Bachelors degree in Biology, what can you do with it?

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Little-T in Reston, Virginia

51 months ago

I'm back guys. No luck with Aerotek or Lab-Support for getting me a job. Been talking with them for over a year now. Now I'm in a Bioinformatics program and currently studying for an IT certification. I also know Java and looking to get a job in IT support. The entry pay is about $45k which is higher than the average $33k for what is given to a lab tech in the area. Get out of the field if can Bio majors or you are all doomed!

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ForeIN in Compton, California

51 months ago

Eventual Biologist in Long Beach, California said: You are LUCKY you were able to graduate from CSULB... they aren't even taking new applicants this semester and declared every single major impacted. People that are trying to get in (like me) are screwed. Don't give up...

Omg yes! I found this out a few days ago actually because I plan to transfer as a bio major but now i might reconsider CSULB. I didn't get in when i applied as a freshmen but I got into other CSUs. I choose community college since I didn't get in to school I really wanted to plus its cheaper.

So if having an impacted major even worth it? I don't think I want to do extra classes and have the same outcome as getting a degree from another CSU that's not impacted. Im thinking of Humboldt since they have sooooo many science majors available.

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sushma palusuru in Auburn Hills, Michigan

51 months ago

Hi, i completed my BS and MS in pharmacy in India.I got recently married and came to usa, i am on F2 visa now .To get a pharmacist licence ,what exams i should attend? Can F2 visa candidates and H4 visa candidates can attend these exams? After attending exams any job opportunities? please, i need a suggestion .

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chris in Parkville, Maryland

50 months ago

Beddia in Baltimore, Maryland said: I got my Biology degree in 2007. I knew a doctor who tried to hook me up with a research fellowship when I graduated and he couldn't even pull that off for me. I don't even want a job as a lab tech where all I will be doing is PCRs and killing little mice in a lab for a couple of years barely being able to pay rent, but it sure is better than nothing. Unfortunately I haven't even been able to land a lab technician job (even though I have experience through internships).

Now I am applying to nursing schools, and its harder than ever to get into nursing school nowadays (my safety school rejected 20-30 4.0 gpa applicants). So Im not even sure I will be able to get in.

I am 26 now, getting older, I haven't been able to start a career, and I work in some cafe where I serve condescending rich people, who assume that I am 19 since I work as a cashier with a bunch of high school kids. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have never been a Biology major, or I would have just picked something random to continue my studies with right away instead of wasting five years of my life.

Try and take your Medical Technologist test and get certified as a Med Tech. Than you can work in the hospital in whatever laboratory you want too

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Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia

50 months ago

I would appreciate some advice. I am in basically my last year of a B.Sc in Biology. I got into college and thought that bio was fairly practical but didn't know what I wanted to do. So I basically 'shopped' around in many different aspects of bio. I've taken classes in gen chem, organic chem, physics, genetics, cell bio, evolution, ecology, conservation, microbio, development bio, as well as global development and spanish. My GPA is also really good (not bragging, just to give an idea of where I am). I also have evolutionary lab and microbio lab research and an internship in public health.

I am really interested in field biology but have no idea how to get into it. I have lab experience and really don't like academic or 'lab-bench' research. I feel as though I would love a job more nature oriented, even if the pay isn't high. I'm really interested in the intersection between environment and public health, as well. But do these jobs actually exist? Sometimes I feel as though you need a double-PhD for anything in bio, and I really don't want more schooling immediately. I would love if someone had any advice for me.

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Dentalist in Westminster, California

50 months ago

ForeIN in Compton, California said: Omg yes! I found this out a few days ago actually because I plan to transfer as a bio major but now i might reconsider CSULB.

Wow, never did I think that CSULB's biology program would be impacted. I guess that's what's occurring nowadays. I graduated with a BS in Biology at CSULB a few years ago with the plan to go to professional school, but here I am years later, still not there. To be honest, I didn't do all that well in the program, but I still figured that my back up plan would be to go into biotech. After looking for a job for 2 years after graduating, I still really wanted to go to professional school, so I went to grad school and got my masters to help boost my science GPA. I did okay in the program, but even after I finished, it's still an uphill battle to get into professional school. I finished my masters in December of last year and have applied to tons of jobs the entire year without even an interview.

To all the Biology hopefuls out there, my advice to you is have a plan. I mean, don't do biology if you think it's just a means to an end, only do it if you absolutely LOVE it because the job market out there is rough...really rough. Get an internship and make really good connections. Get technical education/certification like the CLS that will make you more marketable. If you want to go to professional school, you better know what you're getting yourself into...work extremely hard and be at least in the top 5% in all your classes...DO NOT take it lightly. Just make sure you have a realistic plan...whether it's something I've mentioned or even grad school (Ph.D only b/c master's aren't that helpful)...just know that you can't stop at just having a Bachelor's in Biology.

After earning a BS and master's, I still haven't found a job remotely related to my science degrees. Now I'm working in the entertainment industry. Good luck!

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Riot in Massachusetts

50 months ago

Dentalist in Westminster, California said:
After earning a BS and master's, I still haven't found a job remotely related to my science degrees. Now I'm working in the entertainment industry. Good luck!

Are you still trying for professional school? Are you set on, as your name possibly implies, dental school, or would you consider something else allied health-related? You would probably be competitive for Physician Assistant or Fast-Track Nursing programs. What about a year-long CLS program for BS-holders? (This seems to be the go-to option for those that find Indeed.)

Also, out of curiosity, at any point during your academic career, did you participate in an industry internship or undergraduate research? Was your Master's a thesis degree or a non-thesis option? Almost everyone I see with a life science degree that is having trouble finding work lacks these experiences. I think that colleges and universities are really letting STEM majors down by not pushing internship/research experience hard enough.

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tswagga in Woodbridge, Virginia

50 months ago

I've commented on this thread twice now because I feel like everyone has become incredibly pessimistic about maintaining a career in this field with only a BS in bio. Although I agree that getting an MS or PhD in the field will lead to a higher salary much sooner, i've seen instances where people can work their way up the ladder with just their undergrad (although you won't be leading a team of researchers with just a BS or MS) People have definitely worked their way up to lab manager with an undergrad as long as they get the years of experience under their belt. In most, if not all cases that is generally all the biotech companies really care about anyways. I've searched plenty of job listings on here and seen instances where both the BS or MS qualify for the job, the only difference being that a holder of only a BS will require more years experience. As long as you have some type of undergrad education, get your foot in the door, and work hard, somebody is going to notice.

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Mike in Sacramento, California

49 months ago

njbiodude in New Jersey said: CLS programs typically are 1 year long, but may require a few prerequisite courses. Your GPA is most likely too low to get into one in CA, though some out of state ones might let you join.

Thank you for the reply. I got a job related to my degree. I think biology degree is worth it. It is just biology degree holders need to get a significant research experience while they were undergraduates.

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ForeIN in Downey, California

49 months ago

Dentalist in Westminster, California said: Wow, never did I think that CSULB's biology program would be impacted. I guess that's what's occurring nowadays. I graduated with a BS in Biology at CSULB a few years ago with the plan to go to professional school, but here I am years later, still not there. To be honest, I didn't do all that well in the program, but I still figured that my back up plan would be to go into biotech . After looking for a job for 2 years after graduating, I still really wanted to go to professional school, so I went to grad school and got my masters to help boost my science GPA. I did okay in the program, but even after I finished, it's still an uphill battle to get into professional school. I finished my masters in December of last year and have applied to tons of jobs the entire year without even an interview.

To all the Biology hopefuls out there, my advice to you is have a plan. I mean, don't do biology if you think it's just a means to an end, only do it if you absolutely LOVE it because the job market out there is rough...really rough.

After earning a BS and master's, I still haven't found a job remotely related to my science degrees. Now I'm working in the entertainment industry. Good luck!


awww that sucks. Maybe you have to move to a different area or state? I'm thinking of first majoring in biology first as a basis then go back for a master's in a more specific field like marine or forensics. If not then nursing. I might as well just do that now I guess. I'll atleast get my degree faster.

and idk why my location keeps changing I live in the Bay Area!

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Dentalist in California

49 months ago

Riot in Massachusetts said: Are you still trying for professional school?

Right now I'm giving it some thought and taking a break from pursuing professional school. Ever since junior high when I figured out what I wanted to do as a career, I've pretty much put all my eggs in one basket because I really wanted it. If I end up getting a job in the city that I want to go to school, I'll probably give it another try. I'm pretty much set on dentistry, but as a distant 2nd and 3rd, I've been considering medical and pharmacy respectively. I really don't have much interest in becoming anything else in the allied health. I have worked as a registered dental assistant for several years and turned down an acceptance to dental hygiene school, but I can't do that forever. I just had a couple interviews for environmental health positions for different counties. I briefly thought about nursing (but only as a nurse anesthetist), and also getting my CLS certification, but in the end, I don't think it's really worth it for me since it really, really doesn't interest me.

I've never had an internship (which I truly regret now seeing the importance of them), but in undergrad, I did research for about 2 years with a published paper. My master's program had options for a thesis or without one, but I chose to do without it. Instead, we had to go through a rotation of lab work where we worked on a project with a PI.

I agree...colleges really need to push internships. I think they should help students prepare for the real world rather than just educate them in books. After all I've learned, I find that internships are so valuable to someone that has no experience. Not only will you learn, but you're making connections, which are just as (if not more) important. I think that research is hit or miss depending on your PI.

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Dentalist in California

49 months ago

ForeIN in Downey, California said: awww that sucks. Maybe you have to move to a different area or state? I'm thinking of first majoring in biology first as a basis then go back for a master's in a more specific field like marine or forensics. If not then nursing. I might as well just do that now I guess. I'll atleast get my degree faster.

and idk why my location keeps changing I live in the Bay Area!

Yeah, I've applied to several areas of the country, but haven't had much luck. I actually just had an interview in S.F., ha ha. I guess you won't be going to CSULB now that you're in the bay area.

Yes, I suppose nursing is always an alternative if you're interested in that, but like I've said before, I really think that an internship or some other networking position like even a menial job at a biotech/pharmaceutical company that has growth potential is really important. Don't worry about getting your degree faster, just worry about doing it right and knowing what you want to do. Taking a little longer in getting a degree in something that you want is better than getting a degree quicker in something that you may regret in the future. Again, know what you're getting into...I can't stress that enough. If in the end, you still really enjoy it, then that's great! I don't know much on getting into anything in marine biology, but I have applied to forensics jobs, and they can be difficult to get if you don't know someone and have the experience. Where I am, I see very few job opening at the sheriff's department for forensics. I actually went to a continuing education seminar a few months ago about forensics, and after it, I talked to the speaker, and even she told me that you really need to network and put yourself out there to be recognized. Whatever it is that you choose, good luck and work hard!

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ForeIN in California

48 months ago

Dentalist in California said: Yeah, I've applied to several areas of the country, but haven't had much luck. I actually just had an interview in S.F., ha ha. I guess you won't be going to CSULB now that you're in the bay area.

Yes, I suppose nursing is always an alternative if you're interested in that, but like I've said before, I really think that an internship or some other networking position like even a menial job at a biotech /pharmaceutical company that has growth potential is really important. Don't worry about getting your degree faster, just worry about doing it right and knowing what you want to do. Taking a little longer in getting a degree in something that you want is better than getting a degree quicker in something that you may regret in the future. Again, know what you're getting into...I can't stress that enough. If in the end, you still really enjoy it, then that's great! I don't know much on getting into anything in marine biology, but I have applied to forensics jobs, and they can be difficult to get if you don't know someone and have the experience. Where I am, I see very few job opening at the sheriff's department for forensics. I actually went to a continuing education seminar a few months ago about forensics, and after it, I talked to the speaker, and even she told me that you really need to network and put yourself out there to be recognized. Whatever it is that you choose, good luck and work hard!

Wow alot has changed since I last posted! I visited UC Berkeley and decided I dont want to do marine bio. Id rather be in the health field so its forensic bio or nursing for me.

And for networking couldn't you talk to your former classmates or professors?

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Anonymous in Birmingham, Alabama

48 months ago

Try CLS programs if it interests you. They are difficult, and I'm taking at least eight courses a semester (that includes about two labs a semester). The job prospects are much better though.

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Anonymous in Birmingham, Alabama

48 months ago

...my program is two years though.

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td in Stone Mountain, Georgia

47 months ago

elaine in Quezon City, Philippines said: Im about to start college this coming June 2013. I was supposed to be an accountancy student but my parents forced me to shift and take Bs biology instead. Ive always like this course ever since I was a kid and when I graduated high school I started my research about bs bio and it turns out if I graduate in this course theres only a slim chance to get a job. Now I dont know what to do anymore and im not even sure if im going to pursue medicine after I gtaduate this course. Do you think I should go back to BS accountancy at 2nd sem? I need help.

Definitely go for accounting over biology but keep in mind that no matter what field you are entering employers expect you to have experience already. So even with accounting you need to get internships and as many as you can so you get to try out several different types of accounting jobs and more importantly get experience in more aspects of the field. Meet and schmooze with and make yourself helpful to as many people as possible in that internship so they remember you when job getting time comes around. You MUST also get tech skills. Employers in every field want computer savvy people. In fact, search accountant and finance job posts and forums of people who can't get jobs (like this forum) with accountant degrees and see why, what are they saying employers wanted that they didn't get, and go get that. See in job posts what specific accountant software or other skills most employers want you to know and learn it at an internship or at your school.

I would honestly do accounting with a computer science minor to fall back on. But don't be too broad, specialize in something and be real good at that and have verifiable experience in it. But also gain a good sense of business acumen. And if you can't get an internship you need to be volunteering at a non profit or something to get the experience. It would be worse to have to work for free after you graduate.

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lanatwist in Boston, Massachusetts

47 months ago

Helpme in Manchester, New Hampshire said: I graduated with my B.A. in biology , and now i want to work in a hospital lab and no one will hire me because they say I don't have MT or MLT, so how do I get that!!?? Where do I find a program to get certified. PLEASE HELP

www.naacls.org/search/programs.asp

Search that site. How were you able to get through all of your accelerated Bio & Chem courses but are not resourceful enough to know how to search for accreditation for a lab tech job? (Sorry to be snotty, but it's not nearly as difficult as passing orgo, physics and biochem. Come on.)

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Rich in Huntsville, Alabama

47 months ago

I am glad I am not alone in my feelings of annoyance. I switched degrees more than a couple times during my college career. First I was a Biochemical major then I realized that I was horrible at chemistry so I switched to Biology, then tried Earth System Science, finally I resettled back at Biology. After I graduated in Dec 2012 I got a couple internships under my belt: one was a Cancer (the professors research) and Diabetes Internship (my own research, still ongoing by the way [conceptually, don't have a lab to work in]), the second was an Environmental Research Intership dealing with the study of Scarlet Shiners in a local stream. The first internship lasted about a month, the second last about 6-7 months and they were back to back.

I have been applying to Biology jobs outside of Alabama but so far no bites, applied to about 15 out of state and 8 in state (got one bite out of those 8 and didn't hear back after the interview), in about May 2013 I started applying for retail jobs and the like after about 99 submissions and no bites I was finally able to land a month long position at UPS in Dec 2013. So after about a year of looking for work I got a seasonal position and starting in Jan 2014 of this year I am back to square one. I decided to go back to school and get certified in programming in the hopes that it will compliment my Biology degree.

I keep hearing people say "Look out of state for jobs", my response is that if some on here are like me with financial hardships then how do we afford to go out of state to accept a job should we get it? That is one of the main reasons I stopped looking out of state, I have found a lot of Bio/Science/Lab jobs out of state (North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts) but don't have the financial resources to go after them. So my choice is to go back to school get more education and hope that helps, keyword being "hope".

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

47 months ago

Hey Rich, I think it is a feature of the long term unemployed is we can't move. I started looking at part time and on call which worked out for me.

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njbiodude in New Jersey

47 months ago

I keep hearing people say "Look out of state for jobs", my response is that if some on here are like me with financial hardships then how do we afford to go out of state to accept a job should we get it? That is one of the main reasons I stopped looking out of state, I have found a lot of Bio/Science/Lab jobs out of state (North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts) but don't have the financial resources to go after them. So my choice is to go back to school get more education and hope that helps, keyword being "hope".

I had literally no money and relocated to North Carolina for a job in a laboratory (admittedly I'm a certified CLS so the pay is a bit better than what you would get with a BS in Biology). The first thing I did was extend my credit card limit at my bank when I had a written offer. I got in a 1k car accident accident too on the way and it sucked but four months later I'm okay, I paid off the credit card debt and am renting a nice house in NC and now have at least several months of paid experience should the job end (which I don't think it will). I lived in NJ and SC prior and can honestly say most of the south has a horrible economy. TX, NC, MD, and parts of CA are the only places in the country right now with a lot of good jobs.

I'm looking at dental school in the next few years. I recommend a medical doctorste (MD/DO/OD/DDS/PharmD). Many of these degrees even allow you to do high paid clinical research in academic and industrial environments. Look into military//Indian reservation/other undeserved region loan payoffs right after graduation too if the loans scare you. But these degrees are worth it.

If you get certified in some IT function try to get a MSc in either health informatics (very hot right now with the Obamacare mandates to switch to digital health records) or software engineering and try to develop medical software. Avoid bio Phds as the market is horrible.

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lanatwist in Boston, Massachusetts

47 months ago

evolo in Canim Lake, British Columbia said: I think what everyone is saying is this... If you start biology and your GPA isn't high (3.8 is high) I would suggest switching to something else. The cream will be given plenty of opportunity during their undergrad. However for the majority of the faculty your degree will be essentially useless for entry into a professional career. The faculty and advisors will never tell you this because 90% of the students fall into this category and represent their paycheques. But make no mistake; there is no golden key waiting at the end. Just a piece of paper that says you are not smart or rich enough to get your masters or doctorate. In either case, good luck to you.

If you're not "rich enough or smart enough to get your masters"? If you can finish the Junior and Senior level courses required for a B.S. in Bio you can get a Masters. If your GPA isn't competitive, continue taking easy courses until it IS competitive; these could be art courses or dance or anything else that's an easy A. In addition, you can also retake some of those Bio. and Chem. courses so that grad schools can at least see that you're capable of improvement and that you grasp difficult concepts. I did both of these things PLUS I enrolled in any lower level Bio., Chem., and Environmental Science course I hadn't taken just to boost my Science and Math GPA prior to applying to grad school. Granted, I have 117 credits, and still one more semester before I graduate, but I'd rather invest more money to get a competitive edge than sit back and pout about an allegedly useless undergrad degree.

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bobby joe in Castlegar, British Columbia

47 months ago

JaneWay in Elk Grove, Illinois said: I feel like like such an idiot right now. I have a BS in Biology . After I graduated, I followed a totally different path.
I know a friend of mine has a friend who also got her BS in biology and works in some company shaving pigs and working with animals, she feels like her BS in Bio was not needed.
I mean what job can I get now, right away with a bio degree? I don't have experience in research or some direct bio field. I wanted something that would be a good career path with potential to grow.
Now, I'm trying to finish an MLT program. I should have tried entering an MT program at least, but I chose the MLT program for various reasons, despite the good advice I got here on these forums. Everywhere I search, they want MTs not MLTs. I'm going to be an oddball, an MLT with a BS in Biology.
I feel like I screwed up and it's just getting worse and that most of my decisions just get worse because of desperation. I feel like schools are just there to take money.

The environmental field is always looking for biologists!!!

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Anonymous in Fort Worth, Texas

47 months ago

Anonymous in Birmingham, Alabama said: Try CLS programs if it interests you. They are difficult, and I'm taking at least eight courses a semester (that includes about two labs a semester). The job prospects are much better though.

Hi, Anonymous in Birmingham. Would you say that CLS programs are very competitive or hard to get into? From reading this forum I'm getting the sense that it's more competitive in California, but perhaps also because MLS get paid the most in California. After having no luck with my B.S. in Biology, I'm trying to get into a CLS program (post-baccalaureate certificate) because it seems there are many job openings for certified MLS. I know other MLS are complaining about the 3rd shifts, lower pay compared to RNs, lack of respect from hospital staff, etc. but honestly, at this point I think it's better than not finding work at all with a B.S. in Biology. I'm just afraid I won't get accepted into a CLS program and then I *really* don't know what to do with my life...

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bio-life in Los Angeles

46 months ago

I also experienced what you guys have been through. I was a BS BIO graduate and the outstanding student of our class. I chose BIO because understanding life deeper and having thousands of trivia about life to be shared with your friends was so great! Of course I also thought that it will open door for high salary and stable job. I applied for this course very optimistic. I enjoyed my 5 year studies and college life. It become easy for me because I pursued what I really want. So I didn't really suffer on researches and thesis because I love what I'm doing. But after I graduated I started to feel frustration and depression. Because my family really expecting too much for me. And I can't meet their expectation to bring money for our family because there's no such a specific job for BS BIO graduates, it's too random. Although there's some job that can hire me but still it doesn't have anything to do with my course.

I feel all of my hard-works are all have been wasted! I started to think that college is just a joke! My family was needed to go in debts just to support me and hoping that after I graduated we can pay it up instantly! Sometimes I'm thinking that I'll return in my university and kick the asses of the counselors who just know how to take money!

Right now I'm working in a cafe with a fair salary and doing some part time too (tutoring students). But still I really want to use all of my investments in college. So I decided besides on paying our debts I'm also saving money to be used in publishing the book I'm doing right now. I don't want my knowledge to get rust that's why in my workplace I always have BIO books and read it while I'm free. There's nothing good if I will continue to be depressed so I'm still hoping that maybe "someday" something good will happen.

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Orami in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

46 months ago

I feel your pain! I graduated on may with a bachelor degree in biology and now I feel totally lost. I originally wanted to go to med school but I took the MCAT and I did not do good plus my gpa is only 3.1. So, I was looking to get into any nursing program but I missed two classes so now I'm enrolled as a non seeking student taking those two classes, however the university that I applied called me this week to tell me that I may need another class to get into. I really want to move forward without wasting anymore time, so since lab has been always very interesting for me too I decided to change my plans. I am thinking to apply to a master program but I am afraid it just delay the problem 2 more years. I have been thinking that maybe I should get some experience before doing a master but I have sent over 30 resume to different labs and companies an nothing happens. I am really worried because thanks to the lack of information over my undergraduate career I graduated with zero research experience, so it is hard for me to find a job.
Right now I am working as a receptionist but obviously I am earning just 9.5/hour and is not enough to paid my loans and move from my home. At this point I am really frustrated and depressed, I feel that my degree is worthless but still I love biology and I would like to develop my career in that field I just do not know what to do or what route to take. I feel I have knocking all the doors but nothing happens! What do you guys think?

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winescientist in San Luis Obispo, California

46 months ago

4u2 in Atlanta, Georgia said: I first started as a Nursing Major, today, im totaly glad this did not work out because of all the hiring freez going on for new Nursing grads. I majored in Biology , concentration Microbiology. Although it was hard to get a job straight out of college , 8 months after graduation with no job offer and a ton of applications latter, i decided to become a certified Public Health Microbiologist in California (6 month paid trainig) www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/lfs/Pages/PublicHealthMicrobiologists.aspx
after which i volunteered at a Public Health Lab for 6 months. 6 months latter, found a job announcement on craiglist from a top goverment organization and got hired over a phone interview that lasted 20 min.

Im not saying that everybody will be as lucky as i was but NEVER give up your dreams just because you cannot find anything right now. I know that through volunteering and advancing oneself will get you recognized. please see the link below for you that is interested in Public Health or are looking for a way out with your biology degrees.

Also, maybe some of you should consider relocation especialy to - N. Carolina, Washington D.C, Atlanta, Illinois, Maryland- where student fellowships and research opportunities to new graduates are offered on a daily basis by companies such as FDA etc. Contractor companies such as Battelle and ORISE may also be of help.

www.cdc.gov/phap/

GOOD LUCK

Hi, I came across your post because I was recently approved to train as Public Health Microbiologist in CA yesterday! What labs did you apply to and how was the application process? What kind of candidate were most places looking for? And if you don't mind me asking, how much did the lab pay you as an intern? Thanks for any information. I don't know all that much about being a Public Health Microbiologist since I have never really considered it until recently.

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DB Cooper in Colorado Springs, Colorado

46 months ago

I've read a lot of posts on here that claim that biology is a rich kid profession sprinkled with a few super gifted persons. That is kind of true with every profession. I think the discouraging thing here is that Biology skills are perishable and you only have a certain window to get involved. Here are some tips.

You need to understand that most resumes received aren't read.

If a job was posted 4 days ago don't apply. You missed it.

Lots of people find jobs in April and October because labs have started to fire the trash from their initial staffing by this time.

Keep at it and don't get discouraged.

Get a part-time job to keep your sanity.

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Manhattan in New York, New York

44 months ago

Some are substituting jobs with a Phd program. Some phd programs pay as much as a salary and there's more opportunity such as a medical writer. I'm not sure why anyone would major in bio unless you were becoming a MD. Nursing is also good

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JB in La Crosse, Wisconsin

44 months ago

I'm a career advisor for science and health students at a university in Wisconsin. Reading through some of these posts, I can't help but think that a lot of the commenters didn't get comprehensive career advice during college, through their fault or that of their university. It's frustrating to hear people talk about mistakes that could have been prevented if they had spent more time with a good career advisor.

On a more constructive/helpful note, you aren't all screwed. A couple of things to keep in mind:
-You may have to relocate to find a job. For example, we have a huge pocket of research companies in the western part of Wisconsin, and tons of our bio grads find interesting/rewarding jobs in this area right after graduation. Other areas of the country just might not have the same volume of opportunities. You're not going to find work doing high level research in backwoods Tennessee. Actually, I don't know that that's true... Some areas will surprise you! But the point is, you have to be flexible geographically.
-Get back in touch with the career services office at your university. Most will work with alumnus long after they graduate (I know I do). They can provide search strategies, and help you tailor your resume and cover letter to fit each individual job. A lot of this stuff can be done through email, if you've moved.
-Universities are always hiring people with a bachelor's degree for biological research. I literally just took a screen shot of a dozen open positions at UW-Madison, all of them asking for people with a Bachelor of Science in Biology or related field.
-Lastly, a slight complaint for some of you: please stop blaming ACADEMIC advisors for not giving you great career advice. Their job is to help you pick out classes, explore majors, and start to look at career possibilities. You need to work with them AND a career advisor in order to get a realistic picture of your career possibilities, and later, to find a job. Good luck!

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KRB in New York, New York

44 months ago

Aerotek, joule scientific, people link staffing are a few temp agencies that may find you work. I do know that if you live in NJ there are plenty of lab jobs that pay around 16-20/hour with a BA. Craigslist is great for finding some work, Merck, Pfizer, etc are so,e large companies that might have a entry level position or internship. L'oreal hires continually also.
You could also get a masters part time or even full time and find work through that
Good luck!

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rsn0001 in Marietta, Georgia

44 months ago

My husband graduated from Auburn Un. almost 3 yrs ago with a BA in Wildlife Science. He's a over glorified pest control man in ATL. The pay and hours are awful! I don't need to mention he served our country for 5 years before college. We aren't even making enough to pay the bills.

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Ndidi Nwosu in St.louis, Missouri

44 months ago

I want to relocate to orlando. I have a bachelor's in biology but its seeming very difficult to find a job there in my field. I currently work for an environmental laboratory. Any suggestions as to where to apply please no rude comments

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njbiodude in New Jersey

44 months ago

Ndidi Nwosu in St.louis, Missouri said: I want to relocate to orlando. I have a bachelor's in biology but its seeming very difficult to find a job there in my field. I currently work for an environmental laboratory. Any suggestions as to where to apply please no rude comments

Orlando is not exactly a biotech/agricultural research hotspot. May want to try Maryland, Boston, the Bay Area and San Diego. Unfortunately theres not a lot of good jobs in biology and they're all concentrated in a few areas. Ever think about taking some accounting classes and studying for a CPA? Much better idea than bothering with this horrible field. Either that or go into healthcare.

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Mike in Rancho Cordova, California

44 months ago

sab818 in Mississippi said: AWWWW...sorry to hear that sharon; however, I feel your frustration. I've been there. As a result, I'm starting MT clinicals at a hospital based program in August and I'm paying out of pocket. I have gone back for a year myself post-bacc trying to 'find my way' so to speak b/c bio wasn't as good to me as I had expected it to be. I had jobs in the academia realm but unfortunately these jobs weren't paying all the bills but were taking up the bulk of my time. I was tired of the cat mouse, marco polo games. I knew that I loved the lab in a clinical aspect and partially research and I loved drugs (pharmacology). As a result, I'm taking online pharmacology classes this summer in a grad level program to test the waters. If all goes well then I'll get my masters in pharmacology.

Hi, may I ask what have you done since I'm going through the same problem. ?

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Mike in Rancho Cordova, California

44 months ago

struggling in Brooklyn, New York said: I am still looking for a job. my gpa is not that good 3.06. I have no laboratory experience outside laboratory classes. I have my good B.S in biology with a focus on molecular biology. Im wondering does anyone got any ideas how I can volunteer to get experience in biology.

Hey there, I'm in the same situation you are with a focus on molecular biology. did you get a job? .

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Mike in Rancho Cordova, California

44 months ago

njbiodude in New Jersey said: You sound like you're still a naive student spouting back the nonsense your college is feeding you. I'd bet that most biology majors do do some academic research or an internship/volunteer work. I did all three. The problem is the jobs you get with a biology degree and research/internship experience still suck. The majority are academic laboratories which pay $10-15/ hr with no benefits and have you doing b*tchwork for some sorry @ssed overworked PhD who spends more time writing grants than doing science. Some exist in production/QC in industry at the BS level but these are still too often contract positions for $15-20/hr with no benefits. Most masters degrees other than bioengineering/bioinformatics (which offer other non-biological skills) are useless as well. Some PhDs can get professorship offers but the majority do not. And industry is with rampant outsourcing, and ever decreasing venture capitalist funds (who realized sinking billions into cancer drugs that prolong lives by 2 miserable months isn't a sound investment , and the "genetic revolution" would never happen).

Again if you want to help the environment change your major ASAP to civil/ environmental engineering . Work in the great outdoors extracting resources: geophysics. Work in a laboratory : CLS. Help patients: nursing. Make money: accounting / finance /software engineering. Don't follow the BS schools rave about "following your [aimless studying for obscure exams that provide no help for the real working work] dreams" so the university can bereave you of your money.

You do *not* need to be a biology major to attend medical school/ dental school/podiatry school/pa school etc. In fact it's often a bad move to do so--these schools like diversity.


May I ask what is your job now? did you change your major?

thank you

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Orami in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

44 months ago

Is there any happy ending? As I read these post I get more and more frustrated, I live in Florida and here there is not any position for recent biology graduates. I am open to move to other state but my biggest concern is money. How can I afford moving out of the state to get a $10-12/hour job? Impossible! Also right now I'm working as a receptionist $9.50/hour so I do not have so much savings either.
Right now I'm looking to other options such as doing a master or get a BNS and become a nurse. I do love biology and working in labs, but it is making me so frustrated and depressed. I feel that if I get a master I am just going to delay the problem that I already have.

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BioGrad in Houston, Texas

44 months ago

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Believe it or not, your analytical (think statistical analysis, pivot tables) and strong math skills (stats, pre-cal) are very sough after. I work in recruiting for IT, Scientific and Medical professions. I have my "entry level" recruiting position because I can speak the "science lingo" have a very professional appearance and great sales skills. If you have a knack for sales, why not get into Medical Device sales (they make the big $$$, depends on device/market, you don't have to be blonde with perky twins).

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njbiodude in New Jersey

44 months ago

Mike in Rancho Cordova, California said: May I ask what is your job now? did you change your major?

thank you

Im a CLS. The job is okay if youre stuck with a bio degree and nowhere to go as its a one year cert and then you can get a job fairly easily. Still if you havent graduated yet, a degree in computer science, accounting or engineering is a much much better investment. A CLS degree will get you okay starting pay but there really isnt much mobility, theres only a few lab managerial roles. Most people get stuck on the bench getting 2-3 percent raises.

Thinking of a higher medical degree at some point (dental/pa mostly). The debt levels are a bit daunting however, and I already have quite a few loans.

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ekljkjoljkj in richmond, Virginia

44 months ago

Orami in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: Is there any happy ending? As I read these post I get more and more frustrated, I live in Florida and here there is not any position for recent biology graduates. I am open to move to other state but my biggest concern is money. How can I afford moving out of the state to get a $10-12/hour job? Impossible! Also right now I'm working as a receptionist $9.50/hour so I do not have so much savings either.
Right now I'm looking to other options such as doing a master or get a BNS and become a nurse. I do love biology and working in labs, but it is making me so frustrated and depressed. I feel that if I get a master I am just going to delay the problem that I already have.

There is a happy ending in my story. I am now going for nursing. After graduation I hope to start a career in a promising hospital. Once established, I will go for my NP!

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KRB in New York, New York

44 months ago

e kljkjoljkj in richmond, Virginia said: There is a happy ending in my story. I am now going for nursing. After graduation I hope to start a career in a promising hospital. Once established, I will go for my NP!

Good luck, everyone and their mother has the same plan as you. Have you researched if there are entry level jobs in your area for RN? Or just researched new graduates in nursing ? Hospitals are closing, pay will be less due to Obamacare and what about all the phillipino and African nurses that are already here with experience?

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ekljkjoljkj in richmond, Virginia

44 months ago

KRB in New York, New York said: Good luck, everyone and their mother has the same plan as you. Have you researched if there are entry level jobs in your area for RN? Or just researched new graduates in nursing ? Hospitals are closing, pay will be less due to Obamacare and what about all the phillipino and African nurses that are already here with experience?

Of course I did my homework! Location, location, location is everything. There is a very high demand for nurses here..

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helenwhiteley in San Diego, California

44 months ago

You could be a lab tech and the alternative would be working for the government in a regulatory agency or similar ecology related department.

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CG Aux Marine Safety Jim in Lima, Ohio

42 months ago

We all are missing the simple point. "Be your own employer." Every month, I have been buying lab testing equipment to start a new concept in environmental and OSHA manufacturing compliance business and environmental testing. I call it Ohio Marine Safety and I will go to various places such as machine shops, major corporations and test their water and air quality. I will keep a lab top computer with a portable printer in my vehicle and print out the lab results on site. By doing this, I save time by doing it at site. Anything more complex, I'll return the samples to my lab and conduct whatever testing that applies. I believe this concept can grow into other states and internationally. Hopefully I can build this into a large empire and employ thousands of Biologists. I heard Obama state "You didn't Build this business," well I will prove him and build this environmental business. Join together and start your own business. You can do it, you already proved to the colleges that you are smart enough to get a Biology degree. Now go and prove these fools wrong.

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Jane in Spring, Texas

42 months ago

You are absolutely right on it. We bio grads have technical expertise. I am a technical recruiter for IT and Oil/Gas. I speak the "science" language and I'm comfortable explaining scientific processes, and comfortable speaking with other STEM graduates about their place in my clients company.

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Jesse4484 in Kissimmee, Florida

42 months ago

Lynn in Melbourne, Florida said: Biology is such a large field. People in my class ended up in all kinds of industry ( environmental , medical laboratories, pharmaceutical, universities lab , chemical companies, clinical research ). But most go for graduate schools to get more specialized education .
I worked for a CRO after finishing college but the pay is not that great. But once you get experience, you can go to pharmaceutical companies that pay more. Three technicians in my group got a job at Abbott after they did a year or two at a CRO. If you can relocate, check out these big CROs (Covance, Charles River). For entry level they will train you in one of the field - toxicology (small animal , large animal, acute, reproductive, etc), clinical chemistry ,necropsy,etc..
I am not a couselor, just sharing my experience. Hopefully, others will do the same. Good luck!

How do you actually obtain a job at a CRO without any research experience? I have been doing lots of searching, and it seems that every research opportunity requires 1-3 year experience

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Lenny in Alviso, California

41 months ago

winescientist in San Luis Obispo, California said: Hi, I came across your post because I was recently approved to train as Public Health Microbiologist in CA yesterday! What labs did you apply to and how was the application process? What kind of candidate were most places looking for? And if you don't mind me asking, how much did the lab pay you as an intern ? Thanks for any information. I don't know all that much about being a Public Health Microbiologist since I have never really considered it until recently.

Hey there,

I am interested in working as a public health microbiologist. I also live in CA and saw that I needed a PHM certification...how do I go about getting trained or certified?

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Nestor in New York, New York

41 months ago

I'm in the same boat. I graduated in 2013 with biology and minor in education. Go state license to teach I got a teaching job right after graduation but I quit mid year. I realized teaching wasn't for me. Now I'm exploring options. I think I will go the cls/MT route. Get a MS in cls and license to work as a technologist.

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nana in Chicago, Illinois

41 months ago

Beddia in Baltimore, Maryland said: I got my Biology degree in 2007....Now I am applying to nursing schools, and its harder than ever to get into nursing school nowadays (my safety school rejected 20-30 4.0 gpa applicants). So Im not even sure I will be able to get in.

Wow...Have you considered moving to a new state? A family member was having issues with obtaining work in the medical field here in my home state Illinois. We realized the competition here was far too high because when they moved out of state and applied for the same jobs in that area, offers were practically thrown at them.

I wonder if the same could apply for your nursing school issues. Here its literally wake up and your in a nursing program if you want. I actually know quite a few would've been Doctors who opted for the nursing degree because at some of our schools 5 years combo degree gets you in and out the door, and that's going from high school into a direct nursing program.
The only catch for some programs here is that you have to have scored at least a 21 ACT score (if you're fresh out of High School) Or you have passed a certain level of required science/math classes at another college if transferring.

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lizzard1 in Gary, Indiana

41 months ago

Ive been working on a biology degree, just to have to pick up extra classes because of scheduling conflicts of courses...ended up reaching maximum timeframe with two majors and instead of having my ba in bio graduated with an associate in early childhood which sucks because it's not my passion feeling pretty stuck now. Im trying to figure out how to get this biology courses to count toward some degree becasue i refuse to let them goto waste

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