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Options with your subject: Biochemistry

Through studying biochemistry, you not only acquire a great deal of subject knowledge but you also develop many skills which will be invaluable for your next career move…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Many biochemists want to forge a career in the biosciences, so you should try to gain practical and technical experience during your degree course as this will equip you well for a research or technical position. Your final year research project and other associated practical work will help towards this, and if you can secure a vacation job in a laboratory, it will definitely work in your favour when you approach employers.

Whatever your career plans (or even if you don’t have any as yet), it is important to enhance your degree with extra skills and experiences which show that you are a proactive person engaging with the world around you.

Typical employers

Most biochemists are employed as researchers in universities, research institutes and large companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals. Small companies also employ biochemists to provide specialist services, such as toxicological studies. Many also work for in:

Find information on employers in teaching and education, science and pharmaceuticals, health and social care and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Specific skills associated with biochemistry include:

  • the ability to understand complex biological processes;
  • having a full and critical understanding of relevant texts;
  • assembling arguments and engaging in debate;
  • critical and analytical skills;
  • independent thinking and problem-solving.

Generic, transferable skills include:

  • practical skills;
  • numeracy;
  • communication, presentation and IT skills;
  • teamwork;
  • self-management and professional development.

You can demonstrate your experience in these areas by giving examples from the practical work and group projects included in your degree course.

Further study

It is common for biochemists to continue their higher education if they are intending to forge a career in the biosciences. A PhD is essential for academic research or to secure a career as an academic lecturer. Even for those entering research in industry or associated careers such as publishing, science communication or clinical careers, further qualifications are an asset and increasingly essential.

If you are aiming for a career path away from science, it will be well worth considering what kind of professional qualifications may stand you in good stead for getting into, and progressing, your chosen career.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interest you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do biochemistry graduates do?

One in ten graduates are working in the UK as laboratory technicians six months after graduating. Other professions in the top ten include biochemists and medical scientists, researchers and marketing associate professionals.

Graduate destinations for biochemistry
Destinations Percentage
Employed 45.8%
Further study 36.1%
Working and studying 4.2%
Unemployed 10.1%
Other 3.8%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 16.9%
Technicians and other professionals 16.3%
Science 12.1%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 9.2%
Other 45.5%

Find out what other science graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
September 2012

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