Are you in awe of the natural world, and are eager to study it in depth? You might be wondering whether biology degrees are useless.
What can you use a biology degree for, and is biology a good major for pre-med? Do employers tend to value biology degrees, and can these degrees help with career progression?
Let’s discuss biology degrees and everything you need to know about them.
All About Biology Degrees
A degree in biology is the entry point to several professions that touch on life and living things.
Some fields within biology include wildlife ecology, plant biology, entomology, and more. There are over eighty-five fields to explore! You can explore all of these fields by reading about degrees in biological and biomedical sciences.
Depending on your chosen area, you’ll earn an average base salary of $71,564 annually.
With an undergraduate degree, you can become a researcher, biologist, or biomedical scientist.
You can also become a teacher, park ranger, pharmaceutical sales representative, or biology content writer.
Biology For a Career in Medicine
Biology is the foundation for all careers in medicine. You cannot become a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian without understanding the composition of different life forms and how they work.
You should know: medical careers have some of the best average salaries. Physicians and surgeons earn more than $208,000 every year.
The medical field also offers some of the highest job and salary growth rates. You could start a private practice and earn a salary that you set. It all depends on how far you’re willing to go with your degree and profession.
So, are biology degrees useful for medicine and pre-medical residency programs?
In short, yes. Degrees in biology are helpful for medicine. They’re also useful for pre-medical residency programs, although they’re not a requirement to join.
It’s essential to note that most students who qualify for such programs do so with a bachelor’s in biology.
Biology For a Lucrative Career in Healthcare
You don’t have to pursue medicine to become a healthcare professional. Besides the usual doctor, dentist, or nurse options, there are several alternatives in this sector, including
- Recreational therapist
- Radiation therapist
- Dietician or nutritionist
- Clinical lab technician
- Medical records specialists
The list goes on!
A background in human biology will allow you to gain entry into some of the most profitable healthcare specializations. However, if your passion lies elsewhere, follow it.
The average clinical lab technician, for instance, earns about $57,800 annually. This might be more than the average veterinarian earns, which is about $36,850. But, both options offer room for growth and career progression.
Study this healthcare occupations handbook by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics to pick an option that’s right for you.
So, are biology degrees prerequisites for lucrative careers in healthcare?
A biology degree is a stepping stone to most fields in healthcare. However, they’re not always required.
Specifically, some well-paying disciplines, like massage therapists and home health & personal care aides, don’t need biology degrees.
Do Employers Require Biology Degrees?
Employers in the field of biology value and require biology degrees.
The need for a biology degree will depend on the job and the skill level necessary to execute it.
Employers require degrees when hiring for specific positions like biochemists, biophysicists, or microbiologists.
Usually, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is enough for most entry-level roles. But, some employers may ask for advanced degrees like a master’s or Ph.D. if the job requires it.
You might be interested in the trend of employers requiring biology degrees.
Recently, the demand for researchers and research assistants in various biology fields has increased. For this reason, degrees have become the minimum requirement for most employers.
The trend might persist into the future.
Graduate Degrees in Biology: Useful or Not?
Should people consider obtaining a graduate degree in biology? Will it lead to career progression in various fields?
Yes, it will! A graduate degree can be very useful. These provide an opportunity for career advancement and increased pay.
Take genetics, for example. You can pursue a masters in genetics counseling and increase your pay to over $80,000 from the national average of $71,564.
If you’re wondering whether biology is a good major, the answer is yes! Biology is a wide and fascinating area of study.
Whether you’re interested in plant life, human genetics, or marine ecology, biology can be a great educational and career foundation.
A degree in biology can also be a stepping stone into various fields of healthcare. If you’re on the path to a medical residency, don’t forget about a degree in biology.
Stay true to yourself when selecting a major. You can determine the salary value of your degree, but don’t let this be the only deciding factor.
After completing her degree in Conservation Biology, Righa took the freelance route to become a content writer. She now works at a content marketing firm and spends most of her free time gardening and bird-watching.