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What can someone do with a Bachelors in Biology?

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4 answers

Stacey’s Answer

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Hello Olivia,

There are a lot of career options with a Bachelors degree in biological sciences.

If you like teaching and helping others learn, becoming a teacher in a STEM field is one option. You would need to get a teaching certificate in order to teach in most public schools, but some private schools do not require this and will give you on the job mentoring/training.

If you are on the outgoing side and like meeting new people, you could get a job in sales or marketing at a biotech or pharma company. Depending on the company, you may be interfacing with customers directly to help them buy the items they need to do their research, or you may be "behind the scenes" to help identify new customers based on their research and interests.

There are also roles in biological manufacturing. Some biotech and pharma companies manufacture and package their own reagents to sell to customers. If you are someone who has a high attention to detail, is very process-oriented, and enjoys keeping meticulous notes, this might be a good option for you.

If you like bench research, you could also get a job as a lab technician in academia or in a biotech/pharma company. These roles can vary quite a bit in terms of what tasks you will perform and what projects you work on. In academia, you may be responsible for helping another scientist with their experiments, or you may be in charge of keeping the lab well-stocked and in good working order. If you've been in this type of role for a few years, you may even have your own set of projects or experiments that you carry out mostly independently.

A Louis mentioned, many people who have an undergrad degree in biology choose to go on to get a graduate degree. As with most STEM subjects, having an advanced degree in a biological field will open up many more doors in your career, and they will allow you to get higher paying jobs with more responsibilities at the start. If you are someone who likes asking scientific questions and doing experiments to test hypotheses, then you could consider a Masters or PhD program in a biological subject. These degrees will open up more mid- or senior-level jobs as staff scientist, among many other types of roles. If you like applying your biological expertise to help others, you could consider a degree in a medical field to become a doctor, dentist, nurse, hygienist, or a physical therapist. Finally, there are many other degree programs out there, including in public health, regulatory affairs, or even business or law, that would expand your expertise and open many more doors.

Stacey recommends the following next steps:

  • Find others who have a degree in biology and ask them about their work - what do they like/dislike? how did they find this profession?
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Louis B.’s Answer

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Hello Olivia,

There are plenty career options for people with a Bachelors in Biology. Your long terms goals determine what route you should consider. Traditionally, many students pursue graduate degrees/doctorates for careers in research or medicine. However, some students choose paths that focus more on the application of biology. (Examples: health education, outreach, public health, consulting, product promotion, etc.). However, I should say that it is possible to pursue these paths without obtaining your degree specifically in biology. You could major in another area of study, and choose to minor in biology. In terms of those pursuing medical school, I know many people that chose not to study biology, but still fulfilled their pre-med requirements for admission. I would suggest thinking about what you enjoy, and see if biology aligns well with that passion. Many of my friends and I started as biology majors, and I was the only one you stayed on that path until graduation. Yet, most of my friends have remained in the science field through nursing, pharmacology, public health, etc. I chose to pursue research, and will eventually attend medical school. I hope this helps some.
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marie’s Answer

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Hello Olivia,
I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist and has been for over 40years. I work mostly in critical care along with nurses and doctors; we take care of very sick patients, young and old. As part of the team, RTs specialize in taking care mainly of the airway which includes the lungs. We take care of the ventilators( you hear this a lot in the news now because of Covid 19 pandemic); all the breathing treatments that assist patients to breahe well. Other excellent roles are discussed in our professional organization - the AARC. Biology is a very important course that is required in Respiratory school; some RTs major in Biology or Physiology before they become therapists, nurses, researchers or doctors. I encourage you to check out more information and consider Respiratory Therapy as another career option. We certainly need more experts now.
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Erin’s Answer

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Hello Olivia
With a Bachelor's degree in Biology, or really any life science, there is a very large variety of potential careers. There are many research opportunities available if you would like to make new discoveries. There are many opportunities in the quality control departments of food and pharmaceutical companies. If you like to write, I would recommend looking into a career as a technical writer. There are also regulatory positions available to help keep companies in line with that they are supposed to be doing. There are also careers in sales and repair.
Consider what other skills you have and like doing outside of your major. There are a variety of options for all personalities, though most biology careers are very team-oriented.
My background is a degree in Microbiology. I have worked in research labs as well as teaching labs. I am now in the quality control department at a pharmaceutical company. Each of these has used my training in vastly different ways, and I have learned several new skill sets at each job. There is not really a straight line through my career, which I have found to be typical. The nice thing about a career in biology is that you can easily pivot between roles because there are so many options.
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