Springtime is synonymous with graduation time here at Indiana University, and the month of May saw thousands of students partaking in this milestone commencement ceremony. With these recent IU grads now out forging their own path with their newly-minted degrees, there’s understandably a considerable amount of speculation as to which career they’ll choose.

With over 20,000 individual courses and over 930 academic programs in total that we offer here at Indiana University, the sciences continue to be a popular academic pursuit for our students — and for good reason. Just as science itself is diverse and broad-reaching, so are the motives of our students who choose to pursue a degree in this major.

From the desire to be on a team of cutting-edge researchers, to a sincere calling to give back to disenfranchised communities, science truly has something to offer for everyone. While the impetus of each and every one of our science majors is unique, there is something that every branch of science does have in common: it’s driven by a desire to learn and innovate through the study of the physical and natural world.

An Ever-Changing Scientific Landscape

While a career in the arts can certainly be rewarding, as can one in education or law, the sciences have a certain appeal to them that makes it an unmatched choice for many. For those who decide on this education track, one of the greatest draws of a science degree is the sheer excitement that this field offers.

The fact is, science is always evolving and shifting. With the recent discoveries and innovations emerging seemingly every day, there’s always something new to learn. Between the breakthroughs in gene sequencing and the latest revelations in artificial intelligence, science is anything but boring.

The Many Facets of Knowledge

There is no singular type of science to explore, making this a wholly exhilarating subject to delve into. For instance, computer sciences — while still fairly novel — have surged in popularity in recent years. The physical sciences, such as geology, astronomy, and chemistry, also have an incredible draw.

For those who are more into the tangible yet minute, the biological sciences have ample to offer, such as microbiology and genetics. Of course, this also can include zoology and botany, further underscoring the diversity of this field. All in all, science manages to create a diverse portfolio of learning opportunities.

Inherent Selflessness

Becoming a scientist isn’t for the easily overwhelmed or the faint-hearted; the very nature of this branch of study is the promise of long hours, complex research, and a continuous effort to find new breakthroughs. Because of this, it’s fairly safe to say that those who decide to seek out a degree in the sciences have more than a grain of altruism in them, driving them tirelessly in their pursuit of advancement.

Even the recent COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the genuinely charitable nature of those who are committed to the sciences, and thanks to their hard work, we have managed to learn and overcome many of the recent challenges thrown at us. And of course, we have our scientists to thank for this.

Global Unity and a Common Goal

There is something remarkably beautiful as to how science manages to transcend the spoken word. We may not all speak in the same native tongue, but there is one thing all scientists understand when working together: the language of their skills.

There is no need for a translator when a team of international scientists gather around a petri dish to interpret its results. They can easily cull out the results of a 96 well dispenser in a bustling laboratory and deduct conclusions about the contents of every single cell. Perhaps a plant or gemstone’s name may change in various regions, but they are all the same beneath the umbrella of science.

When it comes to exploring the reasons as to why someone may decide to get a degree in the sciences, there’s one common denominator that unites all who pursue it. Simply put, it’s their passion. Whether they have an inherent urge to give back, or they have an innate curiosity as to how the world operates, science drives us to learn and explore and ask hard questions.

In turn, we reveal answers to mysteries that had once vexed us, allowing us to contribute to the ever-onward enlightenment of humankind. For our recent graduates who have just earned their science degrees at Indiana University, and to those who are just starting their first semester with us, science always has been — and always will be — their reason for being. And that, no doubt, continues to help us shape and inspire today’s IU science majors into tomorrow’s brilliant scientists.