Biology Degree: What Can You Do With It?

Clueless about what to do with your biology degree after college? You are not alone. A lot of biology majors find themselves in this dilemma.  Since the recession took its toll, unemployment has become a reality for many Americans.

What can you do with a biology degree in these hard times?

The Root Cause


Biology is a large field. The career possibilities are endless. You can go into research, microbiology, teaching, zoology and aquatic/marine biology. There are also job opportunities in laboratories, technical writing, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. Most biology majors had this in mind studying for their degree as the employment opportunities are vast.


However, this is also the same reason why biology jobs are hard to come by. There is a lack of specialization for this field. Either you proceed to graduate school or get some significant experience to get hired by companies. Most biology majors who cannot, often find themselves stuck without a meaningful employment.


All Is Not Lost


You probably went into biology as you are passionate about it. However grim the prospects of getting biology degree jobs, all is not lost. You just need to look further than the current field you are looking at. You have the passion and the education. Now you just need to be open to the possibility of working with other closely related fields.


what can you do with a biology degree

Career Opportunities


1.  Teach. Although employment outlook might be slower than average compared to other jobs, teaching in high school pays around $53,230 per year. Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers also earn $51,380 annually with a good job outlook. What could be more fulfilling than teaching kids the subject you love the most?


2. Work as a Lab Tech. Biological Technicians actually have a good job outlook compared to other occupations. You can work for research and development firms, pharmaceutical manufacturers, universities and healthcare companies. The median pay is $39,020 per year.


3. Work as Cardiovascular Tech. Generally working in a healthcare setting, Cardiovascular Technicians may earn $49,410 yearly. The job outlook is great at 29% which means that employment opportunities will increase in the next ten years.


4. Work as a Forester. Conservation Scientists and Foresters protect and help improve our natural resources. Job outlook might be slow, but the job typically pays $57,320 per year.


5.  Work for Environmental Science. Environmental Science and Protection Technicians do field tests and laboratory work to investigate pollution sources affecting health. The job has a great job outlook and pays $41,380 annually. You can also work as an Environmental Scientist, analyzing air, water and substance samples to identify and assess environmental threats. The job has a great outlook for the next ten years and typically pays $61,700 every year.


6.  Work as a Food Science Tech. Agricultural and Food Science Technicians analyze the quality of food and agricultural products. While job outlook is slower than average, the job has a median pay of $32,760 per year.


7. Work as a Nutritionist. Dietitians and Nutritionists generally advise people on how to eat healthily to reach a specific health-related goal. At $53,250 per year, the job outlook is great for the next ten years.


8.  Join the Peace Corps. Benefits in joining the peace corps include student loan forgiveness, travel to other countries, allowances, technical training, paid vacation days, advances in federal employment and transition/job support after service.


9. Work as a Medical Tech. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians collect body fluids, tissue and other substances to do tests on these samples. Pays $46,680 per year with a great job outlook at 13%.


10. Work as a Clinical Research Associate. CRAs work in Pharmaceutical companies and play an active role in drug development and trials. Median pay is around $59,323 according to PayScale. This is one of the most preferred jobs with a biology degree holder.


Still lost on what to do with a biology degree? You can always go back to school and get your graduate degree for better job opportunities. However, if this is not an option for you at this point, you might want to consider the jobs listed above or look at other possibilities: you can work as a technical writer and get paid writing about health-related articles. You can also work at parks, zoos, aquariums, science museums and nature centers to educate people about animals and nature.


Do not limit yourself to jobs that you believe you should have. Instead, look for jobs that will use your scientific training and explore your interests, even those you think you’re overqualified for.  Who knows, you might just love the job. Good luck!


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