General Information:

  • A Bachelor’s degree will qualify one for work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist or research assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks and gardens.
  • An undergraduate degree can also be used for nontechnical work in writing, illustration, sales, photography and legislation.
  • Master’s degrees allow for more opportunities in research and administration. Some community colleges will hire Master’s level teachers.
  • Doctoral degrees are necessary for advanced research and administrative positions, university teaching and independent research.
  • An advanced degree provides the opportunity to specialize under the different areas of the biological sciences.
  • The biological sciences are good preparation for a career in healthcare such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, but professional degrees and licenses are also necessary to practice in these fields.
  • Learn laboratory procedures and become familiar with equipment.
  • Obtain summer, part-time, volunteer, co-op or internship experience to test the fields of interest and gain valuable experience.
  • Develop strong computer, mathematics and verbal and written communications skills.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.
  • Read scientific journals related to your area of interest.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to improve chances of graduate and professional school admission.
  • Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.
  • Secure strong relationships and personal recommendations from professors and/or employers.
  • Consider completing a post doctoral experience after graduate school.
  • Learn federal, state and local government job application process. The federal government is the largest employer of biologists.
  • Gain experience with grant writing and fundraising techniques. Often research must be funded in this manner.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer.


Explore Possible Careers Pathways in Biological Sciences: