding specific communities and studying health.

Biostatistics

Biostatistics, like epidemiology, is a field that focuses on public health. However, one aspect of this field that makes it distinct from epidemiology is the fact that biostatisticians focus more on how environmental factors or certain behaviours affect people’s health. Beyond these responsibilities, some biostatisticians also study the effects that certain health ailments have on people and their communities.

Oftentimes, these professionals work for government agencies and aid in efforts to improve the health outcomes of specific types of people. This indicates that this can be a secure field to explore a career in if you’re looking for a professional path with longevity. If you’re someone intent on helping transform communities while engaging in meaningful scientific work, this could be an excellent career path to consider.

Conservation Science

Conservation scientists play a key role in helping natural environments thrive and recover from harm. Though many conservation scientists focus on maintaining habitats in ways that help wildlife thrive, they can also have a marked impact on communities. Specifically, these professionals can help communities in need develop and maintain natural habitats that can make areas more beautiful and conducive to good mental health.

Typically, these professionals work for government or non-profit organisations dedicated to preserving and promoting natural habitats. This is an exceptional career path for you if you’re someone who enjoys spending time in nature, studying habitats, and believes that people can benefit from spending more time in natural surroundings.

Science Journalism

The field of science journalism can be a powerful catalyst for social change and can have a beneficial impact on the lives of scores of people. Put simply, science journalists utilise various media to distill scientific facts and findings and share them with the public. By engaging in this field, science journalists and reporters have opportunities to change the ways that people act and engage with their environments.

While many scientific fields involve the act of writing research and academic papers, this is one of the few scientific fields that allows one to focus on the craft of writing while also staying steeped in the scientific world. This being the case, if you’re someone with a love of writing, the processes of science, and the practice of helping others, this could be a wonderful field to consider pursuing.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering is a field that’s more important today than it ever has been before. Professionals in this field utilise their specialised knowledge, in-depth training, and industry experience to help solve environmental problems. These problems can include air pollution, climate change, and compromised drinking water.

Oftentimes, environmental engineers plan, execute, maintain, and analyse efforts to help improve the environment. If you’re someone intent on tackling significant environmental issues in your career — such as climate change — then this could be a perfect field for you to step into as a professional.

You Can Help Benefit the World Through Science

By pursuing a path in a scientific field, you have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to help improve the lives of masses of people. From helping to quell disease outbreaks as an epidemiologist to battling climate change for future generations as an environmental engineer, you have endless ways to help the world as a science professional.

Though it can be difficult to choose your path as a student, following your principles and interests, and exploring careers that reflect these, can help you to choose the perfect profession. This being the case, it’s important to research scientific roles that benefit the world and find the one that’s perfect for you.