Jobs directly related to your degree
- Microbiologist - studies microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and algae. They focus on the biology of microorganisms at both the molecular and cellular level, as well as their ecology. They also look at how microorganisms affect us and how we can exploit them.
- Biomedical scientist - carries out laboratory tests on human samples to help clinicians diagnose illness and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. This work is vital to the wellbeing of patients because doctors treat their patients on the basis of the results of these tests.
- Haematologist - studies blood, blood-forming tissues and blood-related diseases. They look at the size, structure, function and amount of different types of blood cells and produce reports and scientific analyses to show their findings.
- Research scientist (life sciences) - designs, conducts and analyses experiments, either with a definite end use (to develop new products, processes or commercial applications) or to broaden scientific understanding in general.
- Scientific laboratory technician - responsible for laboratory-based tasks, including sampling, testing, measuring, recording and analysing results in biological, chemical, physical and life sciences, providing technical support to enable laboratories to function effectively.
- Toxicologist - plans and carries out laboratory and field studies to identify, monitor and evaluate the impact of toxic materials and radiation on human and animal health, the environment, and the impact of future technology.
- Technical brewer - responsible for managing the process of brewing and packaging beer. The role involves taking responsibility for raw materials, operatives and technicians, the safe and effective running of the plant and machinery, and ensuring consistent quality of the product.
Jobs where your degree would be useful
- Ecologist - concerned with ecosystems as a whole and, within them, the abundance and distribution of organisms (people, plants, animals) and the relationships between organisms and their environment.
- Forensic scientist - primarily concerned with examining contact trace material associated with crimes. Forensic scientists provide impartial scientific advice for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defence in criminal and civil investigations.
- Science writer - researches, writes and edits scientific news articles and features for business, trade and professional publications, specialist scientific and technical journals, and the general media. Writers need to be able to understand complex scientific information, theories and practices.
- Water quality scientist - responsible for the scientific analysis of water quality, including setting targets and standards to safeguard all aspects of water quality. Water quality scientists compare test results with these standards, investigate shortfalls and take action to remedy problems.
For some of the jobs mentioned above it will be necessary to undertake a higher degree in order to specialise further. You may also need to get some relevant work experience during your degree course which relates to the area of work to give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
If you decide to work in a science-based career, pre-entry experience in a laboratory will be useful. This can be difficult to arrange but will be an advantage when you start looking for employment.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
provides a list of pharmaceutical recruiters, some of which may provide summer or gap year opportunities. Also talk to hospital laboratories or your university careers service about gaining some voluntary experience. The Society for General Microbiology (SGM)
offers a vacation studentship for undergraduates. This is a small award allowing the student to work on microbiological research projects in their summer vacation before their final year. The Society for Applied Microbiology (SFAM)
offers something similar. Applications for the grants need to be made on behalf of the student by a full member of the society (usually the student’s academic supervisor). Some companies also provide funding to support research work in laboratories over the summer.
Becoming a member of a professional body, such as the SGM, will demonstrate commitment and provide valuable networking and career development opportunities.
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it’s not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. Look at your degree... what next? for informed advice on career planning and graduate employment, or login/register with My Prospects to find out what jobs would suit you, a helpful starting point for self-analysis.
Explore types of jobs to find out more about the above options and related jobs.