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What Can I Do With my Bioscience Degree?
The graduate job market has got a lot tougher in recent years. Therefore, it’s so important that you start thinking about your career from day one of university. The first question you might want to ask yourself is: “What can I do with my bioscience degree?”
We aren’t just talking about the careers which will make use of your newfound intimate knowledge of cell processes. Bioscience degrees are excellent springboards into plenty of science-related sectors, such as the food industry, the health sector, the environmental sector and the pharmaceutical industry.
But, of course, you don’t have to stick to science-related careers. Plenty of other industries will value the skills that you will have picked up throughout the course of your degree. Before you bewail “what skills?” it’s important to remember that there is far more to a bioscience degree than knowing your developmental biology from your biotechnology.
So what skills will your degree have given you? One of the main skills is the ability to assimilate and analyse data. Furthermore, you will have developed your research and presentation skills.
Hopefully, you will also have picked up practical skills in the lab, as well as more general skills, such as team work, communication skills and time management. Science students are often good problem solvers and are valued by employers for their ability to show initiative.
So what sectors are in need of your skills?
Of course, one of the most obvious routes for you to explore is a career in the science sector. You could look for work with commercial enterprises, such as pharmaceutical, agrochemical, cosmetics, food and drink companies.
Roles in these areas will typically focus on things such as: clinical research and product and process development. Scientific sales is another big player, perfect for those with a sound knowledge of science and top-notch people skills.
Otherwise, you might want to look for less commercial science jobs in the public sector or in research institutes. Research and development work is up for grabs in all kinds of places and with all kinds of organisations, such as hospital laboratories, research councils, universities and government agencies, such as the Health Protection Agency.
Research roles, particularly academic, are hard to find in the UK. If you’re really passionate about your subject, you could always look for research opportunities abroad too.
Another area which will make good use of the skills which you acquired during your degree is the health sector. Remember, not all roles in this area require further training.
Although if you do want to work in a more clinical role, your biology degree will often make you eligible for an accelerated postgraduate qualification. To help you, we’ve put together a profile of health, medicine and medical research occupations for your perusal:
Otherwise, you could look into managerial roles in the health sector, medical sales jobs, or perhaps even administrative positions.
Energy companies don’t just employ chemists. Biologists are often needed in laboratories too; for example, helping to recycle waste products caused by the distilling process, or out in the field, assessing the environmental impact of things like oil-fields or wind farms. Energy companies might also employ biologists to work in their emergency teams who are responsible for limiting the environmental impact of incidents such as oil spills.
Tons of career opportunities are open to biology graduates in the environmental sector. You could begin a career as an environmental scientist, responsible for researching, developing, designing and producing solutions to environmental issues. Alternatively, you could look for a career in the public sector which focuses on environmental policy. You might even decide to train as a solicitor who specialises in environmental law.
If you’re passionate about agriculture, you might consider becoming an agricultural scientist or an agricultural consultant, where you’d be responsible for providing financial guidance and technical insights to improve your clients’ agricultural efficiency.
Click here for more information on careers in the Energy & Utilities sector.
Click here to find out more about working in the Environment, Agriculture & Conservation sector.
You might dream of becoming the next Steve Backshall, David Attenborough or… um… Bill Oddie, but securing a job in the media can be very competitive.
Science-related careers in various areas of the media sector, such as TV, documentary making and journalism, are very popular. Furthermore, if you want to mix your aptitude for science with your passion for the written word, then you might want to think about a career in scientific publishing, whether it involves publishing academic journals or popular science imprints.
If you want to enter this line of work, the crucial thing for you to do is to get involved with media-related activities at university, whether it’s writing for the student newspaper, setting up your own student science magazine or getting involved in film production.
Alternatively, you might dream of working for a scientific museum, like the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Trust, or the Science Museum in London.
You might consider working as a curator or an exhibition designer. Otherwise, you could look at less popular career routes, such as working in the press office or as a museum education officer. Find out more…
Financial services companies value the analytical and mathematical skills of bioscience graduates. You can put these skills to good use in areas such as investment banking, insurance and pensions. You might even want to explore accountancy as a career option. Analytical skills are also valued in other areas such as management consultancy.
Advertising, marketing and PR isn’t just for artistic types. Contrary to popular belief, companies welcome graduates from all different academic backgrounds.
The largest side of marketing and advertising is ‘non-creative’. Much of it requires detailed research, planning and organising. It’s those research and analytic skills that are particularly desirable for roles such as media buyer, media planner, and market researcher.
After all, advertising and marketing is not just about artistic flair, but the ability to come up with ideas. Find out more…