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

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 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

52 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

52 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

52 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

52 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

52 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

52 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

52 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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smarty88 in Bronx, New York

52 months ago

I just have to say that while this board is filled with some very informative posts, its also filled with a bunch of negative nacy's. I am 22, a junior in college and my major is Bio, My goal is medical school; however I also have enough sense to have a back up plan. which consists of PA school,Nursing or an entry level position. Medical school isint for everyone and if thats not wht you wish to do, dont force yourself to dod something that wont make you happy. For those who are struggling to find positions with a bachelors in Biology perhaps you should accept the fact that you may have to go back to school, The 2-3 years plus that your wasting looking for a job you could have been specialized in some feild by now. I hope it works out for everyone;afterall we are all chasing our dreams no matter what it may be.

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smarty88 in Bronx, New York

52 months ago

ps, if I could have done it all over again I would have chosen a bachelors in nursing so that I could have some sort of guaranteed income upon graduating from school.

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raych in Oakland, California

52 months ago

How did the REHS license work out?

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MrGetEmployed in Honolulu, Hawaii

52 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.

Hi Janeway! A little late to add to the conversation but I read your post and found it interesting. Your situation is not unlike a good percentage of college graduates today. Our society requires young people to decide on a career and upon doing so commit to a minimum of 2 to 4 years of a college education; during this time it is not unusual for the young individual to change their mind repeatedly. I did not go back to school to get my bachelors degree until I was 23, and that was the best thing I could have ever done at that point. Working numerous dead-end jobs and having an ample amount of time to explore career opportunities without the financial commitment of enrolling in college at the age of 18 or 19 truly helped me in making a better decision - basically because I was much better informed. Of course, this is back in 1980. I wish you the best of luck!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

smarty88 in Bronx, New York said: I just have to say that while this board is filled with some very informative posts, its also filled with a bunch of negative nacy's. I am 22, a junior in college and my major is Bio, My goal is medical school; however I also have enough sense to have a back up plan. which consists of PA school,Nursing or an entry level position. Medical school isint for everyone and if thats not wht you wish to do, dont force yourself to dod something that wont make you happy. For those who are struggling to find positions with a bachelors in Biology perhaps you should accept the fact that you may have to go back to school, The 2-3 years plus that your wasting looking for a job you could have been specialized in some feild by now. I hope it works out for everyone;afterall we are all chasing our dreams no matter what it may be.

Because it's not like NYC public schools even needs Science teachers even in the Bronx these days. I got turned down two years in a row for the Bronx science teaching fellowship - one time applying from the West Coast before I physically moved over here, and the next time even being here. And the older I get the more that will happen, I'm afraid. And this is even with seven letters of recommendation attached to the application. Like I said. Major in science instead of Underwater Basket Weaving - what were we thinking!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Sharon Ruth in Fairview, Oklahoma said: 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.

I did have one useful piece of advice given to me at Cal State Fullerton by the Biotechnology department chair. It won't work if you can't afford to offer yourself as an UNPAID intern to whatever biochemical or chemical companies you can find in the area you can get to on a regular daily basis, of course. His other suggestion was offer to do the same thing as an intern lab assistant but for less than whatever minimum-wage is in your state, just to get your foot in the door and get at least 6 months' worth of recent experience. Just do it less than part-time if you can't afford to get there on either zero dollars or less than minimum-wage. You know, offer yourself up for less than it would cost you in gas money to get there (these places are rarely anywhere that public transportation goes). Theoretically, and in better economic times, offering yourself up as an unpaid intern or a less-than-minimum-wage intern to do the laboratory dirty work wouldn't require that they ask for recent paid full time experience nor would it require that they have to demand that your B.S. degree be recently earned, like "less than 5 years ago." Theoretically. Well, these days and in this economy every science major should all know what "theoretically" means.

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sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois

52 months ago

I am really sad to hear all of this. No one ever told you guys that a bs degree is meant to weed out the weak for graduate programs. Most people who graduate with a bs are aspiring for masters or doctoral degrees in medical pharm and envio sciences. I wanted to be a pa but had to work full time during school to pay bills grades suffered. 3.2 IS not good enough. So I am now in a 15 month accelerated bsn program. Another 4 year degree in 15 months. Then I can work as a rn while taking dnp courses to get my doctorates and a higher position than a pa. Doors Do open with a bs degree. You just have to realize which doors. If you wanted a career after 4 years then a specialized associates from a tech school is what you wanted. You all bought the wrong tool for the job plain and simple. Now for all those who can't find a job with a generic bs GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Do not make excuses like I. Am too old or have kids. How bad do you really want that career part time school is availible 99% of the time. And fafsa loans are there plus personal school loans. Money is out there but again how bad do you want it? By the time I am done 9 years of school and a paycheck and job I want. Oh and 120000 in loans. So if I can get all that money and put the time in anyone can I am not special. Please take these words and do a self reflection. Ask the hard questions. Ask how bad do I want it?

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

52 months ago

sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois said: Now for all those who can't find a job with a generic bs GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Do not make excuses like I. Am too old or have kids. How bad do you really want that career part time school is availible 99% of the time. And fafsa loans are there plus personal school loans.

Once someone obtains a bachelor's degree, "FAFSA loans", otherwise known as GOVERNMENT GRANTS and NON-INTEREST loans, that person is ineligible for continued government funding. The government doesn't fund graduate school programs or a second degree. The only kinds of loans that are available at the graduate level, that I know of, are the private kind. The most sensible thing someone with an undergraduate degree in Biology can do if they decide to go back to school, is see if they can get a scholarship, have their employer pay for it if they have a job, or overspecialize in medical school.

sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois said: Oh and 120000 in loans.

Encouraging people here, some of whom may be up to $60,000 debt to take another $60,000 in entirely private loans for a job that starts out as $60,000 ,at the most, is not the best move.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

52 months ago

sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois said: Now for all those who can't find a job with a generic bs GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Do not make excuses like I. Am too old or have kids. How bad do you really want that career part time school is availible 99% of the time. And fafsa loans are there plus personal school loans.

Once someone obtains a bachelor's degree, "FAFSA loans", otherwise known as GOVERNMENT GRANTS and NON-INTEREST loans, that person is ineligible for continued government funding. The government doesn't fund graduate school programs or a second degree. The only kinds of loans that are available at the graduate level, that I know of, are the private kind. The most sensible thing someone with an undergraduate degree in Biology can do if they decide to go back to school, is see if they can get a scholarship, have their employer pay for it if they have a job, or overspecialize in medical school.

sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois said: Oh and 120000 in loans.

Encouraging people here, some of whom may be up to $60,000 debt to take another $60,000 in entirely private loans for a job that starts out as $60,000 ,at the most, is not the best move.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

52 months ago

sheanyrd1 in Oak Brook, Illinois said: If you wanted a career after 4 years then a specialized associates from a tech school is what you wanted. You all bought the wrong tool for the job plain and simple.
An associate's degree is a two year degree, not a four year degree. Tech schools don't train people for careers, they train them for jobs. Job training is very specific and makes those who receive it employable after the proper amount of training. A career is not a job. A career is what emerges from a sequence of jobs over a period of time. A career is not even tied to a specific "job title", it's tied to a job sector. Colleges have traditionally prepared students for careers. Careers can not be prepared for in four years because the knowledge being acquired is broader, and less specific, which is why students aren't always employable after four years of studying a subject, like mathematics or biology.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Average in Medford, Massachusetts said: Once someone obtains a bachelor's degree, "FAFSA loans", otherwise known as GOVERNMENT GRANTS and NON-INTEREST loans, that person is ineligible for continued government funding. The government doesn't fund graduate school programs or a second degree. The only kinds of loans that are available at the graduate level, that I know of, are the private kind. The most sensible thing someone with an undergraduate degree in Biology can do if they decide to go back to school, is see if they can get a scholarship, have their employer pay for it if they have a job, or overspecialize in medical school.

Encouraging people here, some of whom may be up to $60,000 debt to take another $60,000 in entirely private loans for a job that starts out as $60,000 ,at the most, is not the best move.

It's also not a good idea to tell people that they can just go back into drowning further in debt when/if they're so far in it already that they'd never qualify for private student loans. Private student loans are credit-based and those of us drowning from as-yet-untouched undergraduate debt would have to have a credit-worthy cosigner to qualify for private student loans. And if we could have gotten that in the first place (undergrad) then we wouldn't be drowning in debt now. I personally don't have anyone credit-worthy enough who's willing to cosign for me for grad school now any more than I did back then - or my life wouldn't suck now worse than it did back then. I had nobody except "Uncle Sam" willing to pay for my undergrad degree and I sure as heck don't have anyone willing to pay for grad school - that's just the kind of family I come from and the kind of people I wind up schlepped in with and living with and dealing with. At this point I'd have to marry someone employed or rich enough to be able to pay for grad school for me - and everyone knows that men aren't willing to do that nowadays.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Average in Medford, Massachusetts said: The most sensible thing someone with an undergraduate degree in Biology can do if they decide to go back to school, is see if they can get a scholarship, have their employer pay for it if they have a job, or overspecialize in medical school.

Scholarships are getting so much more competitive that you have to be under-30, period, before they will even look at you. And I think no less than 20 recommendation letters, all recently and none from your high school teachers or your family priest (my old standbys).

And as for an employer pay for it - what are we all talking about here, the fact that NO ONE WILL HIRE US AT ALL with "just" a BS in Biology. AT ALL. Period. We're talking permanent unemployment and when that runs out, the Welfare line and Food Stamps. Not even Call Center jobs. Not even a temp agency as a QC technician in some food factory out in the boondocks somewhere. Nothing. Sit around on your computer all day and send out resumes this way because if you tried to drive around to all the million-plus biotech companies in the 9-state area around you, all you'd do is waste gas and bridge toll and road tolls only to get the "thanks for stopping by" treatment as they threw your resume in the trash after seeing you there in person...or no, maybe that's just ME again.
Point is, how can we get an EMPLOYER to sponsor us for grad school when we can't get EMPLOYED at all because of our BS degree?! First we'd have to find an employer that would hire us!

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FAILURE! in Colorado Springs, Colorado

52 months ago

Like many of you i got my BA in biology with a minor in chemistry and spanish..since you got to be bilingual to get a job in colorado springs...i applied to med school with a 3.89 in denver, oregon and cali and did not get in. I worked for walgreens for the past 9 years as a pharmacy technician but was laid off last feb. I have put in job applications at mcdonalds and couldn't even get it. I had a friend who mentioned the clinical lab scientist program that was being offered at the school i grad from. And although im two classes shy of gettting a second bacherlors degree i have maxed out on undergraduate student loans. The other problem with going for this program is that you have to train at a hospital 8 hours a day 5 days a week with no pay for a year! And as a single parent i don't belive i can do this. I am lost. My only option at this point is give up my kid and join the air force. I understand all of your pain. You never think that when you graduate from college you end up unemployed and there are no biotech firms in colorado! For those who say go back to school how? Especially when you are maxed out on udnergraduate financial aide. Its not so simple. Medical schools get more and more competitive each year adding new classes or test. One college i applied to had 1500 applicates and took 50! I wish i could offer words of encouragement. Don't do a bacherlors in biology do it in health care science, nursing, health care adminstrtion etc...biology and or chemsitry as a bs won't get you far.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

FAILURE! in Colorado Springs, Colorado said: Like many of you i got my BA in biology with a minor in chemistry and spanish..since you got to be bilingual to get a job in colorado springs...i applied to med school with a 3.89 in denver, oregon and cali and did not get in. I worked for walgreens for the past 9 years as a pharmacy technician but was laid off last feb. I have put in job applications at mcdonalds and couldn't even get it. I had a friend who mentioned the clinical lab scientist program that was being offered at the school i grad from. And although im two classes shy of gettting a second bacherlors degree i have maxed out on undergraduate student loans. The other problem with going for this program is that you have to train at a hospital 8 hours a day 5 days a week with no pay for a year! And as a single parent i don't belive i can do this. I am lost. My only option at this point is give up my kid and join the air force. I understand all of your pain. You never think that when you graduate from college you end up unemployed and there are no biotech firms in colorado! For those who say go back to school how? Especially when you are maxed out on udnergraduate financial aide. Its not so simple. Medical schools get more and more competitive each year adding new classes or test. One college i applied to had 1500 applicates and took 50! I wish i could offer words of encouragement. Don't do a bacherlors in biology do it in health care science, nursing, health care adminstrtion etc...biology and or chemsitry as a bs won't get you far.

You mean you can get more Undergraduate student loans if you go for a second bachelor's? Heck, that would keep me out of the battered womens' shelters, at least. I hope.

And I hear you with an acceptance ratio like that; it sounds like Yale's or Dartmouth's.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

And where I am, a job as a Pharmacy technician or Pharmacy clerk, requires a separate Pharmacy Tech license which just your BS in Biology alone doesn't qualify you for. Even those jobs are requiring your Bachelor's degree to be in Pharmaceutical Science specifically. Not Biology. Not really Chemistry either, or Biochem. I mean, true, I can start looking around in the other states around me and see if they're that picky about licensing every little thing (this state even has a Teachers' Assistant license that you have to take just to be a T.A in a public school, so if you didn't quite qualify for the NY State Biology teacher license you'd think you could just GET a job as a T.A. - no way.) ... like maybe start looking at Massachusetts or Maine or New Jersey or Pennsylvania. That's what I mean about "driving around the 9-state area" in my previous post.

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Not as Described in Saint John, Indiana

52 months ago

Let me make this clear: I do not like my job. I like so many others of you, wanted to work with animals, but those jobs are pretty much nonexistent. What a way to find out I don't like lab work!
Now that I am out of school, I wonder what the "Wildlife Biology" and "Marine Biology" and "Zoology" majors do....those positions have to be so competitive, and to see a listing for one is so rare.

Your advisors won't tell you this, but a bio degree means more school. Maybe not now, but eventually. As I sit now, I need more education to move up from a tech position to a manager (Master's or more would be needed). Not that I even want that!

Also, as so many have said, entry level jobs have pretty much gone out the window. There is also a gap because many of the positions for more qualified people sit empty. I realize I got lucky more than once to get jobs at all. Either way, entry level jobs have gone down everywhere, in all fields because so many experienced are out of work and will take less.

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Not as Described in Saint John, Indiana

52 months ago

With a BS in bio, you have two choices:
1) Compete with many others for a dead end job. You may need to have experience or know someone at the company. I lucked in to my experience and I knew someone to get me my first job.

2) More school....if not right away, then after you work for a while. Or a Professional degree program. (but be warned, look into what you will be making and weigh that against your student loans. Vet school grad's make about 55,000 a year and can have 200,000 in loans).

If you are in school, keep your grades as high as possible and try to do an internship. It is REALLY important right now to have work experience. High grades aren't as important if you are going to get a job, but to get into a grad program they are. Keep in mind that you will most likely end up there at some point to move up. Hope this helps, and good luck. It's rough out there. Advisors give you no help, either. They promised me a job as a freshman and said i'd be a test tube senior year.

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Hillary K. in Beaverton, Oregon said: Hmm, yeah. I ran into the same difficulties. Having graduated w my bachelors in biology in may 08, I started job hunting for science related jobs. Had some interviews, but was up against stiff competition, against ppl w lab experience who had been laid off. So, as a newbie, I didn't get hired. Now I work at a car dealership in the business world...but hoping to use my science again soon. Good luck to ya..

Another thing those of us who graduated in the 1990's with our BS' are up against. People 10 years younger than us whose degrees are "more recent" and who aren't pushing 40 and facing the additional "ism" of age discrimination. Add that to being a displaced homemaker and I wish the bank would just repossess my degree.

I would add that part of the problem is applying like crazy for jobs during the winter months when everything is "frozen" not just hiring but the streets, the sidewalks, the bridges, the freeways, etc. But that's just a seasonal excuse. Why, I remember in the good old days, the early turn of this century, when even if an employer got 1,000 resumes sent to them they went through every single one and contacted the people - I remember Kelly Services in San Francisco, when they were at 55 California St., had a receptionist who did precisely that. I once walked in and saw a two-foot stack of resumes on her desk and she was going through every one of them and contacting the people to come in and take tests. 2001 seems like CENTURIES ago, doesn't it....?!

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Not as Described in Saint John, Indiana said:
Now that I am out of school, I wonder what the "Wildlife Biology" and "Marine Biology" and "Zoology" majors do....those positions have to be so competitive, and to see a listing for one is so rare.

Actually, there are a few if you're looking in public sector like state and local government and non profits. In fact that's ALL I see when I look in those places. But you're right about them being mega-competitive. They demand majors that are very specific within Biology probably because they know that these days they have the upper hand. No employer really wants to look at 1,000 resumes or applications from out of work Biology majors who graduated in the 1990s and still have yet to set foot in the field in any way other than substitute high school teaching.

And on that note, if I could even do that in a decent area where the kids wanted to learn instead of throwing things at the teacher whom they've already insulted by implying that she didn't look competent or like a "real" teacher at all in the first place....those jobs, too, are mega-competitive; and again with wanting people whose degrees aren't from longer ago than 2005.

I know this won't help anyone because it's also of little use if you can't get a job doing it, but a few states still allow you to get your first, "provisional" teacher license in your major subject with just the Bachelor's degree in it, and sometimes the Praxis teacher tests (which test your ability to teach). Most states that do that, however, the resulting piece of paper that you can use to decorate your room is of no use outside the state that issued it, and very little use in the state because most of that state's school districts won't hire anyone on the "provisional" level. Also thanks to the Every Child Left Behind Act most states have done away with that level of teacher licensing and don't accept licenses from other states which do still have them.

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Robak in Des Moines, Iowa

52 months ago

I have a BS in biology from a top notch college. Like many, I was a pre-med student but then dropped the idea as I questioned my commitment to Med school (cost and time). I work as a clinical technician at a hospital - its great experience working with patients and understanding how the clinical procedures work, etc etc. I am applying to grad school in healthcare management.. so yeah, having a bio major sucks but a grad degree with it will help .. hopefully

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Pamela in Rockaway Park, New York

52 months ago

Robak in Des Moines, Iowa said: I have a BS in biology from a top notch college. Like many, I was a pre-med student but then dropped the idea as I questioned my commitment to Med school (cost and time). I work as a clinical technician at a hospital - its great experience working with patients and understanding how the clinical procedures work, etc etc. I am applying to grad school in healthcare management.. so yeah, having a bio major sucks but a grad degree with it will help .. hopefully

It's not having the Bio major that sucks per se, because it doesn't suck as much as having a History or Art major or even Liberal Studies. It is at least a SCIENCE. And the coursework that you had to have to take it, at least should prove that you can "do Math" as I constantly have to tolerate being asked everywhere I go. At least up to and including Calculus. At any school that awards a Bachelor's of Anything in Biology, am I right?

Small consolation, I know, that at least "you can do Math." For all the good that's doing in the job search. Heck, from typing all my own term papers I am now up to 95 words a minute and climbing...for all the good THAT's doing.

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angel <3 in Freeport, Bahamas

52 months ago

i really won stuydin bio but after readin these comments n thinkn about dis economy in the bahamas i realy dnt knw wat 2 do....!! :-(

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Mimi

51 months ago

Omg, ya'll are scaring me. After taking all my prereq's, for nursing, I decided to change my major to biology because it fascinated me. Now, after reading all these posts, I'm not too sure I made the right decision....Please someone tell me some positive feedback or maybe give me some pointers on what to do before I finish school. I just graduated from community and am about to enter the university (shouldve been nursing program), so any advice?

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chemist in Meridian, Mississippi

51 months ago

Spend your summers doing internships and co-ops. Unless you want to stay in a lab, get a graduate degree in a field that will get you out of there. I have several friends who were bio majors and went to work for big pharma companies. After gaining experience they got their MBA and specialized in areas like HR. Now they are very successful people. Have an open mind and being willing to relocate to greater opportunities. Initially, I was negative and bitter about this degree because it is so limited IN MY AREA; however, since I've moved to accept a job two years ago, I get phone calls every other month offering me a position in a pharma company or environmental lab. The sky is the limit. Honestly, nursing is where you would find a job sooner and make more money as well. You should research the areas you are interested in very thoroughly. There are several options out there. Good Luck!

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unclesam in Greenfield, Massachusetts

51 months ago

wow that is alot of posts.... BS in Biology here no jobs yet not even a call back, i refuse to work for minumum wage. what is the world coming to?

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Mimi

51 months ago

After reading all these posts and doing some local research, I have decided to change my major back to nursing...thanks for all the posts, it really helped me out before it was too late....=)

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James in Hatfield, Pennsylvania

51 months ago

jobsearch.usajobs.gov/search.aspx?q=biology&where=&x=0&y=0&brd=3876&vw=b&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y

if your interested in wildlife or animals here are plenty of jobs

I also had an opportunity with an aquarium which only required an AS in biology but it was taken up quickly =)

there are also internships at zoos etc

good luck everyone out there

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biostudent in Knoxville, Tennessee

51 months ago

Biology is a USELESS degree in and of itself. Most people use biology as a gateway for a pre-professional school such as medical school, pharmacy school, dental school, optometry school, physical therapy, chiropractic and etc. Also, having a biology degree is simply not enough. You must have a high GPA in order to gain entrance to any of the above professional programs. Medical= 3.6 and above, pharmacy, dental, and optometry= 3.4 and above, and physical therapy like 3.2 and above. So yes, if you have a biology degree and a poor GPA (anything below a 3.2) your degree is useless. Unless of course you would be interested in teaching high school. It may require a few more education classes, but in some states, just a degree is sufficient.

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tnp0511 in Cape May, New Jersey

51 months ago

Stick with the nursing. You will always have a job!! Upon graduation, a biology degree doesn't take you far unless you have another few years to go back to school. You have to take a lot of science classes for nursing so you will stay interested, but once you get your nursing degree and get a job, then go back. Take it from a lot of broke, biology degree holders on here, its not worth it.

Mimi said: Omg, ya'll are scaring me. After taking all my prereq's, for nursing, I decided to change my major to biology because it fascinated me. Now, after reading all these posts, I'm not too sure I made the right decision....Please someone tell me some positive feedback or maybe give me some pointers on what to do before I finish school. I just graduated from community and am about to enter the university (shouldve been nursing program), so any advice?

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Nikki in Pittston, Pennsylvania

51 months ago

Sasha in New York, New York said: Ok!! So I finally found a job afterlooking for a yr and a half , working in a lab!!! YAY. Now I'm trying to find information on schools that offer medical laboratory sciences so I can go for my masters. Anyone with any info or tips...:)

Good luck to those still job hunting I know it's horrible waiting.

Congratulations!! Ive been looking since I graduated in May 2010, and I though I was taking a long time to find a job using my Bio degree.

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KK in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania

51 months ago

DO NOT GET A BS IN BIO!!! It is a waste of time and a waste of money. I graduated in 2006 with a gpa of 3.5 and an internship. I had a job at an environmental consulting company, but ended up getting laid off within a couple of months because their business got worse and worse. I haven't been able to find anything since. Now I am going back to be an RN.

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Charmaine Cox in Norfolk, Virginia

51 months ago

I can relate with many of you and your frustrations about not getting the "most" out of your degree. I graduated from Saint Louis University in August of 1996 with a B.S. in Biology as well, relocated to the Hampton Roads Virginia area and unsuccessfully applied for entry-level positions( for two consecutive years) in research and the pharmaceutical sales industries due to lack of solid experience.I was 23 years old at the time and reluctantly had to take on a slew of minimum wages jobs just to make ends meet. I was over $40K in debt and under so much pressure to support my new family ( my baby daughter) at the time and my husband. My 8 year army enlistment enabled me to shed 85% (less interest accured) of the debt and acquire valuable logistics, and business knowledge, skills and capabilities I would not otherwise achieve with my degree. The benefits i gained from the military- valuable transferrable job skills and less debt. If I could do it all over again I would reevaulate my career choices prior to graduating from high school.

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chx in Makati, Philippines

51 months ago

i am a 1st year student taking up BS-Biology. I wonder what possible work or job shall waiting for me? Can I become a future Doctor someday, even I graduate the course of biology? I want to be a doctor, what other courses related to what I am wanted for my future. thank you! God bless

-------concerned student from South Cotabato, Philippines

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KristyDawn in Fairview, Oklahoma

51 months ago

Sharon Ruth in Fairview, Oklahoma said: It is kitru22@sbcglobal.net, and thank you for your time. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Sharon this is Kristy. I also live in Fairviw. Would love to hear from you!

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Ymunoz in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

Mimi said: Omg, ya'll are scaring me. After taking all my prereq's, for nursing, I decided to change my major to biology because it fascinated me. Now, after reading all these posts, I'm not too sure I made the right decision....Please someone tell me some positive feedback or maybe give me some pointers on what to do before I finish school. I just graduated from community and am about to enter the university (shouldve been nursing program), so any advice?

I am on the same boat!! After finding this I am considering just going into a private school nursing program. I am 5 courses away from getting my B.S Biology. Maybe you should just go into nursing. Since you are not that into your major classes!

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Ymunoz in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

chx in Makati, Philippines said: i am a 1st year student taking up BS-Biology. I wonder what possible work or job shall waiting for me? Can I become a future Doctor someday, even I graduate the course of biology? I want to be a doctor, what other courses related to what I am wanted for my future. thank you! God bless

-------concerned student from South Cotabato, Philippines

If you get your B.S in Biology and have a high GPA you can definitely apply to med school. Best of luck and dont give up!

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dolphin80

50 months ago

I also have a B.S. in Bio, marine emphasis, received it in 2006, I studied abroad for a total of about one year: six weeks in Mexico, 10 mo. in Spain. While there, I became quite proficient in Spanish, and while I haven't practiced the language a whole lot, I can still have a conversation with someone in Spanish. I have a basic open water SCUBA certification. My GPA was not great, but I'm great with people and intelligent, at least that's what people tell me. I did two internships after college, one in Environmental Ed. and the other in field/research biology. I found out that I'm not interested in the field research, nor am I in good enough shape to do that kind of work. I then did Outdoor Ed. working at a camp teaching middle school aged kids about the environment and conservation. I enjoyed it, but you can't make a living at it, nor can you keep the benefits if you're lucky enough to get them through the employer, if you get severely injured during your time off. I severely broke my ankle and had to have surgery. Now, I only have a part-time job, trying to find another job. I too have struggled with finding more work, even in retail or temp work. I don't know what to do now, as it seems I fill out applications, and about a week later, I "check on the status of my application" at which point I'm told, "we don't have any positions open, but we always accept applications, even if we're not hiring". And with the temp agencies, I've been told "send your resume over and we'll let you know if any positions matching your qualifications come up". No going in, talking to someone, getting a skills assessment done, what type of work are you looking for/willing to do, nothing!! It's all filling out applications online and no contact number/name of person to contact to follow up. How do you get a job in this world, now? I am willing to relocate for a full-time, decent paying job, otherwise I can't afford the expense of moving.

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bioguy11 in Charleston, South Carolina

50 months ago

This thread appears to be a little overly negative, though careful analysis of the posts will give everyone a few good tips.

The first and most important thing is volunteer/do internships while still in school. Not only can these lead to direct employment out of college, but they beef up your resume. Practical experience is FAR more important than GPA for jobs, though it serves everyone in their best interests to get over a 3.0 because thats a cut off for a lot of jobs.

I'm just now graduating, and begin part-time work for the agricultural research service, and will hopefully transfer to a full-time position upon graduation. The position is molecular biology (one of the hotter fields it appears. I will go on for a masters and then possibly a phd if all goes well. I'm volunteering with a professor, volunteered for NOAA, and did a paid internship in molecular genetics & microbiology last summer. All this experience helped get me a couple of interviews, despite my average (3.2) GPA. Work experience also makes it easier to get into graduate school.

Jobs I'm aware of with a B.S. in biology + specific experience are....
Laboratory technicians--probably the most common. Pay isn't great but it gets one accustomed to the research environment, a great thing to do before grad school to see what fields of biology you like. Microbiology, Genetics, Molecular Bio seem to be the most in demand fields. Recommend going into biotech/pharmaceutical industries or decent government labs after you get some experience.

Pharmaceutical sales representative--a nice paying position. Usually you get an okay pay + nice comissions. I know people's fathers doing this making 100 K+ with just a bachelors, though these days a masters might be necessary for promotions

High School teacher--You'll need to take some education classes to get a certification, but this is okay.

PhDs in pharmacology/molecular biology are in demand in biotech/pharma as well apparently.

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bioguy11 in Charleston, South Carolina

50 months ago

Continued from my last comment

I've heard science journalism also has some oppurtunities.

The FBI is also apparently hiring biologists, you'll have to check their website for exact details.

Some graduate level programs besides typical doctor/pharmacy are...

Medical technologist--in demand position, requires a 1 year internship after graduating

If you get a masters/JD combination you can make awesome money as a patent attorney.

Public health-doesn't pay that awesome but seems like an interesting field

PhD--research; much better paid in the private sector than academia. I know several scientists in industry and they are all ab$olutely doing fine. Again biotech firms prefer people in fields like molecularbiology/genetics/pharmacology/bioinformatics more than ecology, but I'd imagine theres jobs in a lot of fields.

Biology is NOT a super lucrative field like finance/computer science/engineering, but you can still get jobs. Be prepared to move and start at a lower salary. Some government jobs provide tuition reimbursement as well.

One final thing, try to go into as little debt as possible. In this tenuous market I'd suggest going to community college to get an AA then transferring to a state school to reduce debt load. I really wish I had done this. Just spreading the word.

...cheers and good luck every one, the economy is improving!

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ML in Goldsboro, North Carolina

50 months ago

BIOGUY 11 makes some excellent points. A BS in biology is a good starting point to make you attractive for entry to a number of fields. You do need a top-notch transcript and MCAT or GRE scores if you are going to med, dental or grad school. If you are looking for a job just with a BS you will HAVE to have internships or other experiance to make you stand out.
Remember that NO degree can guarantee a job. A bio major is no more guaranteed a "job in biology" than a history major is guaranteed a "job in history".
When I finished my first bachelor's in 1978, nobody cared about my grades--just what I could do. My undergrad volunteer lab assistantship in neurobiology and summer jobs in a neurodiagnostic lab got me my first job and employer-paid training.
Flexibility is key. These days you have to go where the jobs are or else take the jobs that are where you are. Sometimes you have to retrain as I did. Needing a career change, I went back for grad school and now teach.
Again, I agree with BIOGUY11; don't be afraid of a bio major if that is where your interest lies because there ARE opportunities IF you can be flexible and IF you prepare realistically.
Best wishes to all!

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Confused in Plainview, New York

50 months ago

I graduated with a BS in Biology in 2008 and then continued to get my MS in education. Obviously right now teachers are getting cut right and left. At this point I just want a job that I can make my career with security and benefits so I can start a family. I worked my ass off the last 8 yrs in school and feel like I am going no where. I don't know what to do.

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Tamy in Richardson, Texas

50 months ago

Hey u dont have to go back to get a BS in biomed engineering..cant u just apply into the graduate program and take the few courses required as pre reqs?

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