Where Does Applied Science Take You?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Applied science degrees can lead to diverse career opportunities in fields like healthcare, business, engineering, and more.
  • Careers in biomedical sciences, project management, and supervisory management are accessible with an applied science degree.
  • Further education like a master’s degree can open up opportunities in research, mathematics, and environmental science.
  • Applied science develops transferable skills applicable to many industries and jobs.
  • The specific career path depends on the degree earned and area of specialization within applied science.


Applied science encompasses a broad range of disciplines that focus on the practical application of scientific knowledge to address real-world problems and develop solutions. An applied science degree provides students with a strong foundation of technical skills and hands-on experience to prepare them for various career paths. But where exactly can an applied science degree take you? What kinds of jobs and opportunities are accessible with this versatile credential?

This article will take an in-depth look at the diverse career possibilities open to those with applied science degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. It will analyze the different fields and positions applied science graduates can pursue based on their specialization, education level, and interests. The key careers covered include biomedical sciences, project management, supervisory management, business management, engineering, healthcare, technology, mathematics, environmental science, and research and development.

Discover the wealth of options an applied science education unlocks and gain valuable insight into charting your career journey in this dynamic and multi-faceted domain. From supporting cutting-edge research to managing complex projects and organizations, applied science can lead you down many paths and equip you with adaptable skills for professional success across industries.

Where Can An Applied Science Degree Take You?

Biomedical Sciences

Applied scientists with life science and healthcare specializations can pursue exciting careers in the biomedical sciences. These include roles such as:

  • Technical Sales and Support: Leveraging science knowledge to provide training on laboratory equipment and support researchers or clinicians with technical troubleshooting.
  • Field Applications Scientist: Working for a life science or biotechnology company to provide scientific expertise and serve as a technical liaison with clients using the company’s products/services.
  • Medical Science Liaison: Building relationships with key opinion leaders like doctors, nurses, and researchers to support clinical trials, discuss research advances, and provide product education.

According to a survey by the Medical Science Liaison Society, 67% of medical science liaisons hold advanced degrees such as a PhD, PharmD, or MD. However, those with bachelor’s degrees in applied science disciplines like biology or biochemistry can also obtain entry-level positions in medical affairs and work towards more advanced roles.

Project Management

Students who earn a bachelor of applied science degree are well-prepared for careers in project management across diverse industries. Typical responsibilities include:

  • Developing project plans and managing all aspects from budgets to resources.
  • Coordinating team members and stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.
  • Ensuring milestones and deadlines are met according to scope, quality, and requirements.
  • Managing risks and troubleshooting issues when they arise.
  • Tracking project progress and generating status reports.

Project managers require a mix of technical knowledge, leadership abilities, organizational skills, and analytical thinking. Applied science develops these competencies through rigorous coursework and hands-on learning.

According to Project Management Institute’s 2021 salary survey, the median salary for project managers in the US is $116,000 per year. Those working in engineering and construction earn a median of $135,000 annually.

Supervisory Management

The supervisory and operational management skills gained through an applied science degree also open up various career possibilities. Typical roles include:

  • Team Supervisor: Overseeing the day-to-day operations and managing a team of frontline workers in industries like manufacturing, construction, and healthcare.
  • Department Manager: Managing an entire department within an organization, from budgeting and HR to strategic planning and process improvements.
  • Operations Manager: Responsible for supervising staff, coordinating logistics, optimizing procedures, and driving efficiencies in business operations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, general and operations managers earn a median annual salary of $102,030 in the US as of 2021. Those overseeing scientific research and development services can expect $153,030 median pay.

Business Management

Applied science degree holders are also well-suited for careers in business management across many industries. Common positions include:

  • Business Manager: Handles the finances, operations, strategy, and administration for a company or organization.
  • Innovation/Technology Manager: Oversees the research, development, and integration of technological innovations.
  • Strategic Planning Manager: Leads development and execution of an organization’s strategy and strategic initiatives.
  • Project Development Manager: Manages the planning, budgeting, and coordination of new projects, ventures, or initiatives.

Graduates skilled in data analysis, critical thinking, and project management from applied science programs can thrive in these management roles. According to PayScale, business managers earn an average salary of $74,074 per year.


A degree in applied science serves as a strong foundation for various engineering careers. Depending on their specialization and qualifications, applied science graduates can obtain positions such as:

  • Civil Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Materials Engineer

These roles involve designing systems and products, executing testing, managing projects, overseeing production, and solving problems creatively. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for engineers in 2021 ranged from $83,160 for civil engineers to $103,590 for chemical engineers.

Further education can expand opportunities into advanced engineering positions. For example, a master’s degree in applied science with a mechanical engineering focus can lead to becoming a lead design or test engineer.


Those who earn applied science degrees with concentrations in allied health fields can launch careers as therapists and technicians. Common healthcare roles include:

  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Cardiovascular Technologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist

These positions involve assisting physicians to treat patients, operating medical equipment, performing diagnostic tests, and supporting general patient care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced physical therapists earn a median salary of $92,920 per year.


A technology-focused applied science degree provides knowledge and skills for various roles within the tech industry:

  • Software Developer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Web Developer

These careers involve designing, building, and managing computer systems, networks, databases, and software to meet organizational needs. Software developers earn a median salary of $110,140 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Those who graduate with applied science degrees emphasizing mathematics and statistics are poised for data-driven roles including:

  • Data Analyst – Interpreting data to identify trends, patterns, and insights for data-based decision making.
  • Operations Research Analyst – Applying mathematical modeling techniques to streamline operations and improve productivity.
  • Actuary – Analyzing financial risks and uncertainties to ensure effective insurance policies and procedures.
  • Mathematician – Using mathematical theories and techniques to tackle problems in science, engineering, business, and other fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, operations research analysts earn a median annual salary of $86,200 nationally as of 2021.

Environmental Science

An applied science degree with an environmental science focus can springboard graduates into positions such as:

  • Environmental Scientist – Studying and addressing environmental issues related to pollution, waste, recycling, public health, and conservation.
  • Environmental Engineer – Designing and executing solutions to prevent or remediate environmental problems.
  • Sustainability Analyst – Developing, implementing, and tracking sustainability initiatives for organizations.
  • Conservation Scientist – Working to protect natural resources and preserve biodiversity.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11% job growth for environmental scientists between 2020-2030, much faster than average. The median pay is $77,930 per year.

Research and Development

At the master’s or doctoral level, applied scientists are highly valued in research and development across industries like:

  • Pharmaceuticals: Developing new drugs and medical treatments or devices.
  • Biotechnology: Driving innovation in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and biological processes.
  • Manufacturing: Improving production processes and product design through applied research.
  • Engineering: Advancing new materials, electronics, software, equipment, and design methodologies.

Applied science equips students with versatile technical skills, making them key contributors in interdisciplinary research and development initiatives. According to PayScale, PhD scientists in pharmaceutical R&D earn an average salary of $117,245 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of skills does an applied science degree build?

An applied science degree helps build a well-rounded skill set including:

  • Strong foundation in scientific concepts, methods, and critical thinking
  • Hands-on laboratory techniques and experience
  • Data analysis and research abilities
  • Technical writing and communication competencies
  • Project management and collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving and creative thinking agility

These versatile and transferable skills prepare applied science graduates for diverse roles across many industries.

What jobs can I get with an associate degree in applied science?

At the associate degree level, applied science graduates can qualify for entry-level technician roles such as:

  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Cardiovascular Technologist
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Electro-Mechanical Technician
  • Chemical Plant Technician

Associate degree holders may also work as research assistants, medical equipment technicians, quality control inspectors, and similar supportive roles.

What is the difference between applied science and pure science?

Pure sciences like biology, chemistry, and physics focus on gathering theoretical knowledge about the natural world. Applied sciences concentrate on using this scientific knowledge to solve real-world problems and develop practical applications.

For example, a pure chemist may study chemical structures and reactions, while an applied chemist will formulate new compounds for medical or industrial use.

What kinds of bachelor’s degrees are there in applied science?

Common bachelor’s degrees in applied science include:

  • BS in Health Science
  • BS in Public Health
  • BS in Natural Science
  • BS in Applied Physics/Chemistry/Biology
  • BS in Applied Engineering
  • BS in Applied Mathematics/Statistics

Some applied science bachelor’s programs offer concentrations or specializations within a certain field like forensics, pre-medicine, nanotechnology, and more.

Are applied science degrees worth it?

Yes, applied science degrees are worth it for several reasons:

  • Develops in-demand technical and transferable skills
  • Leads to diverse, well-paying careers in growing fields
  • Hands-on, interdisciplinary learning focused on real-world application
  • Flexibility to specialize and pursue varied positions and industries
  • Opportunities to advance into management, research, and higher education

According to Burning Glass, applied science is among the fields with the highest job growth rates over the past 5 years. 93% of job postings are specifically looking for applied science skills.


An applied science degree can launch graduates into a myriad of rewarding and engaging career paths across both technical and non-technical industries. From healthcare and engineering to business operations and sustainability, applied science takes you towards opportunities to utilize your science background and skills in impactful real-world practice.

With abundant job prospects and competitive salaries, applied science offers versatile possibilities to match your aptitudes and aspirations. Whether you desire to conduct groundbreaking research, optimize complex systems and processes, or manage large projects and organizations, an applied science education equips you with adaptable competencies for success.

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