Careers in Biology

So, you entered college with the goal to complete your pre-health courses and go on to pursue a career as a doctor. And then that changed. Your interests shifted and the idea of 6-10 more years of intense education and training no longer excites you. 

You panic. But I have a biology degree and I like my classes! What am I going to do now?

Rest assured, there are still many career opportunities available to you given your course of study. You may not know as much about them, but with a little research and connecting with people in the industry, you might just find that one of these careers is your new dream!

  1. Teach: Do you like working with kids and helping others? Bring your science background to the classroom to educate elementary, middle or high school students. Look into programs like Teach for America to gain classroom experience right out of college to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
  2. Hospital administration: Just because you don’t want to be a doctor doesn’t mean you can’t work in a healthcare setting. Consider the administrative and program management side. You may require an advanced degree like a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) or Masters of Public Health (MPH).
  3. Work for a science publication: Have you always enjoyed writing? Look into the world of journalism and how you can mix your love of language with your love of science.
  4. Research: Have you enjoyed working in the lab and solving problems in your classes? There are many hospitals and companies doing pretty interesting research in the field of science, like food research, mental health research, or cancer research, that you can become a part of.
  5. Work for a pharmaceutical company: If you love medicine but don’t necessarily want to work as a doctor, consider either medicine development and production or pharmaceutical sales.
  6. Work at a museum: Have you been involved in extracurricular activities where you get to educate people about topics you love? Look into working for a science museum. 
  7. Work in higher education: Maybe you just love being in a college environment and want to help future students during their academic career? You don’t necessarily have to teach – look into other types of positions within the university.
  8. Work for the government: Check out websites like to see what kind of federal positions might require your skill set.
  9. Careers in agriculture or environmental science: The skills you’ve learned in your biology classes can add great value to improving farming or solving environmental issues. 
  10. Do something completely different! Just because you majored in the sciences, doesn’t mean you have to spend your life working in the field. Maybe you have an interest in programming or marketing or art. Find ways to gain more experience in these areas and explore career opportunities within these fields. You might find a job opportunity you never saw coming!
By Erin Wise
Erin Wise Erin Wise