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Working in research

connecting hexagons with research symbols

Discover other sectors

This sector not for you?  Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.


Working in Research event 24 April 2024

Working in Research event 24 April 2024, 6-8pm

This event is open to all students - book your place in Handshake via the links above.

As a student at the University of York, you are likely to develop a range of research skills, whatever your degree subject and level of study. These skills are valuable in many different contexts - from an academic career, to science and technology, policy making, media, arts and heritage, and more. For you, there may be an obvious direct link to some career paths, such as scientific research, social research or economics; or you may find these skills can be used in other types of work. Have a look at the sections below to consider where your research skills could take you, and find out about York graduates and others applying research skills in a variety of careers. 

There may be an obvious career path for you or research may take you in a direction you hadn't expected. Watch From scientific researcher to police officer (6 mins).

Working in research - panel discussing options in and outside of academia, May 2021 (1 hour) Log into the VLE first to watch this recording. 

Academia / Education

Find out more about an academic career at:


Scientific research skills can be applied in a variety of settings, in industry, government or charity funded research centres, as well as academia. Find out more about science research careers at:


Research skills, combined with practical technical skills, problem solving and analytical skills are needed in a range of technology careers, some of which may require a postgraduate qualification. Find out more at:

Finance and consultancy

Find out how research can play a part in finance and consultancy careers at:

Data / statistics

Researching, analysing and interpreting data is vital to ensure efficiency and effective business and policy decisions. You can find out about possible careers in this area at:

Arts and heritage

If you've studied in arts and humanities, you are likely to have developed research skills and the ability to evaluate and communicate information, needed for careers involving research in the arts and heritage sector. Find out more at:


Research is essential to inform policy making. Find out more at:


For information and ideas about research careers in media, or using research skills gained from your media-related degree, please see:

What next?

We hope this page has helped you to see the range of careers open to you, where you can use and develop your research skills. Here are some things to consider as you think about your next steps:

  • What type of research skills do you have/are you developing? 
  • Are there any you need to develop?
  • How do you want to use those skills? What type of things do you want to research? Which sectors interest you the most?
  • What do you want the outcome/purpose of your research to be?
  • Do you want it to be the main focus of your work or part of a wider job role?

Watch Careers Consultant, Janice Simpson, help you think through your next steps.

York Profiles and Mentors

In the sections above, we have listed some case studies from York Profiles and Mentors. You can explore more of these by searching the profiles by department, sector or highest qualification depending on your area of interest. Many of the graduates are happy to be contacted by current York students if you have further questions.

Talk to us

If you would like to discuss your thoughts and plans with a careers consultant, please book an appointment.