Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

What Can You Do with a Biology Degree?

5 minute read

While many perceive biology as a gateway solely to careers in healthcare, the truth is far more expansive. Biology permeates every facet of our world, and pursuing a degree in this dynamic field can reshape how you perceive and engage with the living organisms that surround us. In this post, we’ll unravel the myriad opportunities that a biology degree has to offer and provide a roadmap to conducting interesting research projects in this diverse and impactful discipline.

Biology Degree Jobs

For those inclined towards healing, the journey often leads to medical school, where one can aspire to become a doctor, surgeon, or a specialized healthcare professional. Yet, the scope for a biology degree extends far beyond the walls of clinical settings. These diverse paths underscore the adaptability of biology education, catering to the evolving needs of society.

For example, here’s a brief list of biology career paths outside of medicine: 

  • Research Scientist

  • Environmental Consultant

  • Biotechnologist

  • Science Communication Specialist

  • Pharmaceutical Industry (various opportunities)

  • Forensic Scientist

  • Conservation Biologist

  • Genetic Counselor

  • Biological Illustrator/Animator

  • Bioinformatics 

  • Wildlife Biologist

  • Aquatic Biologist/Marine Biologist

  • Science Policy Analyst

  • Zoologist

  • Botanist

  • Environmental Scientist

  • Entomologist

  • Microbiologist

  • Bioethicist

  • Science Educator/Biology Teacher

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Polygence alumni had a 92% admissions rate to R1 universities in 2023. Polygence provides high schoolers a personalized, flexible research experience proven to boost your admission odds. Get matched to a mentor now!"

How Can a High School Student Prepare to Pursue a Biology Degree?

To prepare for pursuing a biology degree in college, high school students can take a focused approach to their academic and extracurricular activities. It's essential to enroll in advanced courses in biology, chemistry, and physics to build a robust scientific foundation. Strengthening math skills is also crucial, as it plays an integral role in various advanced biological studies. Actively participating in science competitions, joining biology-related clubs, and attending science camps can demonstrate a genuine interest in the field. Seeking volunteer or internship opportunities in labs, hospitals, or environmental organizations provides invaluable hands-on experience. Exploring specific areas of interest within biology, such as genetics or ecology, and engaging in related activities can help students tailor their academic path. Additionally, staying informed about current developments in biology, seeking mentorship, and utilizing online resources enhance a student's readiness for the challenges and opportunities that a bachelor’s degree in biology offers.

How Can Polygence Help? 

Polygence mentorship extends beyond the realm of traditional education. By providing a platform for students to engage in original research, Polygence equips them with skills that extend far beyond the general biology laboratory. The mentorship fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to communicate complex scientific ideas effectively. These skills are not only invaluable in pursuing an advanced degree but also prepare students for the multifaceted employment opportunity space..

There are various Polygence mentors with expertise in biology major trajectories outside of medicine, who are accomplished researchers themselves. They offer personalized support and novel research project ideas for eager students to embark on. Through one-on-one interactions, Polygence mentors help students hone their research and communication skills, define their scientific questions, and navigate the complexities of experimental design. The mentorship provided by Polygence is not a conventional tutor-student relationship; it is a collaborative partnership that empowers students to transform their academic curiosity into tangible contributions to the field of biology.

Explore at the cellular level

Interested in Biology? We'll match you with an expert mentor who will help you explore your next project.

Meet Rachel, for example; she’s on a mission to unravel the mysteries of Chromatin Remodeling in Cancer. Think of chromatin remodeling complexes as tiny architects in our cells, and when they go haywire, it's like a construction project gone wrong. Rachel's project involves digging into why these tiny architects sometimes make mistakes in cancer. 

Or, say hello to Merci, our brain superhero! She's a pro in Alzheimer's, neuroscience, and all things brain-related. One awesome idea Merci is working on is diving into the Axon Initial Segment, the brain's control center. Merci wants to figure out how it acts up in disorders like epilepsy, schizophrenia, and more. It's like she's on a mission to untangle the brain's mysteries and maybe even find novel solutions. 

If you're still exploring your career path and have a keen interest in biology, chemistry, and physics (and can’t decide which one), consider doing a research project with me. Recently, my students and I have been doing computational modeling on Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). BNCT is a cancer treatment that involves targeting cancer cells with boron-loaded compounds. When bombarded with neutrons, these compounds release high-energy particles, and selectively destroy cancer cells! This interdisciplinary field encompasses the realms of biology, chemistry and physics, and it’s a lot of fun! 

If you’re still not convinced, guess what? There are even more mentors in all the different pathways of biology waiting for you. Learn more about careers for biology majors on our Biology mentors page

Ready to Begin Your Journey Toward a Biology Degree?

As high school and early university students stand at the crossroads of their academic journey, the possibilities embedded within a biology degree become both exciting and daunting. However, armed with knowledge about the diverse career progression, the dynamic landscape of research, and the invaluable support of Polygence mentors, the journey transforms into an odyssey of self-discovery and intellectual growth. The biologist, whether pursuing a traditional path or forging new avenues through research, becomes a custodian of knowledge, contributing to the ever-expanding tapestry of biological understanding.

Polygence Scholars Are Also Passionate About

Biology Conferences & Workshops

The resources below cover a broad spectrum of opportunities for exploring the world of biology, connecting with researchers, and staying updated on the latest advancements in the field.

Conferences and Meetings 

  1. American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Annual Meeting

  2. European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Events

  3. PubMed – A comprehensive database of biomedical literature

  4. ScienceDirect

Summer Schools and Workshops 

  1. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Courses and Meetings

  2. European Molecular Biology Laboratory events

  3. Department of Energy High School Student Volunteer Program