Are you interested in studying for a biology degree but concerned that biology is a useless degree?
It is a question worth asking. Want to avoid the time, effort, and expense of studying any degree to only find out at the end that it’s useless.
So is biology a REALLY useless degree?
Biology is not useless, in fact, an ideal choice for students who enjoy understanding the science of living organisms. Majoring in biology can be used as a foundation that leads to lucrative in-demand careers, such as medicine, teaching, or research. A three or four-year biology degree is challenging but well worth the investment.
A bachelor of science in biology opens up a broad array of potential career paths.
If you are considering heading down the path of studying biology it is important to recognize whether you plan on using the undergraduate biology degree to enter a professional field such as Laboratory technician or continue on with more advanced studies such as medicine.
If you choose not to continue with further studies and just a biology degree, your career paths are likely to be limited to a laboratory technician or an entry-level specialist at a Pharma company.
If you are seeking broader career opportunities and higher pay, you will most likely have to get a master’s degree or pursue further education.
So now we have determined that having a biology degree is not useless, let’s explore some of the career options are for a biology major?
Below are 7 popular career choices for biology majors with descriptions and expected salaries, with data drawn from the Bureau of Labour Statistics
Biology Technician ($45,60)
Working in laboratories and mostly working full-time jobs, biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for biological technicians was $45,860 in May 2019.
The employment of biological technicians is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in biotechnology and medical research is expected to increase demand for these workers.
Bio Chemist ($94,490)
Mostly filling full-time roles, Biochemists and biophysicists typically work in laboratories and offices to conduct experiments and analyze the results.
To be a Biological Chemist you may require a Ph.D., having a Ph.D. will open up employment opportunities, however, there are undergraduate roles available.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for biochemists and biophysicists was $94,490 in May 2019.
Employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029,
Health educator ($55,220)
Playing an important role within our community, Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for community health workers and health education specialists was between $40,360 and $55,220 in May 2019
Pharmaceutical / Medical Product Sales Representative ($63,000)
Armed with a biology degree, there are numerous entry-level roles selling pharmaceutical supplies to wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products was $81,020 in May 2019.
Overall employment of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is projected to grow 2 per cent from 2019 to 2029,
Physician Assistant ($112,260)
Requiring a master’s degree from an accredited educational program, physician assistants practise medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physician assistants was $112,260 in May 2019.
The great news is the employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services grows, physician assistants will be needed to provide care to patients.
Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites. They try to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.
A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for microbiologists was $75,650 in May 2019.
Forensic scientist ($59,150)
Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence.
Most laboratory forensic science technicians work during regular business hours. Crime scene investigators may work extended or unusual hours and travel to crime scenes within their jurisdiction.
Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or forensic science.
On-the-job training is generally required for both those who investigate crime scenes and those who work in labs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for forensic science technicians was $59,150 in May 2019.
The employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 14 per cent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
As we discovered, biology is not a useless degree, in fact, a biology degree offers a range of opportunities.
A degree in biology can be used as a foundation to pursue more specialized careers.
If you are wanting to specialize or go down particular career paths, will require further study.
As with any other profession, analyze yourself and understand your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes before deciding on which job or career you want to choose.
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- Biological Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Biochemists and Biophysicists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Physician Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Microbiologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- Forensic Science Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)