Career Paths for Biology Graduates

You’re interested in studying biology to at the university level but have no clear direction as to what you’d like to do as a career once you graduate.  Here are some ideas to get you on the right track.

Job Options

Jobs that are directly related to your degree would include university lecturer, pharmacologist, microbiologist, research scientist, teacher, conservation officer, or soil scientist.  Many graduates work as lab technicians, medical scientists, or biochemists.


Biology-related jobs are extremely popular and consequently competition is strong.  Therefore, it is vital to get some practical experience if you can before you begin looking for full-time work.  Some degree courses actually incorporate a year’s placement to allow you to gain valuable experience and in some cases this placement may be funded through a scholarship.

Use your holidays, evenings, and weekends to gain experience too.  Volunteer for local projects and ask about any paid work opportunities with local firms in your preferred sector.  It’s also worth contacting research labs, conservation organizations, and museums to see if there have any opportunities for placements or internships.

Typical Employers

A wide range of industries offer jobs for biology graduates.  Check out career opportunities in:

  • Clinical research organizations and universities
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies     
  • Hospitals
  • Health and environmental charities
  • Scientific consultancies
  • Schools and colleges
  • Museums, science centers, and broadcasting companies

There are also opportunities outside of the science and health sectors.  Business, marketing, education, sales, and finance also offer diverse careers for biology graduates.

Skills and Abilities

As well as your specific knowledge of biology, you’ll acquire other technical skills during your degree coursework.  These extra skills and abilities will appeal to employers in all industries.

  • Report writing and presentation skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Planning and organizing
  • Data handling
  • Time management, problem solving, and project management
  • Business acumen, self-reliance, and initiative

Further Study

You might decide to study in a particular area for a postgraduate qualification.  This may be an advantage in a competitive job market and will improve your specialist knowledge, research, and communication skills.  If you choose to pursue further study while at work, this could help to further your career and help you move up the pay scale more quickly.

If you decide to go for a career as a university lecturer or research scientist, you’ll need a PhD after your university degree.

In Conclusion

There are plenty of different directions in which you could choose to go when you’ve completed your biology degree course.  It’s really just a matter of focusing on what interests you the most and researching what career options exist in that field. Good luck!


Image source: Flickr Creative Commons

Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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