What can I do with a biology degree?
Biology, often referred to as life sciences, is a very popular degree. Some students will choose biology in preparation for medical school; however, it’s important to know that a degree in biology will also open many doors to other careers. Some of the most popular career choices following a biology degree include food scientists, science writers, nature conservation officers and forensic scientists. However, a biology degree can also be a great stepping stone into various other areas of employment.
Natural career paths following a biology degree:
- Academic researcher
- Higher education lecturer
- Marine biologist
- Nature conservation officer
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Scientific laboratory technician
- Secondary school teacher
- Soil scientist
- Teaching laboratory technician
Career paths (transferable skills):
- Anatomical pathology technologist
- Animal physiotherapist
- Clinical scientist, cardiac sciences
- Dental hygienist
- Dental technician
- Dental Therapist
- Genetic counsellor
- Health improvement practitioner
- Medical science liaison
- Physician associate
- Science writer
- Sustainability consultant
- Veterinary nurse
These should only be used as a guide. Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees.
Those wanting to find a career in the area of biology should investigate doing an industry placement, pre-entry work is valued highly. Having pre-entry work will show that you are passionate and committed to a career in the sector. It will also put you ahead of your competition and advance your skill set. Having work experience will also help if you want to gain valuable insight into the industry and see where your skills match. Some biology courses will offer a year’s placement where you may be eligible for a bursary or grant to support. You can also get in touch with some local organisations directly to see whether they have any part-time vacancies that will enhance the skills learnt through your course such as:
- Conservation facilities
- Natural history or science museums
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Research and clinical laboratories
- Zoos or veterinary practices.
Typical employers of biology graduates include:
- Universities and clinical research organisations
- Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
- Private hospitals and NHS trusts
- National and global health, conservation and environmental charities
- Scientific and technical consultancies
- Schools and colleges
- Outreach organisations, such as museums, science centres and broadcast companies.
There are other professions that would value your qualifications in industries such as business, finance, the civil service, marketing and sales.
How to enhance your CV
A biology degree will provide you with the basic foundations needed to get your foot in the door to the industry. Alongside this, you will also develop various practical and technical skills as well as more general skills that will also enhance your CV.
Make sure you highlight the following on your CV:
- Communication, through report writing and presentations
- Teamwork and collaboration through group projects and seminars
- The ability to work independently
- Organisation and time management, through meeting coursework deadlines
- Numeracy and maths
- IT and computer literacy
- Research and data analysis
- Problem-solving and creative thinking
- Project management
- Self-reliance, initiative and business awareness.
Further study is a popular route for biology students upon graduation. This is usually because they have a passion for a specific area of biology or a related subject that they would like to specialise in such as teaching, medicine or law. Having this additional knowledge and expertise may enhance your profile and set you ahead of your competition in a competitive market. However, it is important that you have done your research beforehand and are certain about the route you would like to take and that it matches with your career goals.
What are biology graduates doing?
Almost a fifth (18%) of biology graduates are employed in a related profession, with natural and social science professions being the most popular (9%) in addition to science, engineering and production technicians. Other graduates have decided to go into a career vertical where their skills have been transferable such as business, sales, marketing.
The course aims to give you a balance of theory and application of a range of techniques relevant to the biomedical sciences such as medical genetics, disease pathology, research design and biomedical quality control. The programme was designed with input from biomedical scientists, research scientists and bioscience experts. It combines the best elements of biomedical science with an appreciation of the advanced technologies important in healthcare provision.
Get ready to pursue a career in the zoological sciences with UWS’s BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience & Zoology degree. You’ll receive a grounding in biological and environmental science before progressing to study more advanced bioscience topics. The programme will equip you with the practical and transferable skills for a rewarding career in the life sciences sector in Scotland or abroad. Our highly qualified and experienced team will deepen your understanding of bioscience and the range of career options and professional accreditations available to you upon graduation.