There are plenty of careers available to biology students, but since there isn’t a single obvious path, sometimes it can be problematic deciding what to do after graduating.
This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.
Skills for your CV
Specific skills you will have gained include:
- time and self-management
- data management, analysis and interpretation
- concise and accurate writing and communication skills
- research skills
- organisational skills
- presentation skills
- ability to identify and predict trends and patterns
- ability to interpret and evaluate events, information, and ideas
- computer literacy
Job roles and career areas you could work in
Your career options include the following roles and specialisms:
- environmental management
- health service manager
- human resources officer
- medical writing or working as a technical author in other areas
- patent examiner
- pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- regulatory affairs officer
- medical representative
- science journalism
- water conservation officer
What do biology graduates go on to do?
Here’s what biology graduates who finished their degrees in 2017 were doing six months after graduating, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2018.
|Full-time employment in the UK||35.5|
|Part-time employment in the UK||11.4|
|Working and studying||6.1|
Source: What do graduates do? 2017
Key areas of employment for fresh biology graduates
These are the top five areas of work taken up by 2016 biology graduates six months after graduation, according to the 2017 What do graduates do? report.
|Areas of employment||Percentage|
|Other professionals, associate professionals and technicians||19.5|
|Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff||19.4|
|Business, HR and finance professionals||9.6|
Source: What do graduates do? 2018
Which careers attract biology students?
Scientific research and development was by far the most popular career choice for students of biological sciences identified by a 2019 survey of more than 74,000 undergraduates carried out by Trendence UK, a GTI business. Just over a third (34.1%) of students of biological sciences, a group of degree subjects that includes biology, who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area. The most popular careers for students of biological sciences were as follows:
|Scientific research and development||34.1% expressed an interest|
|Consumer goods – manufacturing and marketing||22.7|
|Energy and utilities||9.1|
|Engineering, design and manufacture||6.9|
|Construction, civil engineering and surveying||4.7|
Source: Graduate Survey 2019
Famous people with biology degrees
Having a biology degree doesn’t even need to restrict you to these careers. All of these celebrities studied biology:
- 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 psychobiology 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.
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