What can I do with my biology degree?
So you’ve slaved away for the last few years, you’re now pipette-proficient and you’d never mix up mitosis and meiosis in a pub quiz. But graduation is looming and you’re not really sure on your next steps. It can feel like everyone doing a biology degree ends up in medicine or academia, so you have no idea what options are open to you outside of this. But don’t worry, we’ve got you.
Maybe you still have a love for biology and want to put all those blood, sweat and tears to good use outside of academia.
Science consulting is a great option. This is consulting but with a science twist. You’ll still be solving business management problems but for companies within the scientific sphere, so you’ll need to understand the scientific limitations and problems these companies would face.
If you were involved in campaigns and awareness events then maybe try Public Health, it has biology at the forefront yet also features much more writing, politics and speaking. Fancy yourself in the government? Public health policy might be your calling.
Scientific writing directly puts those biology skills to use. It took you years to understand those complex scientific articles so why not help the general public understand them too. As the fitness industry continues to boom, more and more people want to understand scientific studies without getting lost in PubMed articles (we’ve all been there).
Pharmaceuticals is an enormous area for biological grad jobs. They have tons of grad schemes and allow you to work with varying degrees of biology - from in the labs, to sales, to areas that are much more business focused. This gives you more flexibility as you decide the areas that you love. Plus, moving jobs within the same company means you haven’t got to learn how to work a new coffee machine *cheers*
However, if you haven’t been scared away from your time in University, careers like genetic counselling and science law are also biology related options without dedicating your life to the lab.
But if you can’t bear to think about the Krebs’ Cycle ever again, then maximise on all those ‘transferrable skills’ that you’ve received for all the hard work. Think ‘analytical, attentive to detail, patient when the experiment messes up’ – that kind of thing. Pretty much every career values these skills but certain roles need these skills.
It may not seem like a natural fit but data science is a great area for a biologist, especially if you’re experienced using programs and wouldn’t mind learning some coding. You’ve already developed all the other skills, so what’s learning a touch of Python in the grand scheme of things?
Analytics-heavy marketing roles would also be an interesting option, so much of marketing now is crunching numbers and watching trends. So if you’d love to put your analytical skills to good use and add a little creativity into your life it could be worth looking into. There’s also marketing departments at essentially every company so you really can work anywhere that interests you.
Biology is one of those degrees that helps you keep so many doors open, so the world is still your oyster. I mean, look at Eva Longoria and Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe in Friends), if you want to go into acting or become a full-time football mascot you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who says ‘no, you can’t, you did a biology degree’. At the end of the day it’s just a degree and if you’ve got experience in other areas that you can show at an interview then you really can do anything you set your mind to.
See, we’re not all destined to live out our days in painfully bright labs or elbow deep in blood. Biology degrees can take you anywhere and they’re most definitely an asset to your CV, just sometimes you might need a little help knowing where to look for the opportunities. Hopefully, these ideas will get those creative juices flowing but if you’re a biology grad that needs a little more help picking a direction, get in touch!
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