Project management

The science and technology industry is made up of a huge number of workers in a huge number of different roles. The skillset required to work in one scientific sector (biotechnology, for instance) may bear no resemblance whatsoever to the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in another sector (like medical affairs). Science is a massively diverse field that relies on all kinds of different people and their unique abilities.

That being said, there are some roles that can be found across almost all scientific sectors, one obvious example being the role of the project manager.


Project Manager - Role & Responsibilites

A project manager is responsible for planning projects and ensuring that each one is executed to a high standard on time and on budget. Project managers can be found in a wide array of different industries, including IT, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, construction, transport, and countless others.

The precise nature of a project manager's duties will depend on what sector they're in, but common responsibilities include:

  • Communicating with clients, acting as their primary point of contact for the duration of the project
  • Delegating tasks to the appropriate member(s) of staff
  • Overseeing project progress and ensuring high-quality outcomes
  • Making plans and ensuring that everyone follows them
  • Procuring whatever resources are necessary to the project's success

Generally speaking, it is not the project manager's job to actually carry out the work involved in any given project - rather, they will divide up the work between different parts of their workforce and ensure that the project progresses as planned from start to finish. However, a project manager will usually be expected to have a strong understanding of the work they are overseeing.

Click here to browse the latest project manager jobs from Hyper Recruitment Solutions.


Why Are Project Managers Important?

The project manager's role is a critical one because they keep everything running smoothly throughout each project. While talented workers are of course crucial to the success of any organisation, a talented project manager can be just as valuable because they will ensure that all workers are operating in harmony while sticking to the overarching plan. Without a capable project manager at the helm, projects can lapse into chaos and end up missing their deadlines and exceeding their budgets.


Project Manager - Job Requirements

While different fields require different things of their project managers, every good project manager should:

  • Have good communication skills
  • Work well under pressure
  • Know how to co-ordinate and motivate members of a team
  • Be able to work to a strict schedule
  • Have strong organisational skills

Looking for a job in project management? Browse project manager vacancies >

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FMCG stands for fast-moving consumer goods. An FMCG company is any company that produces these goods. Well-known FMCG companies include Unilever, Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company.

Examples of fast-moving consumer goods

The definition of FMCG is very broad - any items that are sold at relatively low prices and consumed relatively quickly may be considered examples of 'fast-moving consumer goods'. Most of the products in your local supermarket probably qualify.

Common FMCGs include:
  • Fruit and veg
  • Meat
  • Soft drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Bread and other baked goods
  • Toiletries (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Confectionery
  • Batteries
  • Some forms of medication
FMCGs are sold in high volumes at low prices and used up rapidly (as opposed to durable goods - such as cars, appliances and furnishings - which are purchased less frequently and expected to last much longer).



Challenges for FMCG companies

There's a lot of money to be made in the FMCG industry, but these goods tend to have a small profit margin and - in many cases - a short shelf life. This means that, in order to thrive, FMCG companies must strive to sell as many units as they can as quickly and as consistently as they can. This requires shrewd marketing (to get people to make an initial purchase) and high product quality (to keep people coming back for more purchases going forward).

Other challenges for FMCG companies include:
  • Extending shelf life of perishable goods
  • Reducing impact on the environment (e.g. from discarded packaging)
  • Keeping costs low enough to compete on price

Roles within the FMCG industry

The FMCG industry is very large and extremely varied, with all sorts of roles available for all sorts of different skill sets. Talented workers from STEM fields are highly sought-after in this sector, as these are the people who can help FMCG companies to:
  • Improve product quality / effectiveness
  • Drive down costs via technological advancements
  • Boost shelf life by delaying product expiration
  • Create more environmentally-friendly products and packaging solutions
The ingenuity, expertise and creativity of skilled scientists have long been crucial to the success of the world's largest FMCG companies, and there's no shortage of roles for gifted science/technology workers in this particular sector.


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If the term ‘research scientist’ sounds quite broad, that’s because it is – indeed, research scientists are active in almost every area of science. Nonetheless, whether you are interested in a career in geosciences, meteorology, pharmacology or something different altogether, it’s helpful to know something about what life as a research scientist generally involves.

Working in a lab is more exciting than it sounds

Before we go any further – yes, life as a research scientist very much lives up to the stereotype of being based almost entirely in a laboratory, although of course, that may be music to your ears rather than something to dread!

In any case, the range of employers of research scientists is extremely diverse, encompassing the likes of government laboratories, utilities providers, environmental agencies, pharmaceuticals companies, public funded research councils and specialist research organisations and consultancies.

Much the same can be said of the many responsibilities – as a research scientist, you could find yourself taking on tasks ranging from the planning and conducting of experiments and recording and analysing data, to the carrying out of fieldwork and the presentation of results to senior or other research staff.

What other aspects of the job do you need to know about?

If you are thinking of aiming for a career as a research scientist, it’s helpful to know what personal qualities and professional qualifications will serve you best in your quest. It should go without saying that research and analytical skills are vital, but you will also need to possess excellent communication and presentation skills and an ability to teach.

As for more formal qualifications, as outlined by the National Careers Service, a 2:1 degree in a relevant science subject is usually expected for entry. In practice, you will almost certainly need a relevant postgraduate qualification as well, such as a PhD or research-based MSc, particularly for permanent roles. Experience of working in a research setting could also aid your search for such science jobs.

Your life as a research scientist, i.e, working patterns, hours and environment will depend on the kind of employer for which you are employed as a research scientist. Those working in a university research department can usually expect a 35-hour, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday working week. If you work in industry, however, there may be a greater expectation that you fit in with shift patterns, such as in the evening, at the weekend or on public holidays.

Research scientists can look forward to good progression opportunities

There’s a good level of scope for career advancement as a research scientist. While salaries start at an average of about £14,000 a year, they can go up to as much as £60,000, such as if you progress from a scientist with research councils and institutes to senior research or laboratory management positions.

Research scientists in academic roles who are more experienced and have published original research often rise to the status of senior research fellow or professor, leading their own teams.

There’s a lot to learn about what life as a research scientist is like, as well as about how we can help you to effectively compete for science jobs. Get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today about the work that we do to assist talented graduates and professionals into rewarding science roles, or explore the National Careers Service’s guides to some of the most exciting related jobs in science and research
Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineering is in many ways the archetypal science job, right down to the traditional white lab coat. It is also a very stimulating field of work; writing in the Guardian, Samantha Tyson of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) described chemical engineering as “all about turning raw materials into useful, everyday products”.

Qualified chemical engineers can also look forward to decent remuneration - a recent IChemE salary survey found that starting wages average somewhere in the region of £29,500 per year. More experienced chartered chemical engineers can expect to earn as much as £70,000, or even higher in certain industries (such as oil and contracting).

But how does one become a chemical engineer in the first place?

As with other science jobs, you need the right characteristics.

Don't be fooled too much by the 'chemical' bit of this particular job title - if you wish to become a chemical engineer, strong mathematical abilities are just as important as a firm grasp of chemistry. According to Tyson, maths, physics and chemistry are the most common A-levels taken by chemical engineering students.

But you will also need many other, often more general skills and attributes to secure a job in chemical engineering. These range from project and resource management skills and oral and written communication skills to analytical skills, problem solving, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Graduates seeking chemical engineering jobs will also be expected to possess strong IT skills, commercial and business awareness and the capacity to motivate and lead a team.

What qualifications will you require?

You won't normally be able to secure a role as a chemical engineer unless you have a BEng degree or a BTEC HNC or HND in chemical or process engineering. Admission to a chemical engineering degree course generally depends on you having at least five A*-C GCSEs, as well as two A-levels (including maths and at least one science subject).

If you lack maths and science qualifications, some universities offer a foundation year to help get you up to speed. As always, you should double-check the exact entry requirements with individual colleges.

It can be advantageous for those wishing to build an especially lucrative career in chemical engineering to also possess a master's degree (MEng) in addition to a first degree in chemical engineering. Those with a degree in a different branch of engineering (or a related subject such as chemistry or polymer science) may opt to take an MSc postgraduate degree in chemical or process engineering to boost their career prospects.

Chemical engineering is an extremely diverse field of work.

It's difficult to sum up everything that chemical engineers do in just a few lines. Depending on the exact role and sector in which you work, you may find yourself...

  • Designing plant and equipment configuration
  • Setting up scale-up and scale-down processes
  • Assessing options for plant expansion
  • Applying new technologies and researching new products
...among an incredibly wide range of other potential duties.

There are plenty of opportunities for progression, too. According to the National Careers Service, these include becoming a senior process or design engineer; progressing into a research and development manager role; or becoming a plant manager or overall operations manager. Consultancy work is another option.

Remember that Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a leading science recruitment agency serving those on the lookout for all manner of engineering roles, including process or chemical engineering. Click through to learn more about our in-depth expertise in this area.

Relationships - both personal and professional - are a fact of life, and if you wish to make the swiftest progress up the science career ladder, you will almost certainly need to cultivate harmonious relationships with those of relevance to your chosen sector. 

Of course, we serve those seeking roles in any of a broad range of science sectors here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, from biotechnology and pharmacology to energy and medical devices.

But in a world in which - according to one study shared on LinkedIn - as many as 85% of jobs are filled via networking, there are undoubted benefits to expanding your range of science-related contacts beyond simply signing up with a leading recruitment agency.

Here are some tips on how to do it.

Focus on quality, not just quantity

It's easy for many people attracted to the mystique of networking to think it's about little more than building a long list of contacts. However, what really matters is the quality of those contacts and how well connected you are to them. 

The best contacts aren't just those who have heard a rumour about a job opening at X company or Y company, or any other random person. Instead, they're the people who can give you useful and current information and additional relevant contacts. They are likely to be able to give you informed advice, in addition to meaningful assistance with your applications for science jobs.

But think, too, about how tight and personal the bond is with the most potentially useful contacts you already have. Do you know their name, job title and specific areas of interest? What about their educational history or family?

If you can get in phone contact with that contact and receive a positive, receptive response to whatever you ask them, they are a useful contact. Otherwise, they are simply one more name in your database.

Treat contacts with respect

Do you treat your contacts as potential allies - people who you listen to and who you can help with their own pain points, rather than merely people who can give you what they want? Your message to your contacts should be that you value them highly and - ideally - want to support and help them.

After all, showing respect to your contacts will maximise the likelihood that they respond in kind.

Part of this process should be being clear about what you want from that contact before approaching them, so that you do not waste their - or your - time. What kind of science job are you looking for, and what kind of boss are you seeking? Is this a person who is likely to help you, given your answers to the aforementioned questions?

Be patient and appreciative

Cultivating a contacts list that will actually help you to secure that longed-for science job will require a lot of patience and appreciation. Make sure you express your gratitude by personally thanking those who give you any form of help with your job search, and don't forget to 'check in' periodically and attempt to reciprocate with your own assistance, if you can.

According to one recent survey of US adults by Pew Research Center, 66% used connections with close friends or family in their most recent job search, while 63% used professional or work connections and 55% used acquaintances or friends of friends.

Clearly, then, networking looks unlikely to become any less important in the job search process any time soon. So, why not create what may prove to be one of your most crucial contacts of all, by making use of our considerable expertise in any of a vast range of science industries here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions?

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