Where will I work in my biology career?
Because biology is such a diverse field, jobs for biology majors vary greatly according to specialization. You will mostly likely perform research, but where you do so can be very different. For example, biochemists usually spend most of their time conducting research in a laboratory or analyzing data in an office while zoologists are frequently in the field, sometimes in remote locations around the globe. A marine biologist could spend an extended period of time on research vessels at sea.
If you get your doctorate in biology, in addition to teaching students in a classroom, many top biology programs require faculty to conduct research in campus facilities. However, you will rarely telecommute, as your physical presence will be needed to access equipment in all of these situations.
Researchers benefit from working with a diverse team, so you can expect to work alongside professionals from other fields, such as chemists and physicists, as well as less science-oriented individuals like statisticians.
How long does it take to find a job in biology?
During periods of recession it is difficult to find any type of work, and jobs in biology are no exception. However, some biology careers have better prospects than others.
Because of the growing need for new medical technologies, employment for biochemists and biophysicists is expected to grow around 31% during this decade, which is nearly double the growth for all other occupations. However, there is stiff competition for these careers because of the growing popularity of the field, especially for research and faculty positions at colleges and universities.
Zoologist and wildlife biologist positions, however, are only expected to see a 7% increase in employment, less than half the rate for all other jobs. Despite the low growth, many of these positions are held by older individuals who will soon retire and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there will be many opportunities for those looking for jobs with a biology degree.
How have biology careers changed over the years?
Careers in biology have changed much over the years as advances in technology and groundbreaking discoveries allow researchers to use new information to explore uncharted territory in the field. For example, by mapping the human genome, researchers can begin to interpret the data to hopefully provide a better understanding of genetic disorders, cancers and other illnesses.
Additionally, our aging population has put a strong emphasis on using biology to create new technologies to not only extend but also improve the quality of life. This area of biology is currently a hot topic as breakthroughs can prove to be very profitable for the companies that invest in this kind of research.
There is also an increasing interest in bioethics, the study of the morality of using new technologies. As a result, biologists are now often called into legislative hearings to provide expert testimony on new methods to help judge whether or not we should be using them.
Biology degree jobs are constantly changing as we continue to advance our knowledge. There is no telling what the future holds for this exciting field, so you may likely have a chance to work on the latest breakthroughs.
What are the top employers for biology jobs?
While searching for careers with a biology degree, you will find that the best employers come from a wide range of industries.
Some of the most prestigious careers for biology majors are tenured positions at top universities such as Harvard University or Stanford University. At these institutions you will have access to some of the best technologies and be surrounded by some of the most brilliant people in the world.
Other strong biology jobs are offered by government agencies that fund research in order to develop new technologies and educate the public. For example, you could work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide a better understanding of deadly pathogens or the Food and Drug Administration to determine the safety of new medications. These positions often come with great job security and stable salaries.
There are also private corporations that spend billions of dollars each year to develop new biotechnologies. For example, Monsanto Company is the 1 of the world’s largest agricultural biotechnology corporations, and starting your career in biology there will most certainly provide you with access to some of best research resources available.