What problems do science students face

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Whether chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy or geosciences - in the natural sciences degree you can research, examine and discover new things. We explain to you what to expect if you want to study natural sciences and which qualities you should bring with you.

Natural sciences deal with knowledge about nature. If you've always been interested in animals, plants, elements, stones, the universe or the sea, you can be pretty sure that you will feel comfortable studying science. Here you can research in laboratories or in the fresh air, examine things or living beings and, with diligence and a little luck, maybe even discover new things. Anyone who wants to study natural sciences will be surprised at first how many options there are. The Hochschulkompass, an information portal of the University Rectors' Conference (HRK), provides more than 1,500 results. Choosing the right course is not that easy. If you've already decided on a science subject, it will be easier.

The classic study of the natural sciences

The classic natural science subjects include chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy and geosciences. While in chemistry you deal with substances, their reactions and related analyzes, in physics you work with the laws of inanimate nature such as the force of gravity. In biology, the structure and appearance of living things come first and as a geoscientist you will become an expert on our planet and research fossils, rocks and raw materials. In contrast, astronomy is about the universe and its celestial bodies. Many universities offer these five natural science courses without the possibility of specialization and first of all impart a wide range of knowledge. You can either focus on your subject in later semesters or in a subsequent master’s degree and prepare yourself for very specific tasks in your future job.

Specialized and combined science courses

If you have very specific ideas about what exactly you want to learn right from the start, you can of course also concentrate on a certain sub-area of ​​your favorite subject. Instead of choosing physics, for example, the subject of renewable energies would be conceivable - within the physics department you focus on energy generation and storage and combine your knowledge with the fundamentals of mechanical engineering. Speaking of which: combined subjects are very common in natural science courses. The subject of biochemistry, for example, as the name suggests, is about the two disciplines of biology and chemistry. Other examples of such subjects are chemical engineering, physical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering and biotechnology - in all of these subjects you will always deal with technology.

Medicine as a study of natural science

If you are interested in medicine, you will also find the right offer in the natural sciences degree programs. For example, you can choose between human medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Depending on the specialization, you take care of the treatment of diseases and the maintenance of the health of your human or animal patients. But pharmacy is also a degree in the natural sciences in which you need medical knowledge: As a budding pharmacist, you have to be familiar with the human body in order to understand the effects and effectiveness, development, manufacture and quality assurance of drugs.

This is what you have to do with studying natural sciences

You are rarely out and about in the laboratory from day one, the study usually only becomes practical in later semesters. The first two semesters in particular are very theory-heavy, which is why many students find it a little difficult in the beginning. But perseverance is worth it, because the more advanced your studies, the more interesting it becomes. Good to know: Almost no scientific discipline can do without another. So as a chemistry student you will also have to deal with physics and as a biology student you will also have to deal with chemistry. It is therefore an advantage if you are generally interested in scientific disciplines. Even if bachelor's degree programs generally enable people to start their career, the following applies in the natural sciences: the higher the degree, the better. So you should definitely do a master’s degree after completing your bachelor’s degree. Those who want to continue their education afterwards can do a doctorate: A doctorate is often rewarded - with a higher salary and better opportunities on the job market. You can find jobs at universities, research institutions or private companies.

You should bring these qualities with you

If you want to start studying natural sciences, you should not only have an interest in natural sciences, but also, if possible, have some previous knowledge of natural sciences. You don't have a lot of knowledge? No problem, because universities often offer preliminary courses in order to acquire basic knowledge that may be missing or to be able to refresh existing knowledge. It is also an advantage if you can think abstractly, logically and analytically and also have a technical understanding - after all, you have to be able to operate technical devices in the laboratory. In addition, curiosity and a desire to work methodically are important. If you really want to do research later, you will also have to exchange ideas with international experts - English is then an absolute must. If you want to practice the natural sciences as a teacher, in the teaching post: mathematics / natural sciences you have to bring along additional characteristics such as sociability, enthusiasm, strong nerves and a stable personality.

Mathematics is not a science

By the way: If you want to study natural sciences, you also deal with business administration and mathematics. But mathematics as a subject itself does not belong to the classical natural sciences. So if you're interested in variables, constants, functions, and formulas, you'd better focus on subjects related to math. Alternatively, courses related to business administration, economics and economics are possible - provided you are also interested in economic contexts. If you are more of the type who likes to work with computers and programs, you can also study IT, computer science and digital.

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