By: Ashley (an actual Biology major)
Ok, so you have taken the leap and declared Biology your major. Now what? That is the question I asked myself when I arrived here at UMD as a freshman. Biology is a very broad major; there are many different paths one can take with a bachelor’s degree in biology, whether you want to find a career with your B.S. in Biology or pursue higher education. So, what can you do with a biological science major?
Here are just a few of the major areas one can go into:
Organismal Biology is the aspect of biology that deals with, well, organisms. You can choose to work with plants, animals, cells and even bugs. Since biology is such a broad term you could go into various fields, some including ecology, zoology, microbiology, and genetics. Organismal biology is essentially the study of the structure and function of the organism that provides a rich area for investigation, but plays a central role in answering conceptual questions about both ecology and evolution. Likely places of employment are zoos, aquariums, museums, veterinary hospitals, and independent labs.
Biomedical Sciences is where a lot of the lab aspect of biology comes in. Here is where you would find yourself if you’re interested in pharmacology, pathology, cellular/molecular biology and things like immunology. Now a lot of careers in this field require a more advanced degree than just a bachelors but many technician, technologist, and assistant positions can be attained with just a B.S. Here, likely employment would be at a university, a laboratory, or a health department.
Healthcare, which is the part of biology that includes medicine and the practice of it, is a very large field in itself. This includes but is not limited to things like dentistry, optometry, physical/occupational therapy, and medical technology. In these fields you should plan on attending medical school or some other related graduate program. Places that would hire you would be places like hospitals, clinics, and private practice.
These are just three of the major areas one can go into with a B.S. in Biology. There are many other areas you can go into, such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, legislation/law, communication, business, and research. Yes, many of the careers that go with biology coincide with more education, and more careers open up to those with Master’s and Ph. D’s, but that is not to say that you can’t achieve a career with a bachelors. Like I said before, many lab assistant, technician, technologist and research assistant positions in industry and government and even museums are attainable with a bachelors.
Not to mention an undergraduate degree in biological sciences can also be used in nontechnical work like photography, sales, and writing. If you are still feeling iffy about where to go from here, stop in to Career & Internship Services. If you don’t want to go at it alone, make an appointment to speak to one of our counselors. Trust me, they know what they are talking about.
Other resources to check out:
- Graduate Follow-up Report
- Career Assessments
- What Can I Do With This Major? (From University of Tennessee)
- What Can I do With a Major In? (From University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Have questions? Pop on in to SCC 22 anytime and someone will help!