Career Preparation

What is a degree in biology or biotechnology good for?

A degree in biology or biotechnology can prepare you for a wide variety of careers. Just consider all the places in which biology impacts our lives today!

Medicine: The human genome project opened up a whole new world for biomedical research and treatment. Have you heard of personalized medicine? What about stem cells? New cancer treatments? New medical technologies arise out of biology every day.

Agriculture: A common theme in agriculture is how we can get more out of less. To be more effective stewards of our land, we must understand the biology of the crops we grow and the animals we raise.

Manufacturing: Biodegradable plastics. Biofuels. Biolaundry detergents. Antibiotics. Vitamins. Biomimicry! Did you know of the endless stream of products that are arriving in our stores that were either inspired by biology or produced by a living organism?

Environment: We have only one planet Earth. For many reasons, we need to conserve the biodiversity resources available to us on this Earth. These reasons range from theological to sociological to financial. Do you agree? Whether you do or don’t, you had better learn more!

Government: Around the world, people in high places are considering things like bioterrorism. Or how we as a country can get ahead in the biosciences. Or how we can best manage a growing healthcare system.

Recent editions of the Jobs Rated Almanac indicate that biology is a good career to be in. For example, some biological professions rated highly include Biomedical Engineer, Data Scientist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Medical Technologist, University Professor, Podiatrist, Environmental Engineer, Orthodontist, Biologist, and Museum Curator.

It follows, then, that you'll have plenty of career options as a graduate of Andrews Biology. A large number of our graduates move on to medical school and become physicians. Some students opt for other medical areas such as dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy. Other students choose to go into research or teaching careers or directly into jobs in industry or government, doing things like tissue typing, biotechnology, energy production, research and development, environmental management, or quality control.

While in college, how can I most effectively prepare for my chosen career?

Life in college is busy.  There are classes to attend, projects to complete, work hours to fulfill, friends to meet, athletic and musical organizations to participate in. Did I mention those classes that you want to succeed in? Don’t forget a devotional life to maintain (God is there to see you through), an exercise routine to keep (you must exercise your body as well as your mind), and a diet to follow (I don’t mean a diet to lose weight, just a diet that includes at least one good meal a day!). So how do you navigate all these things and still come out at the end with a clear road to a career?

We would like to suggest some Career Roadmaps. These are suggestions on how to best use your time and talents as you work toward a goal. Of course, there are many possible careers open to you with a background in biology. This is just a sample of how you might best prepare for some of these careers.

Roadmap to Medicine

Emphasis. Any emphasis will do, although many premed students feel particularly well prepared by the biomedical emphasis.

Courses to take. Many, although not all, of the courses listed below are included in the biology/biotechnology curricula. They are listed here to emphasize that they are required/recommended for premed.

  • Introduction to Medicine: 1 credit
  • Foundations of Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • General Physics
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

Internship. Job shadowing is considered important prior to application to medical school.

Extracurricular. Demonstrated interest in service to humanity/mission work is relevant to a medical career. Documented development in the AAMC personal competencies. Significant preparation for the MCAT.

Roadmap to Dentistry

Emphasis. Any emphasis will do, although many premed students feel particularly well prepared by the biomedical emphasis

Courses to take. Many, although not all, of the courses listed below are included in the biology/biotechnology curricula. They are listed here to emphasize that they are required/recommended for predent.

  • Dental Aptitude (BIOL 405): 1 credit
  • Foundations of Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • General Physics
  • Small Business Management

Internship. Job shadowing is considered important prior to application to dental school. Most dental schools require documentation of 50+ hours of shadowing dentists before admission to their programs.

Extracurricular. Manual dexterity is a useful skill in the field of dentistry. Significant preparation for the DAT

Roadmap to Biotechnology

Emphasis. BS Biotechnology

Courses to take. It is important to have a solid foundation in many of the techniques used in the biotechnology industry.

• Introduction to Biotechnology: 1 cr
• Courses in genetics, bioinformatics, and biochemistry, as laid out in the Biotechnology curriculum.

Internship. An internship is required by the BS Biotechnology program. Most significant internships will be 8-10 weeks in length during a summer and may lead to potential job contacts.

Extracurricular. A desire to learn and discover is often demonstrated through actively seeking out research opportunities.

Roadmap to Field Biology

Emphasis. BS Biology, emphasis in Biological Sciences

Courses to take.

  • A methods course such as Intro to Geographic Information Systems or Mathematical Modeling in Biology
  • Multiple field-type courses including botany
  • Learn a foreign language, and take courses in sociology or anthropology

Internship. Summer Internship or Field Research