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

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kim in Jacksonville, Florida

46 months ago

I am a sophmore at a private school in FL, and everyone I talk to back home about leaving here is telling me to stay and that I need to get a degree but as of right now I am majoring in bio and marine science. I am questioning what I am doing here but the only things I want to do or have interest in doing are bad fields to get into and I'm frustrated and annoyed. I need some advice! Is it worth it for me to continue my degree in bio?

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uummm in Abington, Massachusetts

46 months ago

April in Olympia, Washington said: Child protective services offers a job to anybody with ANY Bachlors Degree,I'm from San Antonio. Hey, it's a job..

Military OCS ,Peace corps, police officer, teacher at a private school, biotech, physical therapist school, chiropractor school..............

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who am I? in Topeka, Kansas

46 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.

I did the same kind of thing. I got a degree in Animal Science with Pre-vet major. I decided against vet school and took a job at a dr.'s office lab. They encouraged me to get an MLT and I did and eventually had the requirements to get my mt through ascp. But my boss didn't/doesn't help me at all. She micromanages and told the dr.'s I couldn't move up because I don't have a bs in MT. More school??? I shoulda been a vet or a pa. At least then I would could have a little pride in what I do. Unfortunately I live in rural america where good jobs are few and far btween.

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Meg in Carrollton, Georgia

46 months ago

I totally feel you! I got a BS in Biology in 06 and could not find a job using it so I went back to school and got a teaching certification which needless to say there are NO TEACHING JOBS IN GEORGIA! I lucky have been working at a hospital for three years so I have a job but I am a receptionist with two degrees!!! how depressing?!?

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Newbie in Los Angeles, California

46 months ago

Like most of you, I read through most of the posts on this thread. I also have a B.Sc. (2005) and was pre-med all throughout uni. When I decided that I did not want to pursue medicine, I took off and went abroad to teach English. I did this for 5 years and now that I am back in North America, the job situation seems pretty hopeless. I have been looking into pharmaceutical jobs because I want to maximize my B.Sc. degree, but without an actual work experience, even "entry-level" jobs are hard to come by. I have sent off resumes and emails AND tried cold-calling, but I can't even wiggle a toe in the door, let alone a foot. I thought that B.Sc. would be a widely-applicable degree and I could do pretty much anything I set my mind to. Now, I really wish I had gone into something more practical - biotechnology, nursing, accountings - anything but bio! I am really hesitant to commit to another few years getting a degree or certification since I don't want to end up regretting getting older and yet again without any professional experience and therefore, no job. How do I break this horrible cycle?

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Jess in Lynchburg, Virginia

46 months ago

I just want to know what the limitations are between getting your B.A in biology and getting a B.S in biology. I'm currently a sophomore in college, and I don't really want to be a doctor or work with medicine or develop cures or anything. I just want to work with animals, maybe at zoo's or travel and work on wildlife reserves and stuff. People keep telling me that with a B.A all I can really do is teach, but then I hear you can always just go to grad school if you want to narrow your field down or get more education. But I don't feel like I need to take chemistry or organic chem if all I want to do is work with animals.

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Flowery in Santa Ana, California

46 months ago

benakena in San Francisco, California said: There are alot of research training programs out there if you are interested in research as a biologist, if you are in sch, the better they got summer internships, and its better to apply them early here is one of the links for Johnson&johnson (sorry couldnt post the links- its prohibited)

I am perticularly insterested in Microbiology and epidemeology. I also found out that companies such as Genentech and Center of Disease Control want to train new graduates or undergraduates still in school but you got to watch out for their deadline for application into these programs

I also applied with the state of California to train as a public Helth Microbiologist (PHM) basicaly it also leads to a CLS - Clinical Lab Scientist Licensure, it pays well - $40/hr but of course it depends with different states

i would say keep your options open, the best thing in life is to have more than 1 plan...

goodluck to you all

Can you pls tell me, how long will it take to get the approval to training as a public Helth Microbiologist (PHM).Because I applied to approval it 5-6 months before ( with all my transcripts) Still I didn't get any thing. I was keep calling them . Every time they have same answer

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GulfCoastGirl in Daphne, Alabama

46 months ago

I should of read these forums a year ago. I graduated in 2009 in BS degree in Biology. I am struggling to find a job. I thought working as a lab assistant in a hospital would be a guaranteed job. Nope. Most of the jobs I have been looking at require at least 1 year or more of clerical or hospital experience. But wait? Didn't I pay (loans) tens of thousands of dollars for a college degree. I should have a pretty damn good job right now. It's aggravating because it seems I can't even get a job but is attainable by someone with only high school diploma(but has experience).
So choices? Physician's Assistant, Nurse, Med Tech, Cytotech? All great, I have a 3.5 GPA, except I am missing at least 1 or 2 prerequisites for each program. So that means I have to go back to undergrad school and take those courses (more $$), then next year apply again. It all seems like *$#% to me.
So instead of going backwards, has anyone heard of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) A close by university offers a post-graduate GIS certificate, I was thinking why not? Maybe having GIS certification with a biology degree would help me get in an environmental firm or even a government job? Any advice?

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Newbie in Los Angeles, California

46 months ago

@ GulfCoastGirl,

I totally feel your pain. I am in the same situation, trying my best to sort things out.

Here's my piece of advice - whichever school or certification course you end up choosing, make sure it comes with a co-op/internship program. I was able to find some programs up in Canada where they alternate between courses and co-op. This way, you have that experience under your belt, and many places that hire co-op students will often offer a full-time position after the term is over. I would make sure that the school is big enough to have some employer connections, by either offering a career fair or some kind of networking event. These would be my priorities when I look into more schooling.

Good luck!

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GunsGurl in Lansdale, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

So reading all these posts has made me feel like I'm not alone in my struggle to find a job really using my degree. I had a dream of being a Board Certified Surgeon in the Veterinary field when I was a little girl so I knew what path I was going to take, or so I thought. I got a BS in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry back in '04 from a small private school as well as 9 credits towards a Masters in Biology with a Microbiology emphasis. Well turns out when I was applying to Vet Schools and to finish my Masters they won't even look at someone who doesn't have an accredited degree. I started working as a Vet Tech the beginning of my college career and have now basically gone up as high as I can but it's not the same. I really want to use my degree but I feel like I'm at a road block. I would love anyone's input on what path I should take. I love all medicine, laboratory, research, behavioral science, animals, and law....I know a little eclectic. I'm just wondering if there is a job out there that exists that can include all that. I'm married now and that's why my Masters was put on hold (not sure when I'm going to be able to finish it) but I'm currently in school to be an EMT and do a lot of volunteer work but that doesn't pay the bills. What's this thing about becoming an MT? Is it really worth it money wise starting out? I just feel lost because I thought my degree was going to be great but am getting frustrated with all the job applications that I've been filling out that always seems to want higher education for anything science related. I'm just lost and if anyone has an idea of which way I should start to focus I would GREATLY appreciate any advice! Thanks!

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GunsGurl in Lansdale, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

So reading all these posts has made me feel like I'm not alone in my struggle to find a job really using my degree. I had a dream of being a Board Certified Surgeon in the Veterinary field when I was a little girl so I knew what path I was going to take, or so I thought. I got a BS in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry back in '04 from a small private school as well as 9 credits towards a Masters in Biology with a Microbiology emphasis. Well turns out when I was applying to Vet Schools and to finish my Masters they won't even look at someone who doesn't have an accredited degree. I started working as a Vet Tech the beginning of my college career and have now basically gone up as high as I can but it's not the same. I really want to use my degree but I feel like I'm at a road block. I would love anyone's input on what path I should take. I love all medicine, laboratory, research, behavioral science, animals, and law....I know a little eclectic. I'm just wondering if there is a job out there that exists that can include all that. I'm married now and that's why my Masters was put on hold (not sure when I'm going to be able to finish it) but I'm currently in school to be an EMT and do a lot of volunteer work but that doesn't pay the bills. What's this thing about becoming an MT? Is it really worth it money wise starting out? I just feel lost because I thought my degree was going to be great but am getting frustrated with all the job applications that I've been filling out that always seems to want higher education for anything science related. I'm just lost and if anyone has an idea of which way I should start to focus I would GREATLY appreciate any advice! Thanks!

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David in Boston, Massachusetts

46 months ago

so really what does a bachelor's degree in biology get you? And what can you do with it?

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Tami in Birmingham, Alabama

46 months ago

You most likely can be a research technician. The entire reason why I took time off after undergrad was to get experience (then go back for a doctorate), but it seems like there are so many applicants to these jobs that I can't get my foot in the door. All of the interviews I got when I was fresh out of college didn't pan out, and many of the researchers interviewing me told me that they had 100+ applications for one job opening. I figured that's why it was so hard to gain employment in the field.

Anyway, you can do research, and probably some other things. I think, right now, the economy is making it more difficult to find a job in the field. I tried to go back to get a master's, but even with my loans, I didn't have enough money to cover it. So, I decided to go jobhunting again....still no luck. Now I'm just trying to decide what the best thing for me to try to do is.

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Colin R

46 months ago

Wow...I've been reading this thread for about 45 minutes now and its extremely discouraging. I was first considering going into law. After looking at discussions for that field, it pretty much added up to this one. Everyone thinks its a great field with huge opportunities at first, nobody can find jobs, everybody wishes they studied something else, etc. I'm stuck in a job that I HATE right now. Building automation systems (HVAC) controls. A lot of mechanical engineering and electrical work. I find it extremely boring and way too stressful for my age which is 23. I'm burnt out on the job and want to go back to school. I know a lot of people will think I'm crazy for quitting this job but I just can't do it. Anyway, my real question to all of you is: Is Biology really that unrewarding?!? Is there someone who is successful in this field? I honestly can't think of anything else remotely interesting to study and I don't want to start on this road that will inevitably lead to a dead end. I thought biology was considered a "hard science" therefore=good career.

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DaysEnd

46 months ago

Colin, what a lot of people initially fail to realize (myself included) is that, for the most part, a BS or BA in Biology is a mostly a bridge to further education. Biology itself isn't unrewarding; it's very interesting and varied, and yes, technically, you could pursue many different careers with the degree. Us "complainers" on this forum are frustrated with the inability to find decent paying, rewarding careers with just a BS in Biology. In my opinion, there are 3 main reasons why it's difficult to get a job with this education: 1) BAD economy--difficult to find jobs in many areas, not just biology, 2) Broad education--many BS Bio programs are broad in scope and graduates don't become experts in a specific area of biology (if you've read a few bio job postings, you would've seen the employers looking for very specific skills and experiences)--this isn't the college's fault as biology is a vast science and you really shouldn't be an expert in particular area with just a BS degree but employers don't agree with that philosophy, 3) Job competition--many students choose to pursue a biology degree, and many of those students look for work immediately after graduation, couple that with significant lay off numbers, and you have stiff competition for jobs. Who's an employer going to hire for an entry level biology position today? Well, again, a quick read-through of job postings defines an entry level bio position as requiring at least 1 year of experience. Some entry/junior level positions require even more experience. I have been looking for a position for 2 years now and have had only a few interviews, and I have an excellent academic record for my undergraduate program in biology. For those who are in the same situation as I'm in (and I know there are plenty of you out there), it's frustrating to spend 4 years working your butt off to get good grades and learn as much as you can to find out that in a large number of instances, employers don't care...

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DaysEnd in York, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

much about good GPA and research work. It's all about having work experience. With so many biology professionals being laid off, and with such high job competition, those professionals are willing to take a pay cut and go after a more junior level position, just to have a job (which is understandable). Unfortunately, that shuts out people like me who really would like to get their careers started but can't, since they don't have professional work experience. It also matters how restrictive you are in finding a position in biology. I'm specifically looking for an environmental career because that is where my interests have been since I was a kid. And I'm looking for a position somewhat near my current home. So those two things right there place major limitations on the job opportunities that are available to me.

Yeah, it does seem strange for you to want to quit your career at 23, but I can understand it if it's really bothering you that much. I'm 25 and have yet to start my career, so you should be thankful that you at least have some experience in something, haha. I'm sure there are some lucky bio people out there who were able to get great positions with decent pay right out of graduation, but there are many people who haven't been as lucky. You certainly shouldn't plan on easily getting a great biology job straight out of your BS program today. So keep that in mind. And yes, everyone talks about medical school. If that's something you're interested in and can handle, consider a biology program. Good doctors are always in demand.

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GulfCoastGirl in Daphne, Alabama

46 months ago

Daysend's post pretty much sums up this thread. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely have studied a more specific degree in biology (Wildlife conservation, Microbiology, Environmental science). Unfortunately, my university only offered a biology degree. I guess that's where your master's degree comes in handy. I do know one thing. If you currently have a non-biology related job (b/c you can't find a biology-related one yet) is to volunteer. Volunteering and other extra-curricular activities are very important and look excellent on resumes. This past summer, I worked with a variety of people employed with the federal government (NOAA, USFW, USDA) helping with the dreadful oil spill. So of course, I asked them about job opportunities. Well, everyone has at least their masters. They also told me to volunteer at local wildlife refuges and participate in environmental projects and organizations (sea-turtle monitoring, water-testing, beach clean-up etc). One volunteer program in my area allows you to assist with researchers doing field work (good experience).

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Terence in Dublin, California

46 months ago

Yeah, I was going for BS in Biology, but I decided, F it! I'm getting the easy BA (less stressful) and I'm going to jump into another passion I've had since I was 13 (or whatever lol), and that is the INTERWEBS! During my academic career (6 years because I kept dropping classes due to anxiety attacks) I also spent a lot of time learning how to build websites, do marketing, and most importantly SEO. Search engine optimization. With those skill sets I can CREATE my own jobs, which I can been doing for the past 2 years. I'm not making as much as someone in a Biotech Lab (the job I was wanting at first) but I WILL eventually. The beauty with websites is that you can build it, set people to manage it, then move on and build another. Soon I'll have a fleet of websites all generating $1-7k/per site each month! I've already got site #1 making 1-4k a month, and I've got the marketing aspect handled by my trusty (outsourced) assistant Ritesh. Now I just need to find another person to manage the site itself and them I'm good to start another website.

Its also a lot of fun because the site I have right now is a movie website, and its fun watching your creation grow bigger and bigger. Anyway, my advice to you peeps is to just follow your DREAMS. I thought biology was my dream (I'm really into nature) but it turns out that my dream is to be an entrepreneur. So I'm just going to finally get a degree (BA; good enough for me) make my parents happy, then do what I really enjoy which is make my cool ideas become reality.

This comment is probably no help to the people who want to work in big corporations, but everyone has a LOT of interests. Why not find jobs in another field? A lot of jobs will think your BS in Biology is great. Besides if you do something you love you have a better shot at making more money in the long run.

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m in Edmonton, Alberta

46 months ago

I actually arrived here looking for other directions to take my degree - this was definitely an eye-opener! I've been reading all your stories and it can be pretty depressing. I don't know if things are that much different in the States compared to Canada so I won't insult anyone's intelligence by suggesting otherwise!

I actually always thought that a BSc in Bio wasn't too shabby but looking back, I suppose I did have classmates that ended up going to grad school or, the super popular one, going for a BEd after degree. I had never considered that route, or the lab work or sales (egads) that some people are mentioning here. Which makes me wonder what was I thinking?!

I graduated with a BSc in evolutionary biology. I had intended (and still vaguely do) to do a Masters in that area and...I have no clue. I don't want to be in that publish or perish trap, nor am I naieve enough to think that there are loads of career options for that type of work. So in the meantime, I got a diploma in Environmental Sciences. Because I already had a BSc, the diploma was only 8 months for me which was pretty rad. I suppose I shouldn't complain at all - it took me 6 months to find work, and I had a bunch of job offers all at once. I'm now working in environmental consulting, which means I spend most of my time in the field. and I feel pretty selfish, after reading some of your stories, to say that I want something else, something that suits me better. Grass is always greener I suppose!

I would assume,with an aging population, medical is the way to go. for you ecology folks, I'm always quite jealous of all the government jobs I see posted to work in parks or as bio techs - I'd love to do that here! My other suggestion would be to get on as a research tech at a uni, I did do that for a year between schooling and the experience/networking was great. And hey, if the American military provides opportunities, go take a look!

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m in Edmonton, Alberta

46 months ago

I was also going to say, and I know this won't apply to 99% of you, but if you are willing to make a move, there is a lot of environmental work in Western Canada. Just due to the oil & gas alone, you'll find a ton of companies and yes, a lot are hiring entry level. I had 5 job offers in one month, and had another company call me 2 weeks ago with a job and no, I didn't have a ton of experience. I actually spent years doing admin work overseas so there you go! And non-Canadian residents are hired - my workplace is like a mini UN!

I have no idea what the US is like for enviro work, though I would assume there should be quite a bit out East with all the industry. Hang in there, I know how grim things can seem, but dammit, you're biology grads which means you're resourceful as hell!! :D

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Sam in West Palm Beach, Florida

46 months ago

I am associated with a leading commercial HVAC company that is right now searcing nationwide for top line technicians. Great pay and benefits, relocation. Would be intrested in talking to some of you who want to move up in your career.

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sheetmetal in Meridian, Mississippi

46 months ago

Sam in West Palm Beach, Florida said: I am associated with a leading commercial HVAC company that is right now searcing nationwide for top line technicians. Great pay and benefits, relocation. Would be intrested in talking to some of you who want to move up in your career.

sam how can I get in touch with you

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Sam in West Palm Beach, Florida

46 months ago

seven seven two four six three eight one five two scyates@msn.com

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Sasha in Scarsdale, New York

46 months ago

Sharon Ruth in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: I have found NOTHING with my BS in Biology, so I have been stuck with these little min wage jobs.
I was mislead in college and I was stupid enough to listen to my advisors who apparently knew nothing except leave me alone!!
I have tried several times to further my education but nothing and now I am out of student loans.
Sorry all just AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I GOT SCREWED
I got my degree in Oklahoma and I have had a couple companies tell me that they will not hire anyone with a degree from an Oklahoma school. I know they can't do that, they can't say this, but they did and so here I am.

I know exactly how you feel, I graduated last yr
May (09)...still haven't found a job...right now I am thinking what to do school wise...should I go for my masters or get certified in something else?? I'm going nuts...I feel like I wasted 4 yrs of my life getting that BS...and now I'm stranded...I don't even know where to start!!!

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PBH in Mississauga, Ontario

45 months ago

Newbie in Los Angeles, California said: @ GulfCoastGirl,

I totally feel your pain. I am in the same situation, trying my best to sort things out.

Here's my piece of advice - whichever school or certification course you end up choosing, make sure it comes with a co-op/internship program. I was able to find some programs up in Canada where they alternate between courses and co-op. This way, you have that experience under your belt, and many places that hire co-op students will often offer a full-time position after the term is over. I would make sure that the school is big enough to have some employer connections, by either offering a career fair or some kind of networking event. These would be my priorities when I look into more schooling.

Good luck!

What school's did you find in canada that have coop?

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585 in Indianapolis, Indiana

45 months ago

bioman said: wel i guess u guys mite as wel just work at macdonalds. it's great to hear that ur counselor was such a big help at my college there's only one counselor now due to all the budget cuts, and she's to busy with an overload of paperwork that she only has time for one appt a day. im 113 on the waitlist and hope to see her in 2018. wel my advice for u pansies is to stop visiting depressing forums like this and look for a job even if it's voluteer work or go bak to skool. i had a 3.8 gpa with a degree in biology and now im my 3rd year of medical skool. yes definately the medical feild is a sure bet for u guys. or look for a job within ur local county, geared twoards environmental regulation. k hopefully one day everybody in this forum can meet up and have a big party once everybody finds a job.

Wow. You really should consider spelling correctly! "Med-school."

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eve in Birmingham, Alabama

45 months ago

sorry to read the comments , which is all truth for me a 2 year biology who challenge the MT. No i neeeded 1 year of lab , but i also work as a phelobomist 1995- i notice the type of stragies that a B.S would impact someone like myself who have o ver 60 crediT;40 more all under a B.S ur right i will get paid $$$ being blind.I'M on the B.S level so when they look @ my accomplihment i really understand take it from me the pay variers in all states indeeded. I'm not getting into a fininical with this Biology i have love since childhood, but working as a pre AP -bIO or AP tutor helps out a lot ,so what ever its worth the love u have 4 this type of Science will pay off @ the end just don't get burn out nor Broke.

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Tami in Birmingham, Alabama

45 months ago

Jess in Lynchburg, Virginia said: I just want to know what the limitations are between getting your B.A in biology and getting a B.S in biology. I'm currently a sophomore in college, and I don't really want to be a doctor or work with medicine or develop cures or anything. I just want to work with animals, maybe at zoo's or travel and work on wildlife reserves and stuff. People keep telling me that with a B.A all I can really do is teach, but then I hear you can always just go to grad school if you want to narrow your field down or get more education. But I don't feel like I need to take chemistry or organic chem if all I want to do is work with animals.

Jess, if you think you might want to go to grad school in the future (for biology), then I'd get a BS. I took the least amount of chemistry possible with my BS, but a LOT of these grad schools want you to take up to organic and biochemistry. Some even ask for physical or quantitative chemistry. Some ask for calculus and/or statistics, etc. The requirements to get into these schools varies so much from one to the other; it's better to be safe, unless you think you'd feel like going back to take some undergrad classes if necessary.

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onejobless in Winston Salem, North Carolina

45 months ago

Bio Major in Norristown, Pennsylvania said: Hello, I had a 2.8 GPA in Biology Major, basic slacker, with some minimal lab experience. The big thing I've noticed is that people graduate and expect a job in their town. This is a global marketplace. There are pockets of pharma areas and other biotech sectors. I basically searched GLOBALLY and found a position in Virgina for 2 years followed by 2 years in a Hong Kong bio tech firm. I've now returned to the US and have TONS of offers and opportunities.

Those who expect a job down the street, will get what people get when they date down the street.

That was a good one!!!

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Steve in North Platte, Nebraska

44 months ago

Wow, I am currently persuing my BS in biology at the univ. of Nebraska and from this forum it seems like i should change?

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Sam in Stuart, Florida

44 months ago

sheetmetal in Meridian, Mississippi said: sam how can I get in touch with you

hey sheetmetal, just saw your post, you can reach me at scyates at msn dot com

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reality check in Houston, Texas

44 months ago

First I would like to say that there should be a class action suit against the deparment of education and labor because of the lack of societal need of general biology majors. Some of you have realized that a BA/S in Biology is a stepping stone to furthering training or education. However if you take a closer look it's not even necessary for that. All subsidiary programs such as Med school, nursing, pharmacy, dental etc, do not require a bachelors degree for entry but rather a specific criterion that can be completed by an astute highschooler taking AP or Dual credit courses and/or a 2yr or less college student.
Now for those of us, such as myself, who had dreams of clinical research, bio-engineering, medical genetics, genetic counseling, pharmeceutical research, etc, WELL WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED? THE REQIUREMENTS FOR THESE OCCUPATIONS DO NOT INCLUDE A BIOLOGY BACKGROUND, AS THESE POSITIONS ARE MOSTLY HELD BY 1) NURSES, 2) CHEMICAL ENGINEERS, or 3)MD/PHD's. Who qualifications are not necessary to get the job done as it is the MT's who do all the work in these sectors but don't get the recognition and career growth is capped because they are not an RN, MD, or CHEMe.

So here is my advice to future students and persuers of such careers. If you financially can only do a BA/BS and need a job after your 4yrs of hard work then choose a Chemical Engineering or Biochemical egineering degree. These degrees truly open many doors. I prefer the CHEMe because like biology, it encompasses a vast amount of knowledge ranging from, industrial to environmental to clinical and pharmeceutical studies. I would only consider choosing BIOe if you can't handle the required math and hard core tech courses in CHEMe. BIOe is more specific to clinical and pharmeceutical research occupations. Mix either of these with clinical psychology if you want to do counseling or behavioral studies.
Now, if you decide to take the certification route (MD,RN etc). News flash starting in college is

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reality check in Houston, Texas

44 months ago

like not taking advantage of early registration. If you are still in highschool, prefferably a sophmore, find out what schools you are interested in and find out their requirements. Make sure that you attend a highschool that provides dual credit or college credit coursed that will satisfy the proposed school requirements. Secondly, have tons of community service, plenty of extra curricallar participations or an after school job. WHY? because these schools are not just looking for great gpa's they want people who can think and relate in other sectors of life. Mr. 3.0, jock, with and after school job at the pizzaria, and volunteer experience at church or the local hospital has a real good chance of getting in vs. Mr. 4.0, math club, 1600 on sat. Why? because one of them is probably a better people person and works better understress.

If you are entering college do the same thing. Don't feel bad just know that you missed early registration 2yrs ago. My point young people? Don't waste your time!!!!

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L in Powell River, British Columbia

44 months ago

I graduated in 2007 with a BSc Biology Honors with Distinction and 2 field job Co-op positions. The Co-ops had taught me I am not physically suited for field work (but not until I was about to graduate), so I looked for labwork. Searched for 5 months across western Canada, but all biology labs wanted a year or more of lab experience. Finally got a job as a lab assistant - in a Chemistry lab. Then health problems cost me the job - partly repetitive strain from the job. After several months off work, I found a job as a Chemistry Lab Tech. Then my hands gave out again because they weren't healed and I didn't know I had something else wrong, so I lost that job too. After many months of no work I found work teaching about wildlife but that didn't work out because I am not terribly good at controlling a class. I am now working very part time in a pet store looking after the fish and assorted other critters. It's fun, but I feel like I am wasting my degree. It also doesn't pay well, and when you are working short hours this is a big problem. So I'm hoping to go back to chemistry now my hands are behaving themselves.

To sum up: be flexible, chemistry often has more opportunities than biology so look into it. Even seemingly offtopic jobs can add to your marketability, so don't turn your nose down at low-status jobs that aren't what you hoped to do. Oh, and health problems can completely mess up any plans you make, so look after yourself. Best of luck - biology is not an easy field to find work in.

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kim in Indianapolis, Indiana

44 months ago

I was a Biology and Marine Science major but have since quit school for several reasons but I would like you all to know I have been doing some job searching lately and have come across some jobs you all might be interested in! If you search indeed.com for entry level there are several lab positions and other positions available all over and on usajob.com Navy field offices is hiring! Hope this helps!!!

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Mike in Tuxedo Park, New York

44 months ago

wow. after reading all these comments my life just shattered. it is like everything the professors have been telling me is a lie. It is like I am looking at the cold hard reality of a biology major. I am currently a Biology/Environmental major at my college. The work I am doing at my internship is going to be published, but after reading this I feel as though it will barely help. man....I love science and I am good at it when I actually work at it, though I have trouble with text book studies. I don't even know what to do with my major. I want to go to grad school, but what do I want to do? It is making me question my major. I would hate to waste my youth working for nothing.

Good luck to all of you who are having trouble finding jobs. I pray that everything will work out eventually. Namaste.

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reality check in Houston, Texas

44 months ago

Mike in Tuxedo Park, New York said: wow. after reading all these comments my life just shattered. it is like everything the professors have been telling me is a lie. It is like I am looking at the cold hard reality of a biology major. I am currently a Biology/Environmental major at my college. The work I am doing at my internship is going to be published, but after reading this I feel as though it will barely help. man....I love science and I am good at it when I actually work at it, though I have trouble with text book studies. I don't even know what to do with my major. I want to go to grad school, but what do I want to do? It is making me question my major. I would hate to waste my youth working for nothing.
Good luck to all of you who are having trouble finding jobs. I pray that everything will work out eventually. Namaste.

Mike, don't be so hard on yourself. Your situation is unique. Published work is a major headstart. This should make you worthy of going to a grad school with well known consistently publishing laureates. Getting your doctorate under a publishing laureate seals your fate to perform in the scientific research arena. Also, being published will open doors to quality internships. When I say "quality" I mean with organizations like the National Institute of Health (NIH) or the World Health Organization (WHO). This is what you want aim for to make all your hard work pay off. However, be fore warned you will be competing with people who have been publishing since middle and highschool and have also been doing such quality internships every summer since their preteens. This is where you will really need good recommendations from your professors and the Ph.D you are publishing under. A stellar GPA is a must. Don't be intimidated and good luck.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

Nice to see I'm not alone! It really doesn't help much. I thought the Biotech industry which has lots of companies in the Northeast, was the answer, to find entry-level lab assistant type jobs. But even that has panned out. All of them either have frozen hiring or seem to want more-recent grads (not class of 1999, like I am; rather, even class of 2009 would be "you graduated too long ago...what have you done in the lab since then?"). Not even Kelly Scientific which has more than one office in each of these little bitty states, has anything entry level. Nothing. Not even in "biotech company capital of the US" - the Northeast. If not here, then WHERE?! And of course anything with or dealing with the Federal government is out of the question because I'm drowning too far in debt from student loans from my undergrad degree alone to ever see any way out of that. Even in the "Income Based Repayment" program, that takes 10 years of every single year proving you don't have the income to pay them back...then and only then they disappear and go off your credit record and then and only then (???) can you get a job without failing the credit check...?!
Why did we major in Biology or Biochemistry again...?!?! To drown as far in debt as English or History majors with just as USELESS a degree as they have??!!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

Sharon Ruth in Fairview, Oklahoma said: I am now 38 and graduated in 1999.

Hey, me too. I guess we're in the same boat. Although I'm in a more progressive part of the country than you are...supposedly.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

m in Edmonton, Alberta said: I was also going to say, and I know this won't apply to 99% of you, but if you are willing to make a move, there is a lot of environmental work in Western Canada. Just due to the oil & gas alone, you'll find a ton of companies and yes, a lot are hiring entry level. I had 5 job offers in one month, and had another company call me 2 weeks ago with a job and no, I didn't have a ton of experience. I actually spent years doing admin work overseas so there you go! And non-Canadian residents are hired - my workplace is like a mini UN!

I have no idea what the US is like for enviro work, though I would assume there should be quite a bit out East with all the industry. Hang in there, I know how grim things can seem, but dammit, you're biology grads which means you're resourceful as hell!! :D

I'm a dual citizen, US and Canada, and every time I've applied for anything in Canada from down here I always get something along the lines of "we don't sponsor work permits" even though I make the point perfectly clear that I am already a Canadian citizen. Then I never hear from them again!! I don't think I'd want to work for any place that doesn't realize that someone who's already a Canadian citizen doesn't need work permit sponsorship to work in their own country...just because they're applying from OUTSIDE the country. At least that's what I experienced trying to apply for a position in the Northwest Territories a few years ago.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

kim in Indianapolis, Indiana said: I was a Biology and Marine Science major but have since quit school for several reasons but I would like you all to know I have been doing some job searching lately and have come across some jobs you all might be interested in! If you search indeed.com for entry level there are several lab positions and other positions available all over and on usajob.com Navy field offices is hiring! Hope this helps!!!

Not Federal government - not if you're hopelessly drowning in your student loan debt from your undergrad degree. They will find you "unsuitable for Federal employment" at some point in the background/credit check. Unless...you only apply for a "temporary" position that doesn't last long enough for them to finish a complete background check, like 6 months or less or a Summer Job.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

Someone in Houston, Texas said: If there are not many jobs for people with a BS in Biology, then why not become a biology teacher? I would think it is better than having to work at McDonalds.

You have to have had perfect grades to get into a California teaching credential program, at least at CSULB. Plus the job market for science teachers SUCKS down there. It just sucks to be looking for any job of any kind in that geographic area. There is a glut of Cal State graduates there, plus the UC's and the privates, and the southern California job market dried up decades ago. Also, even McDonalds in that area won't hire college grads from a Cal State. Nothing's wrong with Cal State's level of education, it's just that there are "too many of them." Flooding the market with college graduates who all have research and paper writing skills coming out their ears from all those years of a term paper in every class except PE, and in the case of science majors papers of anywhere from 10-25 pages in length expected from each and every professor. Every semester/quarter. And they wonder why our typing speed and accuracy get so darned high...

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

reality check in Houston, Texas said: Mike, don't be so hard on yourself. Your situation is unique. Published work is a major headstart. This should make you worthy of going to a grad school with well known consistently publishing laureates. Getting your doctorate under a publishing laureate seals your fate to perform in the scientific research arena. Also, being published will open doors to quality internships. When I say "quality" I mean with organizations like the National Institute of Health (NIH) or the World Health Organization (WHO). This is what you want aim for to make all your hard work pay off. However, be fore warned you will be competing with people who have been publishing since middle and highschool and have also been doing such quality internships every summer since their preteens. This is where you will really need good recommendations from your professors and the Ph.D you are publishing under. A stellar GPA is a must. Don't be intimidated and good luck.

No, no reason to be intimidated by all THAT....anything less than absolute perfection and you'll never work again!!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

L in Powell River, British Columbia said: I graduated in 2007 with a BSc Biology Honors with Distinction and 2 field job Co-op positions. The Co-ops had taught me I am not physically suited for field work (but not until I was about to graduate), so I looked for labwork. Searched for 5 months across western Canada, but all biology labs wanted a year or more of lab experience. Finally got a job as a lab assistant - in a Chemistry lab. Then health problems cost me the job - partly repetitive strain from the job. After several months off work, I found a job as a Chemistry Lab Tech. Then my hands gave out again because they weren't healed and I didn't know I had something else wrong, so I lost that job too. After many months of no work I found work teaching about wildlife but that didn't work out because I am not terribly good at controlling a class. I am now working very part time in a pet store looking after the fish and assorted other critters. It's fun, but I feel like I am wasting my degree. It also doesn't pay well, and when you are working short hours this is a big problem. So I'm hoping to go back to chemistry now my hands are behaving themselves.

To sum up: be flexible, chemistry often has more opportunities than biology so look into it. Even seemingly offtopic jobs can add to your marketability, so don't turn your nose down at low-status jobs that aren't what you hoped to do. Oh, and health problems can completely mess up any plans you make, so look after yourself. Best of luck - biology is not an easy field to find work in.

Yes, even Kelly Scientific has more entry level chemistry lab jobs than biology ones, when they advertise. That, of course, doesn't mean you would GET them with just a B.S. in Chemistry and no lab work experience...

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

Chris in Buffalo, New York said: I graduated with a BS in biology and BS in business in 2006. I could not find any jobs other than call centers once I got out. After 2 years of dealing with the no experience, we won't hire you line, I decided to go to graduate school. My biology advisor was pretty upfront throughout college, making it clear I would need a masters or higher in Biology to get a job in that field.

That's what I did, too, right upon graduation. A call center. Hotel reservations, to be exact. But that was in the late 1990's when times were better than now, and now I can't even find a call center that will hire me with my call center experience being "so long ago."

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

bass in Boston, Massachusetts said: Biology jobs exist in teaching

It just seems like the same qualities that make us pick either science or math majors in the first place make us unsuitable for teaching high school or middle school at the same time. "Lack of classroom management skills." It's because science or math majors as a group of people, personality-wise, tend to be solitary types who work best holed up in a laboratory with a microscope and in my case, a color-blind lab animal by my side. When I walk into a classroom the kids start clowning and running around and basically acting as if there isn't even an adult let alone a "teacher" figure in the room. And that's even if I dress the part - dark colored pinstripe suit, hair up in a bun, low heels or flats, you know, the "math teacher" look. This wreaks havoc on any attempt at classroom management, when the world thinks you don't "look" like a science teacher is "supposed to" look. I'm Native American and that is the ONLY reason for that and that's why I would only set foot in a classroom if it were either that or STARVE or go on welfare. Which, in some instances, has been the case. Starve, go on welfare, or face a daily onslaught of "are you a REAL teacher" or "do you know Math"...!!!!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

reality check in Houston, Texas said: like not taking advantage of early registration. If you are still in highschool, prefferably a sophmore, find out what schools you are interested in and find out their requirements. Make sure that you attend a highschool that provides dual credit or college credit coursed that will satisfy the proposed school requirements. Secondly, have tons of community service, plenty of extra curricallar participations or an after school job. WHY? because these schools are not just looking for great gpa's they want people who can think and relate in other sectors of life. Mr. 3.0, jock, with and after school job at the pizzaria, and volunteer experience at church or the local hospital has a real good chance of getting in vs. Mr. 4.0, math club, 1600 on sat. Why? because one of them is probably a better people person and works better understress.

If you are entering college do the same thing. Don't feel bad just know that you missed early registration 2yrs ago. My point young people? Don't waste your time!!!!

But Mr. 4.0 math club 1600 SAT will probably make a better mathematician or math major. Mr. 3.0 jock would never major in math or science.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

44 months ago

I wonder how many of us who got our BS in Bio over 10 years ago are now wondering if we chose that just to prove (to whom?!) that we are smarter than those who chose English, History, Ethnic Studies, or Underwater Basket Weaving. For me that actually DID factor into it - being told by my family on a regular basis that I "should" major in something "easier" or maybe "easier to get a job in" -- without saying OUT LOUD "because you're a woman and a minority" but meaning it nevertheless.

...and how many of those of us in our late 30's now facing no job opportunities, are looking at going for our MS in Biotechnology or Biochemistry for the EXACT SAME REASON.

Don't get me wrong. I love science and math. I've just always had an uphill battle in front of me facing off against the naysayers. My predisposition for these subjects is genetic, since my father was a cost accountant, but yet I still get the above-mentioned crap when I set foot in a classroom. That I don't "look" competent in the math or science fields. That may be at least part of what made me choose it; so that I have a piece of paper hanging on the wall that says I am competent even if people look at me and assume because I am Native American that I must not be.

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m in Edmonton, Alberta

44 months ago

Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York said: I'm a dual citizen, US and Canada, and every time I've applied for anything in Canada from down here I always get something along the lines of "we don't sponsor work permits" even though I make the point perfectly clear that I am already a Canadian citizen. Then I never hear from them again!! I don't think I'd want to work for any place that doesn't realize that someone who's already a Canadian citizen doesn't need work permit sponsorship to work in their own country...just because they're applying from OUTSIDE the country. At least that's what I experienced trying to apply for a position in the Northwest Territories a few years ago.

Was it a government job? I think they can be quite sticky about wanting work permits and all that jazz. They can be ridiculous; a lot of times you can't even apply for a job unless you're already living with a certain km radius of the job. I've heard both the US and Canada aren't easy to find work in if you're not a resident but there's always exceptions to the rule. And sounds like you don't even need an exception - if you're a dual resident, then I'd state that in my cover letter that you are legal to work, no permits are required. would seem HR is shooting blanks at the company you applied with!

Someone from the States started just a few weeks ago at my workplace so obviously it can be done.

And there is a lot of work here in the environmental sector. Really! I applied to work I didn't have the experience in and still got interviews and offers. My job actually wanted a min of 1 year experience which I didn't have in this field but because it's growing, they want people willing to get out there and do the work. A lot of people I know use www.eco.ca for job ideas.

Hang in there. Sounds like some of you are thinking outside the box and that will work for you.

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Sharon Ruth in Fairview, Oklahoma

44 months ago

Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York said: I wonder how many of us who got our BS in Bio over 10 years ago are now wondering if we chose that just to prove (to whom?!) that we are smarter than those who chose English, History, Ethnic Studies, or Underwater Basket Weaving. For me that actually DID factor into it - being told by my family on a regular basis that I "should" major in something "easier" or maybe "easier to get a job in" -- without saying OUT LOUD "because you're a woman and a minority" but meaning it nevertheless.

...and how many of those of us in our late 30's now facing no job opportunities, are looking at going for our MS in Biotechnology or Biochemistry for the EXACT SAME REASON.

Don't get me wrong. I love science and math. I've just always had an uphill battle in front of me facing off against the naysayers. My predisposition for these subjects is genetic, since my father was a cost accountant, but yet I still get the above-mentioned crap when I set foot in a classroom. That I don't "look" competent in the math or science fields. That may be at least part of what made me choose it; so that I have a piece of paper hanging on the wall that says I am competent even if people look at me and assume because I am Native American that I must not be.

I am in the same situation. I wanted to work in the research field, but I had no lab experience except for my college lab courses, and that didn't count for anything or so they told me.

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