What Can You Do With a Biology Degree?

Biologist studies sample through a microscope in a lab

Many students choose to earn a biology degree because it can lead to many different career options. When you study biology, you learn about living organisms and the biological processes that can affect many different living systems. Knowing about these biological systems and how they impact living organisms in the world around us can lead to a variety of great careers.

Many students who earn a biology degree go on to earn an advanced degree in a specialized field, such as medicine or pharmacology. Others go into research or work in a classroom.

Regardless of your ambitions, earning a biology degree opens up many career pathways. Let’s take a deeper look at just a few of the options.

Doctor

Healthcare providers – such as dentists, optometrists and medical doctors – often begin by earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Med. The coursework gives provides a solid foundation to pursue medical-related careers. Students study a variety of topics, including biological sciences, genetics, ethics and psychology. They also gain an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy.

Doctors work in many different environments, including private practices, hospitals, clinics and governmental organizations. Depending on the environment, a doctor's work schedule may be the standard Monday through Friday layout, or it may involve more nights and weekends in an emergency room hospital setting.

Doctors diagnose and treat patients. This includes developing preventative treatment plans to ensure patient health and longevity. A doctor works with a number of other healthcare providers, such as physician assistants, nurses and office administrators.

Teacher

Biology teachers and health educators often choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology for Secondary Education. Science teachers provide academic biological information in ways that students can understand and apply. They also teach the scientific method so students can discover information and conduct their own research.

Science-related teaching jobs are growing rapidly as the fields of science, technology and engineering (STEM) continue to evolve. Biology teachers are needed to prepare students for future careers in the sciences.

Health Communications Specialist

Students interested in both biology and health communications may earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree to educate communities about health concerns. Health communication specialists often work with public health organizations to help communities learn about diseases, ecology and health management.

Health communication specialists are usually employed by hospitals or healthcare companies that work to coordinate public relations campaigns. They are involved in marketing strategies to promote community involvement in medical and health-related initiatives.

In addition to being well-versed in biological sciences, health communications specialists are also able to write and communicate clearly. They have great interpersonal skills because they need to work with others to both determine marketing campaigns and communicate messages to the wider community.

Genetic Counselor

A genetic counselor works with clients to create a genetic makeup. The counselor then speaks with the client about their risks of having or transmitting a genetic disease.

A genetic counselor normally goes on to earn an advanced degree, but they begin with a biology degree. Throughout their course of study, they not only need to have an advanced understanding of biology, but they also must be able to express scientific ideas to people without science backgrounds. Genetic scientists must also use their skills and scientific reasoning to assess how likely certain outcomes might be for patients and clients.

More people are becoming interested in genetic counseling because of the wide availability of genetic testing kits. This means that genetic counselor roles are growing rapidly. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this field will grow by 27% by 2028.1 

Microbiologist

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa – collectively known as ‘microbes.' Microbiology includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of microorganisms, including the host response to these agents.

Microbiologists study microbes and try to understand how they interact with their environments. This knowledge gives microbiologists the ability to develop new pharmaceutical products, vaccines, medicines and compounds.

Biochemist

Many biochemists earn a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. This program explores the chemical processes within living organisms. It is based in the lab and explores topics in the fields of biology and chemistry. By using chemical knowledge and techniques, biochemists can understand and find solutions to biological problems.

Biochemistry focuses on processes happening at a molecular level. It focuses on what is happening inside cells by studying components like proteins, lipids and organelles. It also looks at how cells communicate with each other. Biochemists seek to understand how the structure of a molecule relates to its function, allowing them to predict how molecules will interact. In addition to conducting research to gain a better understand of how life works, biochemists also study ecology, support research in health and disease and work alongside other science professionals.

Molecular Biologist

The Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology is a popular program for future molecular biologists. This program studies the structures and functions of cells on a molecular level. Molecular biology overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry. Molecular biology involves the study of interactions between the various systems of a cell.

Molecular biologists must be experts on numerous subjects and sciences before they can effectively conduct research in their field. They conduct research of biological structures in laboratories to better understand complex molecular structures and their functions. Their findings can be applied to medicine, wildlife studies, the food industry and much more.

These roles represent just a small number of the career paths you can take when you earn a biology degree. At Grand Canyon University, you can earn your biology degree and specialize in fields like pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, and secondary education. Join us for one of these biology degree programs and get started in making a difference in the STEM fields.

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1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/genetic-counselors.htm

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