Graduate careers advice: you and your biology degree

22 Jun 2023, 13:21

Biology spans everything from biotech to sustainability, pharmaceutical to ecology and so much more in between. Explore some of the options to see where your career could take you.

Scientist conducting experiments with petri dish

Graduate careers advice on what you can do with your biology degree.

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However, a science degree is coveted by many employers across a wide range of areas and some of the other areas that you could be suited to include:

Work experience

Jobs in the biology sector are generally highly competitive. Getting hands on practical experience as part of your degree provides you with an excellent basis for entering the world of work, and choosing the right area in which to apply your biology degree. Finding definitive biology related internship or work experience positions can be difficult due to the high degree of skills needed, so you may need to be more flexible in terms of how you obtain some workplace experience. Speculative applications are welcomed by most employers, once they are properly presented and articulated. Biology is a highly specialised area and employers will value your skills, but like any area there will always be competition, so even if you can’t get a biology related role in a company, try and gain some exposure to the industry by taking a role in some other capacity within a company whose primary focus is biology, even if it’s in marketing, business development or administration. As biology also has a focus on related areas such as ecology, sustainability and the environment, volunteering could be a good route to gain some experience. Keep an eye on internships and opportunities on gradireland here .

What sectors?

Due to the wide application of biology across many career areas, there are a lot of opportunities, but the majority of employers operate in the chemical sector or related industries including:

  • Education
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology
  • Medical and healthcare
  • Scientific institutions or consultancies
  • Universities and research institutes (including clinical research)
  • Environmental and ecological institutions, agencies and charities
  • Science and communications

As we said earlier, the transferable skills inherent in a science degree like biology means that there will also be a significant amount of opportunities in sectors like consulting, health and medical institutions, research bodies, agencies and universities in addition to public sector positions. Getting the right experience and following up on any necessary postgraduate study will be vital to finding the exact role that you want.

Your biology CV

The sheer range of skills that a science degree gives you means that it can be hard to condense everything into a well presented CV. As part of the basis of biology, you will have learned excellent laboratory techniques which can be used in the more traditional forms of biology or indeed transfer into the medical or biological spheres.

Some of the transferable skills which you can add to your CV would likely include the following:

  • Collaborative skills and team work
  • Initiative and team leadership
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Resourcefulness, initiative and commercial awareness
  • Technology skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Strong researching and reasoning ability
  • Excellent organisation and time management
  • Resourcefulness, problem-identifying and solving and analytical skills

Postgraduate study

Biology, like most areas of science, is one that has a significant amount of postgraduate study opportunities. In fact, postgraduate study is often expected by many employers in order to gain particular skills at Masters or even PhD level. Normally, the choice of a postgraduate course would be to deepen the level of knowledge of the area of physics studied at undergraduate level, for instance cellular microbiology or a specialised area of biotechnology or biomedical science. Studying to a Masters or PhD level will provide you with both a greater depth of practical, sectoral skills and theoretical knowledge of your chosen area.

For more information on the course that would suit you, visit our Further Study

section to browse courses and get information on particular courses and institutions.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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