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Biology Jobs for Biology Majors

  1. Dec 23, 2017 #1

    I am about 60 credits away from my bachelors degree in Biology going to UTA in Arlington, Texas and while this is a physics forum that I joined in order to get help with my physics classes that are mandatory I thought perhaps there would be some interesting perspectives here since both physics and biology are sciences.

    My "best case scenario" attempt is to try and work for a crime lab and there are about 411 in the entirety of the United States so I have plenty in my area to apply to. However that doesn't mean I don't want to keep my options open and from my limited experience there seem to be many types of jobs that a lot of people (myself) have never even heard of that I may be (upon graduation) qualified to do that could be fun.

    My attempts to google the information has yielded limited results so I figure a forum would be the best way for me to try and see some perhaps "hidden gems" of jobs out there.

    So essentially, my question is what hidden gems of jobs for Biology majors are you aware of? Doesn't have to be specific to biology (as I know some jobs just want ANY degree for some reason) , but really anything that would take that degree.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2017 #2
    I once served as director of a forensic science program for a mid-tier university in the SE US. There is a vast oversupply of biology and forensic science BS graduates relative to the number of available positions in the US most years. Getting into a top 20 med school or graduate school is probably easier than landing one of those jobs with a biology degree. You really gotta be a rock star, know someone, or be in the right place at the right time. Graduates with degrees from one of the better ACS accredited chemistry programs are positioned much better, but even then they need a great GPA and preferably some research experience with much of the analytical equipment used in the crime lab.

    As for the other biology jobs that may be of interest, the faculty at your university who are more familiar with your record (GPA, coursework, research, recommendations) and the reputation of your school are much better prepared to give the best advice on which jobs you'll be a strong candidate for than strangers on the internet. Lots and lots of bio majors are students who love science but were weak in math or weak in chemistry, so bio BS grads who are strong in math and chemistry almost always have competitive advantages over bio majors who were somewhat exercising avoidance behaviors, especially when it comes to lab jobs. In many cases, the grads from ACS-approved chemistry programs will be preferred. Most employers have few doubts about the chemistry majors figuring out the biology needed for the job, but there's a lot less confidence regarding bio majors figuring out the chemistry for jobs that have strong components of both (lots of environmental science and forensic science).
  4. Dec 23, 2017 #3
    Yea I suppose that makes sense. I currently have a 3.2 GPA but trying to get that up to 3.5, but even GPA's are kinda...wierd today as you can make a C but be given credit for a B, and B to an A, etc. The curving thing they do is pretty...interesting to say the least.

    I wonder then if switching to a chemistry degree would be better, but if getting a job in a crime lab is as difficult as you say it is then holy moly that sucks lol. But that is something that I almost kinda knew but was afraid of lol.

    My degree does have quite a bit of chemistry to it as well though, 4 classes all with labs so hopefully that will help me out in the hiring process.
  5. Dec 24, 2017 #4
    Most Biology degrees have 4 semesters of chemistry with labs: two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of organic chemistry. This is still a long way from an ACS-approved chemistry major. The "CSI effect" has lead to lots and lots of graduates applying to crime labs so there has been an over supply of applicants for the past 10-15 years relative to the number of openings.
  6. Dec 26, 2017 #5


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    To the OP:

    One of my good friends received his BS in biology at the University of Toronto, and subsequently completed a post-graduate certificate work in Genetics Technology at the Michener Institute (a post-secondary institutation specializing in specific medical programs such as MRI technician work, genetics lab training, etc.), and worked as a genetics lab tech, testing tissue or blood samples for diseases.



    There might be similar such programs or schools in the Texas or elsewhere in the US, so you may want to check those places out.

    All that being said, my friend's experience has been that the work is relatively low-paid and very uninspiring, so he eventually left the field to focus on medical informatics.

    In terms of other biology jobs, I used to work for a pharma company and now work in consulting for the pharma industry as a biostatistician. Some of my fellow co-workers include clinical trial monitors (those responsible for co-ordinating the clinical trials at various investigator's sites where the trials are being conducted), medical writers (technical writers specializing in writing medical or research documents), or as regulatory affairs specialists. With some internships or some additional training, those career paths may be open to you as well.
  7. Dec 26, 2017 #6


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    Possibly, but a degree (bachelor's) in Chemistry might be better, not necessarily for a crime lab job, but for other lab jobs. Is Biochemistry a possible choice for your education?

    As I have been aware of grade-scaling, some places use some strict 90-80-70-60 scale corresponding to minimum A-B-C-D.
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