This article contains information on what you can do with a Biology degree. There are a lot of questions in one’s mind before choosing a major. Though passion, educational ability and other factors may determine our choice, these don’t override questions such as – Where can I work with this degree? What are the opportunities for me with this degree? Am I sure of a brighter tomorrow with this degree? These questions will be begging for answers in one’s head and fear of the unknown might make one lose hope.
For this reason, I’ll be focusing on the uncertainties that might fill the hearts of those willing to pursue a biology degree. Considering biology as a course of study might also come with a lot of daunting questions as it is not as popular as Medicine and some other medical sciences. Its popularity aside, studying biology is one of the best choices a science-oriented student can make.
Biology is universally understood as the study of life and living matter. Biology can be classified into diverse functional branches, although all of the various branches of biology can be drawn together by their general understandings that cells are the fundamental units of life and they make up the composition of all living things. If you’re intrigued by the study of living things, including humans, animals, and microscopic organisms, and functioning of the human body, then a degree in biology may be right for you.
During your studies, you’ll gain an extensive scope of knowledge that will help you understand the diversity of life, how biology can play a role in society, how to make predictions, conduct research, apply scientific principles to problems, how to communicate findings in a relatable manner… these are skills that can be applied to more than just biology-degree jobs.
For many people, a degree in biology is a mark to medical school or another health care vocation. Having a Biology degree doesn’t limit the holder to medical sciences related jobs. Their jobs expand into multifarious fields, industries, and other areas such as research, teaching, manufacturing, management, and engineering. They can hold offices in environmental management, rendering leadership and specialized expertise to consulting firms and nonprofit organizations.
Biologists may also work in health care as veterinarians, physicians, nurses, and public health specialists. Biologists can choose to focus their studies in one subfield of biology, including biochemistry, cellular biology, ecology, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, botany, environmental Studies, general biology, marine biology, medical research, microbiology, molecular biology, pre-medical studies, zoology although many of these areas are intertwined.
Unmindful of what fields of biology students take, they are furnished with these five essential skills and tools to pursue job entry and headway in diverse industries- Analyzing Data and Results, Laboratory and Research, Scientific Literacy, Technical Expertise, and Communication.
These are some of the career paths a degree in biology could lead to:
1. Agricultural & Food Scientist
As the world’s population grows, more efficient and environmentally-friendly techniques to produce food are needed. Much of this responsibility will fall on the shoulders of food scientists, who develop agricultural practices and products through scientific advancements. This career is one of the best entry-level biology degree jobs.
An archaeologist is committed to studying and preserving the evidence of past cultures and lifeforms, which present a unique penetration into our past, as well as perspective on our times. They may investigate prehistoric sites, and use a wide range of knowledge, including biology, to interpret findings. These professionals need a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s in biology gives them a great start.
Biology majors can succeed in many areas of the law that model on scientific information and logic. Patent and intellectual property solicitor need to understand the science behind biotechnology products, drugs, and medical instruments to process petitions for patents and protect clients against infringement.
Environmental attorneys support and contest environmental projects and policies based on an understanding of how they will impact the ecosystem.
Medical malpractice lawyers must have the scientific knowledge required to analyze medical interventions and judge whether health professionals have acted ethically and correctly.
Biology majors learn to gather evidence to test a hypothesis. Litigation and criminal lawyers must do the same as they build a case for a client. Add to that the technical nature of physical evidence such as DNA samples, and it is easy to see why many biology majors decide to go on to law school.
As far as biology degree is concerned, go, this is one of the most selected career paths. The job specification for a biologist depends on your speciality. Most biologists spend their days studying organisms and conducting research and experiments. Most work occurs within the lab, but not always. For example, plant biologists and environmental biologists are often in the field, observing their subjects in their native habitats.
5. Biology Teacher
Maybe you love biology and have a flair for teaching. In that case, a career as a biology tutor or professor at the collegiate level may be a good choice for you. You’ll need to earn a teaching certificate in addition to an undergraduate degree in biology. To teach at the post-secondary level, you’ll likely need a master’s or PhD.
6. Biomedical engineer
This involves designing and creating medical equipment, devices, computer systems and software that are used in health care settings. Their responsibilities can range from creating medicinal treatments, artificial limbs, pacemakers, and implantable medical devices depending on the speciality of the career. To stand a chance in this career you need to enhance your biology degree with appropriate electives from the engineering department as well as pursuing a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.
7. Biochemist or Bio- Physicist
Biochemists perform essential functions in the fast-growing fields of biotechnology and biomedical research. Studying biology equips you with the laboratory and scientific research skills and knowledge to plan and perform studies for developing new products. These specialists hold an interesting and unique career that focuses on the chemical and physical foundations that make life pleasant. This can include cell development, the chemistry of disease, or the physiology of metabolism. Many bachelor’s degrees can lead to this profession, including chemistry, physics, and of course biology.
8. Biological Technician
Also identified as laboratory assistants, biology degree provides biological technicians with the laboratory skills and procedures. Technicians carry out studies that yield accurate results. They document results and perform calculations just as they have done when compiling reports as a biology major. They are highly in demand at medical schools, government agencies, non-profit research centres, or pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.
9. Environmental Conservationist
Conservationists can work in laboratories, museums, universities or at various other sites around the world. A conservationist could work in museums, preserving artefacts to preserve history or in a lab researching conservation materials and methods. They are also employed as professors at universities.
10. Environmental Scientist
Environmental scientists conduct many diverse research projects and experiments, essentially centring on how to protect the environment and improve human and animal health. They are involved in pollution cleanup and they also advise government and business officials on how to reduce waste and avoid harmful missteps. A biology bachelor’s degree qualifies you for entry-level work as an environmental scientist.
11. Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists evaluate patient oral conditions. They perform general procedures, including cleaning stains and removing plaque build-up. They can also, occupy educational roles, providing consultation on preventative and post-surgery care. Though a further education in dentistry is required, a bachelor’s degree in biology is a great place to start a dentistry career
12. Financial Analyst
Financial analysts evaluate stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments for clients and businesses. Biology majors can use their advanced mathematical skills to help assess the success of various investments. Most analysts focus on specific industries, and biology majors are particularly well suited for working as analysts in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical products, health services, and environmental companies. A bachelor’s degree is often enough to get started in a career as a financial analyst.
13. Fitness Trainer
Fitness trainers help their clients lose weight, gain strength, and reform from illness and injury. They assess the client’s condition, including their general measurements and biochemical compositions. In addition to assisting clients through workout routines, personal trainers provide meal plans and other consultations.
14. Forensic scientist
Forensic scientists assist criminal probes by collecting and analyzing evidence. As a forensic scientist, you would typically specialize either in crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, on-the-job training is generally required if you want to investigate crimes or work in a lab.
A hydrologist is a specialist who investigates the frequency, circulation, and physical attributes of the earth’s underground and surface waters. They help environmental and other scientists preserve and clean up the environment, as well as search for groundwater. This is one of many flourishing jobs, as well as a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career.
16. Food scientist
Food scientists study the microbiological, physical and chemical properties of food and ingredients to make sure they are safe for consumers. A biology degree is one of the prerequisites for further study in food science.
17. Genetic Counselor
Genetic counsellors evaluate the genetic structure of patients and communicate with them about the risk of transmitting a genetic disease or impediment to their offspring. They might also work with clients who are concerned about the chances of showing symptoms of hereditary dysfunctions later in life. They work in places such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, and insurance companies. In addition to a degree in biology, genetic counsellors also have medical degrees.
Geographers study the Earth’s natural environment and its human and animal inhabitants. The occupation is disintegrated into two divisions: physical geographers, who study the physical aspects of the Earth-like glaciers and mountains, and human geographers, who study cultures and their political and economic characteristics. A biology bachelor degree is good for entry-level positions, but advanced degrees in geography or geographic information systems (GIS) will advance your career.
19. Health Communications Specialist
Health communications specialists are responsible for educating communities about healthy practices and behaviours that promote wellness and public health issues, including transmittable diseases, health management, and healthy living. They use the scientific method to assess the needs of their constituents so they can design relevant programmes. They are mostly hired by hospitals or other health care organizations to organise and regulate public health campaigns and education. A biology major provides a strong foundation and may offer an edge over other individuals who lack a background in science.
20. Human Biologist
These scientists examine and analyze human functionality using skills in genetics, physiology, and biological anthropology. They can work in medical research laboratories, investigating cures for infectious diseases. Human biologists can also work as dietitians and nutritionists. With additional training, these professionals may occupy roles as human population specialists and organizational consultants.
21. Information Technology (IT) Services
With a degree in bioinformatics or a related field, professionals can pursue work in the IT industry. Here, biologists apply communication, data analytics, and database management skills to organize and protect their organization’s information.
22. Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers often employ, supervise, and evaluate health professionals and researchers. They modify relevant health programmes and policies and interact and communicate with health service professional about these policies, programmes and procedures.
23. Medical Scientist
Although physicians work directly with patients to improve care, they often rely on the work of medical scientists to improve their techniques and practices. Medical scientists use experiments and research to create new approaches to treatments and disease prevention. They analyze diseases to develop cures and treatment procedures to prevent the spread of illnesses. Most medical researchers work in offices or laboratories, and they typically need an advanced degree. A doctorate is required, but a background in biology is required.
24. Medical Writer
Medical writers use scientific knowledge and writing skills to effectively and clearly communicate technical medical science information in writing. Medical Writers generally focus on either scientific medical writing, which includes medical studies, drug trials and regulatory documents, creating training materials, user manuals, and educational literature marketing medical writing, which includes news releases and advertising copy for a wider audience. The primary employers of medical writers are hospitals, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
This career allows you to study some of the smallest lifeforms, including bacteria, algae, and fungus, and although much of the work is done in laboratories, you’ll likely have the chance for fieldwork, such as collecting samples. Microbiologists can pursue careers as infectious disease experts and environmental scientists. They may also work in the food production, pharmaceutical, and bioengineering industries. A bachelor’s degree in biology, with a focus or minor in microbiology, sets you up to start this career but a PhD is required to carry out independent research or to work at a university.
One of the most respected, esteemed, and well-paid careers in the world, the role of a physician is vital to the overall health of people young and old. This is easily among the highest-paid jobs with a biology degree. However, landing this type of position takes years of experience, education, and training.
27. Nutritionist or Dietitian
These professionals help clients cultivate healthy eating practices for weight loss and abiding medical conditions. Nutritionists and dietitians can also find employment with schools, hospitals, and government agencies. Here, they develop meal plans and health programs to improve the lives of communities. A degree in biology is one of the basics in pursuing a career in nutrition.
28. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Related to biotechnology, this industry focuses on developing and assessing medicines and associated products. Biologists generally work as pharmaceutical researchers or on compliant officers, making sure their company meets government standards.
29. Pharmaceutical / Medical Product Sales Representative
Pharmaceutical or medical product sales representatives sell medical supplies, IT products, medicines, and more to hospitals, clinics, and other medical practices. Pharmaceutical sales reps promote new drugs to doctors and other medical professionals for them to prescribe to patients. Knowledge of pharmacology and chemistry, and an interest in the business side of medicine, as well as communication skill, are needed for this role. A degree in biology meets the entry-level requirements; a minor in sales, marketing and advertising will make you a stronger candidate.
Pharmacy is all about dispensing specific medications to improve the health and well-being of patients. This field requires a doctorate in pharmacology or a related field, but it can start with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
31. Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner
Physician and nurse practitioner are in high demand as front-line service providers. Biology provides an invaluable foundation for graduate work in these similar professions. This career requires specific education and certification in nursing, but a bachelor’s degree in biology gives you a well-rounded knowledge of the human body. Physician assistants help the medical process by examining, diagnosing, and treating patients. They may prescribe medicine, assess records, and educate patients.
You’ll be well prepared for the biology-heavy coursework involved in the medical school curriculum once you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree in biology. As a physician, you can expect to examine patients, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medicine and manage diagnostic tests.
The health of your feet and ankles can have an intense effect on your overall comfort and well-being. Thanks to podiatrists, which are doctorate-level professionals with internship and residency requirements, people can have healthy feet and a healthy lifestyle. This career can start with an education in biology.
34. Scientific Illustrator
Using the knowledge of physiology, genetics, and other biological fields, scientific illustrators visualize anatomy, molecular structures, and environmental processes. They may work in academia, illustrating for textbooks and other educational materials. They can as well pursue careers in forensic imaging and graphic design. Possible employers include hospitals, speciality publishers, and film studios.
Veterinarians are doctors that specialize in animal care and their responsibilities include the normal daily care of animals, surgeries and medical treatment for animal illnesses. Veterinarians need to be versatile and well-rounded, so a bachelor’s in biology is the ideal start for this career. This is one of the best jobs you can get with a biology degree as your educational foundation.
36. Wildlife Biologist/ Zoologist
These professionals study animals and their interaction with ecosystems, providing useful information on animal behaviour, human impact, and the characteristics of wildlife. In this job, you could work in an office, a lab, in the field, or all three. Fieldwork can include travel to different destinations, making it one of the most fascinating jobs with a biology degree. A bachelor’s degree in biology is needed for entry-level positions, but for high-level investigative or scientific work, you’ll need an advanced degree to lead independent research or obtain university research.
Famous people with biology degrees.
Having a biology degree doesn’t even need to restrain you to these careers. All of these famous people studied biology:
- Bernard Anthony Harris Jr. – Bernard Anthony Harris Jr. (born June 26, 1956, in Temple, Texas) is a former NASA astronaut. On February 9, 1995, Harris became the first African American to perform an extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk), during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights.
- Cat Cora– Catherine Ann Cora (born April 3, 1967) is an American professional chef best known for her featured role as an “Iron Chef” on the Food Network television show Iron Chef America and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates on Bravo.
- David Attenborough – graduated with a natural sciences degree in 1947, and went on to become famous for presenting wildlife documentaries.
- Lisa Kudrow – earned a degree in psycho-biology before she rose to fame as Phoebe in Friends.
- Mayim Bialik – plays neurobiologist Amy in The Big Bang Theory, but also has a PhD in neuroscience in real life.
- Wangari Maathai: She was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2004.