Career Opportunities with a Biology Degree

Biology, or Biological Sciences as it is sometimes known, is a broad area that offers graduates many exciting opportunities after they’ve completed their degree.

Essentially, as a Biology student you’re studying life and with this broad topic as your degree you’ll have an equally broad range of career options open to you when you graduate.

Naturally Biology is a good fit with a science based or medical career but there are many transferrable skills that you’ll learn that open up a whole other set of career options outside of science or medicine.

Skills such as good communication and problem solving are highly sought after by employers in any industry so don’t think you’re only career options are further study or research.

Here’s more about your career opportunities with a Biology degree:

Jobs directly related to your degree

If you have your future career mapped out then chances are you’re going to choose a career that directly relates to the topics and knowledge gained during your degree.

Jobs directly related to a Biology degree include:

  • Research scientist (this could be human, animal, medical etc.)
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Biologist

Jobs not directly related to your degree

With the skills you’ll have you don’t need to limit your career options just to the ideas we give you. You could get a job in any industry and jobs where your degree might be useful, but not directly related to the work you’ll be doing, include:

  • Science journalist/writer
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Other health specialist

Common careers for Biology graduates

Here’s a list of some common career paths for graduates of Biology with a bit about each role:

Careers in Research

A career in research is probably the most common option for Biology graduates. This could either be as part of an academic team or working for a private research group or company.

As a researcher you’ll use your considerable analytic and organisational skills, as well as your eye for detail and scientific knowledge, to look closely at any number of areas.

For example, you could find yourself developing new medicines, investigating the impact of biofuels on food production, or predicting the effects of climate change. The list of possibilities for a researcher is endless and you’ll have plenty of chance to explore the area you’ve chosen to specialise in.

Careers in Science Communication

Excellent communication skills will certainly be something you’ll develop during your degree and being able to explain scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience will open up a wide range of career opportunities.

For example, you could become a journalist, science writer, press officer, television or radio presenter, or policy campaigner.

There are plenty of companies, government agencies, and non-profit organisations who would benefit from your skills.

For the majority of roles in science communication you won’t need any further study but you may find additional training, such as journalistic training, helpful if that’s the career path you’ve chosen.

Careers in Medicine

The Graduate Entry into Medicine qualification is a common career path for students that have a strong interest in the human body and medical biology.

If you’d prefer to have a more vocational career then a career in Medicine after studying for an undergraduate degree in Biology might be the right choice for you.

This career option usually requires a minimum of four years postgraduate study and careers include:

  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Science
  • Healthcare Science
  • Nursing
  • Allied health fields (Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, Dietary Specialist)

Of course you could also train to become a Doctor – either a General Practitioner or a specialised consultant.

Less common careers for Biology graduates

Completely valid, although less common career paths for Biology graduates include:

Careers in the Legal Sector

There are certain areas of the legal sector, such as patenting, where specialised scientific knowledge is required. Biology graduates would have the ability to understand specific scientific or technological features of a new product or invention.

Other areas involving the law where Biology graduates might make good careers is in working with the police as a forensic scientist. 

You could also find yourself working with the government or industry to advise on policy development and consultancy.

Other less common industries for Biology graduates to work in:

  • Agriculture
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Conservation
  • The Environmental industry
  • Food Science
  • Horticulture
  • Wildlife documentary production
  • Marine Biology
  • Biotechnology