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Biology major

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Biology major

Postby Bozz » Wed May 05, 2010 11:12 pm

I was looking for insight on what life is like after an undergraduate degree in biology. I do not mind pursuing higher education after and would like to perform research. I like theory concepts and was also wondering if there is a theory component to biology. Any other input would be much appreciated!

(Sorry if this is repetitive, I've gone through so much research into bio majors and have 20 different outlooks. Was hoping I could get one solid outlook from some professionals here.)
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Postby Jillo725 » Wed May 05, 2010 11:50 pm

i'm graduating this saturday from my undergraduate and I've been accepted into a Ph.D. program where i'll be researching Campylobacter jejuni and how switches regulation of genes between humans and avian hosts.

I loved my college carrier as a bio major. I met some pretty awesome people as we struggled through the courses. Most of the people I know are graduating with me are going on to medical school, or graduate school.

Since unless you want to work for the government or you want to teach. there's really nothing that you can do. My fiance (also bio major)is taking off a year and studying for his MCAT and was recently trying to get a job while holding a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.

The only jobs that he was qualified for were jobs working on bases and wildlife preserves. You can't get a single job in a hospital labs unless you have the necessary certification, which i understand but still pissed me off since i'd spent 4 years of my life and come out with nothing I'm qualified for.

Basically with a B.S. in Biology you can: teach grade school, be a lab assistant (30,000/year), or you can be a wildlife ...worker.

My advice: If you KNOW you want to be a doctor or teach (either in lab or lecture or combination of both). And are COMPLETELY okay with extra schooling (because you can't get a job with only the degree) Get a degree in one of the health sciences. You'll get a $40k job in two years, and will ALWAYS have job security.

Or if you want (what i would have done if I had known in time) get a B.S. in Biology, but get a certification in one of the health sciences. so you always have a back up plan.

I just wish someone had told me this when I started out. Don't get me wrong, I love research and being in the lab is amazing. But I know lots of friends who don't have a clue what they want to do because they don't want to get a graduate degree.

so...good luck!
"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea."
— Percy Williams Bridgman, US physicist
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Postby Bozz » Wed May 05, 2010 11:55 pm

Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear.
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Re: Biology major

Postby jonmoulton » Thu May 06, 2010 4:04 pm

Consider chemistry and a biology minor. The degree is more marketable at the 4-year degree level and is a strong entry into grad school. I graduated with BS Bio & BA Chem and looked for work in biology -- nothing. A few months later, feeling desperate, I looked for work in chem and was working in about a week in R&D at an environmental analysis lab, which dovetailed nicely with my entry into grad school a year later in Environmental Sciences and Resources: Biology. I finished with the Bio Ph.D., but leaned on my chemistry background throughout grad school and today, as an industry biologist. Taking chem while keeping an eye on biology is a good way to tour the sciences.
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