Genetics graduates can find work within the health service and scientific research but further study at Masters or PhD level is also a popular choice

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.

Work experience

Some degrees offer a placement year in industry or within a research institute and this can give a great insight into the work as well as the chance to build some good contacts. If your course doesn't offer this, look for opportunities yourself for short periods of work experience that can be completed within the holidays.

It's a good idea to gain some experience within industry as well as academia so you can compare the two and decide which you prefer. Temporary work within a healthcare environment, for example in a hospital, may also be helpful for exploring career ideas. Laboratory work and experience of the techniques used in the genetics field is also useful to have.

You might decide to do some volunteering with organisations that specialise in researching genetic conditions or supporting people with inherited disorders.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Many careers relating to genetics are based in the health services, so employers tend to be hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and universities.

However, opportunities within research institutes, food and drink companies, the health and beauty care industry, and consultancy companies are also available.

You may want to consider opportunities in industries related to biological sciences, such as biotechnology, biomedical research, agricultural and horticultural, conservation and environmental assessment. It's also possible to use your skills in fields like teaching, business, finance and retail.

Find information on employers in healthcare, science and pharmaceuticals, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying genetics provides you with specialist subject knowledge, as well as skills in scientific protocol, biological research and laboratory practice, which is essential if you intend to pursue a career in a genetics-related job.

Employers are also interested in the broader skills you acquire, such as:

  • recording, analysis and interpretation of masses of scientific data
  • logical thinking, numeracy and computing skills
  • awareness of current issues and ethical debates
  • communication skills including report writing and making presentations
  • time management
  • problem solving
  • self-reliance and initiative
  • business awareness
  • teamwork and strong interpersonal skills.

Further study

Many genetics-related employers value postgraduate study and the technical and research skills you develop to a higher level, as well as other transferable skills such as critical analysis and report writing. Postgraduate study at Masters and PhD level is particularly useful, and sometimes essential, for jobs in research.

There are many options at postgraduate level to enhance the knowledge gained in your first degree. Some subjects are directly related, such as medical and molecular genetics, while others derive from genetics, like immunology and pharmacology.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in genetics.

What do genetics graduates do?

The top five jobs held by genetics graduates include biochemists and biomedical scientists, laboratory technicians, secondary education teaching professionals and biological scientists.

DestinationPercentage
Employed45.3
Further study24.6
Working and studying12.7
Unemployed10.2
Other7.2
Graduate destinations for genetics
Type of workPercentage
Science31.4
Retail, catering and customer service13.4
Business, HR and finance9.7
Education8.2
Other37.3
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other science graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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