Biological science is the study of life and is therefore one of the broadest subjects you can study. Biology encompasses everything from the molecular study of life processes right up to the study of animal and plant communities.
Read on to find out where your biology degree could take you, and download our guide on how to find a job after university.
Is Biology a Good Major? | Should You Major in Biology?
Is Biology Hard in College?
While biology is a part of the STEM field, it’s not as difficult as most other disciplines. This is especially true since it doesn’t involve as much math as chemistry or physics. Still, it’s a must for students majoring in biology to devote plenty of hard work and commitment to their studies to successfully earn a degree.
It’s no secret that STEM-related degrees such as physics and engineering are some of the hardest.
Fortunately for someone like you who is considering getting a degree in biology, which is still within the STEM realm, you can sigh a breath of relief knowing that the subject matter is not as challenging as the rest.
Despite this, it’s still a must that you spend two to three hours of study a week for every credit — a course usually consists of three credits. The difficulty of the core courses will depend on the major you choose. So, in other words, you should declare a major that can increase your chances of not only having a great career but also success in college.
Here are some of the biology majors you may choose from:
Wondering what are good minors for a soon-to-be biology major student like you? Check out the following that you may include in your list when the time to declare a major and some minors are is fast approaching:
When it comes to choosing a minor, there is no need to opt for something that complements a biology major all the time. As a matter of fact, you can pick a minor based on what you are interested in or passionate about. You may also go for one that you believe is fun and exciting and can make earning a degree less stressful.
What Can You Do With a Biology Degree?
A degree in biology can be used for taking various career paths. While the majority of job options are in the STEM field, it’s possible for biology majors to take on other professions. A biology degree can also be used to attend graduate school. Many students complete a biology program to enter medical school.
One of the best things about having a biology degree is that it paves the way toward a fast-growing field with an array of high-paying jobs to choose from, many of which are considered satisfying and rewarding — based on an educational research by the University of Liverpool (Henderson, Stanisstreet, & Boyes, 2007), up to 97% of students aspire a satisfying career in biology.
Here are some of the jobs you may apply for as a bachelor’s in biology holder:
As an agricultural and food scientist, you are tasked with doing a lot of research and investigations in order to improve not only the efficacy but also the safety of various agricultural and food products and establishments.
The primary role of biochemists is to study both the chemical and physical properties of living things as well as various biological processes. Most of their time is spent experimenting in laboratories.
Simply put, biological technicians, which usually work full-time in laboratories, work very closely with biological and medical scientists, helping them to conduct various tests and experiments.
Working as an environmental scientist, you are expected to apply your natural science-related knowledge and skill set to the protection of the environment and, ultimately, human health and safety.
Basically, what forensic scientists do is assist criminal investigations in collecting as well as analyzing evidence. Besides working during typical business hours, most forensic scientists also work at unusual hours and travel, too.
As a genetic counselor, you have to work with families and individuals in order to be able to assess their risk for all kinds of inherited conditions, ranging from birth defects to genetic disorders.
The primary responsibility of health educators is to develop programs that will inform individuals about various conditions that affect well-being. Many health educators work at the community level.
The roles of a biology teacher can range anywhere from preparing lesson plans, providing lectures, assisting students during experiments, administering exams to chaperoning school field trips.
Based on a study by experts in Dicle University and Hakkari University in Turkey, 35% of biology teachers became teachers because they wanted to (Baran, Maskan & Baran, 2015).
Studying microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as some types of parasites is what microbiologists do. While they usually conduct experiments in laboratories, many of these scientists work in offices, too.
As a wildlife biologist, you can expect to spend most of your time in laboratories and outdoors in order to study animals and various wildlife and determine how they interact with their respective ecosystems.
The main role of pharmaceutical sales representatives is to sell pharmaceutical products, thereby meeting the needs of their clients in the process. They spend a lot of time traveling and visiting hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices.
Working as a science writer, you are tasked with preparing various instructional media such as manuals, guides and journals in an attempt to disseminate information in a way that everyone will easily understand.
As mentioned earlier, a biology degree is good for undergraduate students who would like to enter graduate school after earning a bachelor’s. Typically, a master’s in biology takes around two years to complete, depending on how many classes per term are taken or whether or not the student has to do a thesis.
While it can be a time-consuming process, getting your hands on a master’s in biology can open additional doors not only to more career options but also to more higher-paying jobs.
The following are some of the jobs available for a master’s in biology holders:
Related Article: List of Top Employable Degrees
Typical careers with a biology degree
Scientific research is not only crucial within society but also a highly stimulating career for biology graduates. As a research biologist you’ll aim to develop knowledge of the world around us by studying living organisms. Careers in research provide perhaps the broadest scope of all careers with a biology degree, as research can be conducted across all specializations.
Most common is research within the medical and life sciences, covering areas such as health and disease, neurology, genomics, microbiology and pharmacology. Researchers help to develop societal knowledge within many areas and, with the right additional qualifications, can be found within academia, research institutes, medical facilities and hospitals, and also within business and industry.
Working in healthcare as a biologist will see you developing campaigns to help treat and cure illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis, heart disease, and many lesser-known illnesses and diseases. Although many roles are out of reach to students holding just an undergraduate degree (such as doctor and practitioner roles), the sector has a huge hiring capacity, and biologists are well sought-after in the medical world.
Healthcare biologists with the necessary qualifications and experience also work as veterinarians, doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professionals. Biologists are recruited not only within hospitals and other medical facilities; they are also hired by organizations such as the Peace Corps in order to bring advanced healthcare to developing and war-torn regions.
Why biology is a good major?
What fields of biology will be important in the future?
- Genetics and Genomics. …
- Neuroscience. …
- Microbiology. …
- Biological sciences and the future.
What is the future of a biology student?