What Can I Do With A Major In Biology?

"I took Biology 101 as my science class to satisfy my general education requirements this year, and I absolutely loved it. It was completely fascinating to me, and it seems like I’m pretty good at it, so much so I am strongly considering declaring it as my major. But I’m kind of worried about it not having many useful applications. I’m mostly interested in it from a theoretical standpoint—I just like the topic. I have no idea what I could do for a living after college with this degree. Do you have any suggestions?"

asked by Marisa from Reno, NV

There are actually a lot of different jobs which you might pursue with a biology degree. Let’s break them down:


Research is probably one of the higher paying opportunities in the biology field. If you do research, you will likely work in research lab settings, and will help research cutting edge solutions in various sectors. You might help develop medications, medical treatments, biotech, agricultural solutions, and more. This is a great direction to head in if you enjoy being on the edge and learning new things (which you clearly do), and also want to pull in a good salary.


You can use biology as a pre-med major. It’s certainly not the only one which works, but it will definitely give you a head start on many aspects of medical science, and can help you launch a career as a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare professional.


With a degree in biology, you can teach biology to others. If you get a higher degree, you can qualify to work not only in high schools but also in universities.

Technical Writing

Another idea, especially if you enjoy writing and communicating about ideas, is to go into technical writing. This is among the better paid gigs as far as writing is concerned, and a biology degree can open far more doors in this arena than a degree in journalism or communication.

And Also Consider These Careers

Those are really only a few examples of the sectors where you can work if you have a biology degree. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities in industry and management. There are also a number of assorted miscellaneous jobs where a biology degree can be helpful. Jobs involving ecology or park administration for example may require a degree in the sciences, and biology would be an ideal fit.

Any science degree will confer certain advantages that a BA will not. Majoring in a technical field gives you a chance to master technical expertise you would otherwise be unlikely to learn, and to demonstrate to potential employers that you have cutting edge knowledge in a scientific field. Biology is a very useful science with applications in healthcare, ecology, industry, and other business sectors.

Talk to your advisor in the biology department to learn more possible opportunities; when you tell your advisor what interests you, he or she can give you more specific suggestions. Also look into internships when you are in your junior or senior year. You may well be able to get experience working in state of the art research labs and other exciting environments before you even graduate, which could pave the way to netting a great job after university.

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