A career in biology and the biomedical sciences can take a number of shapes. Some might choose to be college biology professors. Others might decide to be full time researchers. Even then, you might be a full time researcher in either an academic setting or a professional setting. Others might focus on the development of drugs, techniques, tools or computer modeling.
While the lines overlap quite a bit, academic researchers tend to focus on theory development and knowledge acquisition. Professional researchers tend to focus on practical solutions to practical problems. This rule is not hard and fast. In fact, academic research is often funded and partially governed by private companies.
Whatever your career choice, biology is widely recognized as the discipline that is most closely tied to human health, and because of this, a multitude of positions will always be in high demand.
Life sciences is a rapidly growing industry, providing opportunities within a wide range of scientific careers, as well as further opportunities for graduate and medical education. With advances in pharmaceutical research and biotechnology, job prospects are best for those who have strong analytical skills that can be applied in laboratory environments.
Careers in biochemistry are expected to grow over 15% over the next decade, while microbiologists will increase over 10%. While entry level lab positions are available to graduates with bachelor’s degrees, most positions are open to those with master’s degrees. Job opportunities largely depend upon the field you specialize in – try to select a research focus, rather than choosing a general course track. Entry level positions generally start above $40,000, while experienced biologists earning closer to $90,000.