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I'm about to graduate with a B.S. in biology. What CJ Tracy said is definitely true, but I have a few things to add about the job opportunities available. Biology is definitely a competitive field, but one fact that many of my peers have overlooked is how interdisciplinary it has become. By combining a biology major with computer science, statistics, physics, or another discipline, you'll be much more competitive in the job market. The number of jobs for bioinformatics, biostatistics, bioengineering and computational biology is exploding. These jobs require foundations in multiple fields.
Research jobs often do require a higher degree such as a masters, especially in micro or molecular biology. My TA told me the other day that the jobs she wanted after college required a master's. Now that she's earned her master's, they require a Ph.D. So it's definitely going to be important to set yourself apart somehow.
This is coming from someone who does not have a background in biology.
The perception is that there are a lot of biology major grads because so many students who go in as premed and then can't get into med school or change their minds. One job option for someone with a BS in biology would be working in a microbiology lab.
You would probably need to get a graduate degree in biology for it to be most useful.
I agree. Interdisciplinary with another STEM field is critical. These days engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and physicists can get easy entry into the biology field because they have the hard science training that biologists tend to avoid. Its possible to work as a biologist with a hard science bachelor's and some additional training (AFAIK). Otherwise you need a masters, minimum.
That being said, they say if youre after money dont go to grad school! If you are willing to learn the harder sciences like the ones I mentioned, and you just want money, then don't bother with biology grad school.
If you just want a secure future and just like biology, then I would say go for the double grad degree. Thats what I'm doing - masters in stats plus phd in biology. It makes me a more competitive biologist, and also I have stats to fall back on.
If research isnt your thing, healthcare fields are always competitive but good fields, and fulfilling.
I just realized that my answer may have been a little biased toward the kind of biology that I study. It's really a vast field with many specializations. You could go into ecology, genetics, biochemistry, marine biology, plant or animal science, agriculture, conservation, the list goes on. You won't really know what you're most interested in until you jump into it. There are a lot of opportunities for biologists though. Still, if you're more worried about landing a high-paying job when you graduate, my other answer is still valid. Whatever you decide to study in college, I recommend trying to work with professors outside of class as early as possible, whether through independent study, research or just asking them to give you tasks related to their work so you can get some experience and a better feel for what the actual work is like.