Professional Scientists Australia understands the many challenges faced by scientists and researchers in advancing their careers in the face of specialisation, insecure funding, budget cutbacks across the huge range of areas in which scientists work and the difficulties with making technical skills transferable.
We’re working with the sector to address the big picture policy issues but we also want to assist in practical ways – and that includes helping you to think proactively about your career options. To help you deal with some of the challenges, we asked Dr Craig Cormick to draw on his varied experience in science to talk about some of the career planning issues and obstacles you might face as you move throughout your career. You can watch Craig’s video for an overview and then read the individual articles for more detail.
We also have a Guide to help you if you’re considering transitioning from technical specialist to a management role.
The primary function of technical specialists is to apply specialist skills and expert knowledge to produce a required outcome, while the primary function of professional in a managerial role is to oversee and manage the work of others to produce a required outcome. A manager can be defined as someone who spends a large part of their time carrying out the functions of planning, organising, coordinating, controlling and leading. It is widely agreed that a fundamentally divergent set of skills are required to perform technical and managerial roles. Our Guide highlights some of the issues involving in making the transition from technical specialist to manager for technology management professionals.
It includes advice on:
- ensuring you don’t preclude a move into a management role in your early career;
- how to make an informed decision about moving into a management role;
- why skills development is so fundamental to the transition;
- what types of skill areas you need to consider and the specific professional development which might be helpful;
- the traits, values and characteristics of those who have made the transition from technical specialist to manager;
- some of the challenges faced by those making the transition; and
- some tips from those who have successfully moved from a technical background into a management role.