- Studying: 34%
- Employed in graduate job: 24%
- Employed in non-graduate job: 24%
- Unemployed: 11%
- Average graduate salary: £19,204
- Average non-graduate salary: £14,272
When pursuing a course in biology, students acquire in-depth, subject-specific knowledge of biological systems and concepts. You develop a range of practical and technical skills from laboratory sessions and learn how to use specialist techniques and technical equipment.
Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
View the best universities for biological sciences degrees.
A 2010 HESA survey of 2009 graduates indicates that six months after graduation, nearly half of biology graduates had entered employment. Approximately 7% combined work and further study and 27% went on to do further study only.
Of those who entered work, about 12% went into professional and technical jobs, such as research assistant or lab technician. Approximately 12% went into scientific research, analysis and development. About 7% went into management jobs, 4% went into business and finance, 5% pursued options in education, around 5% went into healthcare and approximately 3% went into sales and marketing. About 30% were doing clerical work, retail or catering, perhaps to build up work experience or take some time out.
Where are the jobs?
The skills you acquire studying biology can be applied in a number of different jobs, including:
- universities and clinical research organisations;
- pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies;
- private hospitals and NHS trusts;
- national and global health and environmental charities;
- scientific and technical consultancies;
- schools and colleges;
- outreach organisations such as museums, science centres and broadcast companies, etc.
Jobs directly related to your degree
The majority of these jobs will require you to gain further skills or do further study:
- Research scientist (life science)
- Research scientist (medical)
- Secondary school teacher
- Higher education lecturer
- Soil scientist
- Clinical molecular geneticist
- Nature conservation officer
Jobs where your degree would be useful
You may have to do further study or demonstrate particular skills and experience to enter these professions:
- General practice doctor
- Science writer
- Education administrator
- Training and development officer
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it's not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Included with the permission of AGCAS and Graduate Prospects. For the latest version of this publication, see www.prospects.ac.uk. For permission to reproduce, contact email@example.com. We would welcome your comments on this section of The Complete University Guide. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.