Many incoming college students select a major in biology because they love the life sciences. Often, they are not aware of their various career options when they choose this major. However, biology majors are fortunate in that their undergraduate degrees lend themselves well to a number of fields and are very marketable for a variety of jobs.
A large number of biology majors choose to go on to pursue professional degrees or licensing in a variety of health care positions. These positions include becoming a nurse, a physician, a physical therapist, a genetic counselor, a medical technician, a dentist, a veterinarian, a surgeon or another related health care position. Many of these positions require attending graduate or medical school after earning the bachelor's degree. The specific degree required depends upon the position the student is seeking.
Agriculture and Wildlife Management
Many biology majors choose to pursue careers in agriculture or in wildlife and range management. Jobs in agriculture may include becoming a botanist, a agronomist, a crop physiologist, a horticulturalist, a plant quarantine specialist, a crop inspector or a plant geneticist. The job options for biology majors in wildlife and range management include becoming a park ranger, a department of natural resources officer, a fisheries biologist, a forester, a zoologist or a water conservation specialist. Like careers in the health care fields, some of these positions require a graduate degree, whereas others, like becoming a park ranger or a department of natural resources officer, may not.
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, many more career opportunities are opening up for biology majors who wish to work in the technical fields. These careers include becoming an environmental impact analyst, a food and drug inspector, a customs agent, a patent specialist, a biochemist, a biotechnologist, a pharmacologist, a quality control specialist, a flavor chemist, a parasitologist or a toxicologist. Some of these careers may require additional specialized training in another field, such as chemistry, and others may require advanced degrees. Students who wish to pursue a career option in the technical fields should research the exact training or education they will require.
Writing and Editing
Biology majors may also have career opportunities in writing and editing. Some career options in these fields include becoming a technical writer, a medical writer, a science writer, a science editor, a medical illustrator, science journalist or a patient information specialist. Biology majors who wish to pursue a career in writing, illustration or editing may wish to obtain a minor or a dual major in English, journalism, art or a related field.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.