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Medicine and nursing degrees involve many of the same transferable skills and give graduates specialist knowledge that can be an advantage in other careers.

Whether you have decided that hands-on nursing isn’t for you, or that you don’t want to be stuck in medicine training for years on end, there are a number of possible routes.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Skills for your CV

Some of the skills you should have acquired include:

  • adaptability and flexibility
  • analytical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • providing person-centred care
  • risk management skills
  • teamworking skills
  • verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Job roles and career areas you could work in

You may be able to put your medical or nursing background to use in a range of other careers where your specialist background could be an advantage. Further qualifications or training is likely to be required. Roles you could consider include the following:

Which careers attract medicine and dentistry students?

Scientific research and development was the most popular career choice for students of medicine, dentistry and related subjects identified by a 2019 survey of more than 74,000 undergraduates carried out by Trendence UK, a GTI business. Just under an eighteenth (5.4%) of students of medicine, dentistry and related subjects who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area. The most popular careers for students of medicine, dentistry and related subjects were as follows:

Career Percentage
Scientific research and development 5.4% expressed an interest
Consumer goods – manufacturing and marketing 2.9
Charity and not-for-profit 2.2
Public sector 2
Engineering, design and manufacture 1.5

Source: Graduate Survey 2019

Famous people with medicine or nursing degrees

If none of these are quite your thing, then there are still plenty of other options. These medicine and nursing students went in different directions:

  • Jo Brand – worked as a psychiatric nurse before starting her career in comedy.
  • Emeli Sandé – completed three years of a medical degree and became a qualified neurologist, before her music career took off.
  • Harry Hill – was a practising doctor before he became the narrator of You’ve Been Framed.
  • Jay Sean – before pursuing his singing career he initially studied at Queen Mary, University of London.

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