Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to find a job after graduation?
We hope so. But it depends on many factors including the economy, your grades, and whether or not you have engaged in activities that make you competitive. Let's look at an actual job ad:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
The duties of a Biological Science Technician (Wildlife) include the use of Geographic Information System and Global Positioning Systems to sample and map habitats and features in the field; analyzes data and prepares reports; takes and records scientific measurements; conducts biological surveys of wildlife or habitat; and keeps detailed and precise records on habitat conditions in order to report data.
OK, so now let's see how well your resume and transcript indicate that you are qualified to do any of these things? Have you taken and excelled in a GIS course? Have you engaged in undergraduate research or an internship in which you analyzed data, prepared reports, recorded measurements, conducted surveys and kept precise records? Is someone willing to write a letter of recommendation documenting that you preformed those tasks exceptionally well? If not, then you'd better get busy preparing yourself for the real world! Note that simply having a degree in biology does not qualify you for this entry level position. This holds true for ALL jobs, not just this one. Nowadays, everyone has a college degree--what makes YOU stand out above everyone else? Find out about research opportunities, internships, etc. from your advisor. Think seriously about taking a summer job that is relevant to developing the skills and experiences you need. Start looking at job ads NOW so you know what you need to do to be qualified for the career you want.
What can I do with a degree in Biology?
This is not an easy question to answer simply because there are so many possibilities. There are entire books written on the subject. Some of these books are available in Career Services and the Library. The Department of Biological Sciences also has many career books available in the main office, room 203 Science. It is very important that you are aware of the many different kinds of career options and then focus your studies so that you will be qualified to do what you want to do. All jobs are very competitive and it is critical that you take relevant courses and excel in them AND engage in a variety of activities that will set you apart from less motivated students.
An informative article about career information in biology can be found here.