Making a Career Out of the Study of Life - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Program Spotlight
February 20, 2020

Making a Career Out of the Study of Life

Biology—the study of life—explores a wide range of topics. From the smallest microorganisms to the enormous blue whale, from plant life to insects to animals to humans, biology investigates every aspect of life on this planet. If you love science and the study of living things intrigues you, then a biology degree may be the ideal choice for you. Within the field of biology, there are many areas of study from which to choose or specialize:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Botany
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Immunology
  • Marine Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Mycology
  • Parasitology
  • Photobiology
  • Phycology
  • Physiology
  • Plant Physiology
  • Radiobiology
  • Structural Biology
  • Theoretical Biology
  • Virology
  • Zoology

You might ask yourself, is biology a good major? It’s easy to see that a biology degree opens the door to many career possibilities. Just ask your alumni office or college career center for a list of previous biology major alumni, and you’ll be amazed by the many career paths these biology majors have chosen. The diversity of divisions within the field of biology and the rapid growth of technology translates into a plethora of jobs within a variety of business sectors for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

During your study as a biology major, you’ll develop a wide range of skills that can be applied in many industries. You’ll learn:

  • How to apply scientific principles to problems
  • How to design and interpret experiments involving scientific research
  • The basics of experimentation and statistical analysis
  • How to communicate your findings clearly and concisely

These valuable skills are useful in a variety of industries and can be applied to more than just the field of biology. They will help you be successful in any career, biology-related or otherwise.

What jobs can I get with a biology degree?

Many biology career paths are focused on education and research, offering jobs that include roles such as teaching, laboratory work and analysis, and fieldwork. The US job market for biology majors is flourishing.

A biology degree will prepare you for a wide array of high paying jobs.

Lucrative Entry Level Positions in Biology

With a beginning salary of almost $70K, Microbiologist is perhaps the most lucrative entry-level position. Requiring only a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor or focus in microbiology and often no previous work experience, it’s a great career choice for any biology major. As a microbiologist, you’ll study some of the smallest lifeforms on the planet, including virus, fungus, algae and bacteria. Generally, the work is performed in a lab; however, some fieldwork (collecting samples) may be required. Microbiologists work for medicine manufacturers, research institutions and governmental agencies.

Second on the list of lucrative entry-level careers is Environmental Scientist, also with a beginning salary of almost $70K. As an environmental scientist, you’ll conduct experiments and research projects that focus on the enhancement of human and animal health and the protection of the environment. It, too, requires only a bachelor’s degree and no previous work experience. It’s a fast-growing and fascinating career path with lots of growth and earning potential.

Third on the list is Agricultural and Food Scientist with a salary close to $62K. As an agricultural and food scientist, you’ll work to improve agricultural practices and products through the application of scientific principles and advances. You also strive to find and develop more environmentally friendly and efficient ways of food production. This career path requires no work experience and only a bachelor’s degree.

If you are in the top 10% of your class, the expected salary for all three of these positions is almost doubled.

Highest Paying Jobs in Biology

After completing your biology degree, you can work in one of many different entry-level positions or you can choose to continue your education by earning a master’s and then, possibly, a doctorate. A master’s degree will allow you to specialize in a specific field. For example, if you’re interested in the environment, you can pursue a master’s in environmental biology. Or, if you’re interested in zoology, you can pursue a master’s in animal biology. This enables you to have an excellent, lifelong career with an impressive salary. Let’s look at a few of those positions as well.

To become a Physician, you will need a doctorate and can expect an average salary of $208K. This career path requires years of education, training and experience. As a physician, you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your patients, young and old.

You’ll also need a doctorate to become a Dentist and can expect an average salary of $158K, $208K if in the top 10%. A career in dentistry requires years of education and training. As a dentist, you’ll help your patients maintain good dental health, a vital component to overall health.

Also requiring a doctorate, a Podiatrist has an average salary of $128K, $208K if in the top 10%. Podiatry requires an internship and residency. As a podiatrist, you help people live healthy and active lifestyles. Podiatrists often work in offices and clinics, although some work in hospitals, general-practice facilities and care centers.

Other high paying careers that require a doctorate include:

  • Pharmacist
  • Optometrist
  • Biochemist or Biophysicist
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical Scientist

As a Physician Assistant, another high-paying career, you’ll need a master’s.

If you’d like to learn more about Geneva’s biology program or other professions that enable you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically-based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.