What is a Natural Sciences Manager?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a natural sciences manager is someone who supervises scientists like physicists, chemists and biologists. They direct activities related to scientific research and development. This usually involves quality management, internal controls, technical production and formal testing.

What are the Job Requirements?

Natural sciences managers usually work for a few years as regular scientists before they advance to management positions. When they start their careers, they will have a bachelor's degree in their field. If they want to advance, they will need a master's or doctoral degree in a specialized scientific discipline. However, it is becoming quite popular for scientists to pursue graduate level degrees in non-scientific fields. This includes a Master of Public Administration and Business Administration.

These advanced management degrees are popular because many organizations want leaders who can understand and optimize budgets, schedules, efficiency and performance. Scientist-leaders must have the real-world skills to translate technical data and goals into laymen terms. However, scientific skills and technical knowledge are still quite essential for natural sciences managers because they must understand the work and provide technical assistance.

What is the New Education Expectation?

The MBA of the business world is the equivalent of The Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree in the scientific world. This unique degree program blends advanced training in specific scientific fields with necessary business and managerial skills. This could include policy reform, internal audits, program administration and public communication. This innovative degree is still quite young, so only around 120 higher education facilities offer it.

However, they recognize the need for highly skilled scientists who have excellent IT, business, regulatory, technology and human resources skills. This type of cross-training across diverse disciplines is highly marketable for job hunters. Some of the most popular PSM specializations include emerging and lucrative fields, such as bioinformatics, pharmaceuticals, data science and computational finances. Either way, the job candidate must know how to translate research findings, communicate project proposals and provide status updates to top management.

What is a Typical Career?

Natural sciences managers may oversee temporary scientific expeditions in remote locations to research climate change. Some work for biotechnology firms coordinating the research and development of new medical solutions, while others will have generalist duties, supervising the research, testing and production activities of various scientists. This may include chemistry, hydrology, computer system, information science, mineral resources, coastal management, bioelectrical engineering and environmental science research.

Natural sciences managers are scientists who manage short- and long-term projects. They must develop scientific goals, organize budgets, purchase equipment, train staff, adopt testing methods and benchmark performance. They must evaluate staff, establish protocols, draft operational reports and provide technical assistance to scientists. Natural sciences managers who work on new projects must quickly establish administrative policies and standards.

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Around 25 percent of natural sciences managers will be employed by federal and state governments. The rest will work in industries and businesses that rely on public funding, research grants and private support. This could include engineering development, medicine manufacturing and applied physics research organizations.