Career opportunities with a biochemistry degree

A biochemistry degree opens up a range of careers in industry and research in areas such as health, agriculture and the environment

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Academic researcher
  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Clinical scientist, biochemistry
  • Forensic scientist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physician associate
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Scientific laboratory technician

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Chartered accountant
  • Environmental engineer
  • Health and safety inspector
  • Medical science liaison
  • Neuroscientist
  • Patent examiner
  • Science writer
  • Toxicologist

Work experience

The practical and technical skills you develop during your biochemistry degree - through laboratory-based work and your final year research project - prepare you well for a research or technical position. Obtaining some work experience, for example a summer internship in a research laboratory or company, will help to boost your chances of finding a job.

Some universities provide a four-year undergraduate course that includes an industry/research placement year. This is usually undertaken in the pharmaceutical or biotechnical industries or a research institute. Opportunities also exist to take a placement abroad, expanding your career prospects. Work placements help develop key skills further and provide opportunities for building contacts and networking.

Whatever your career plans, it's important to enhance your degree with extra skills and experiences, which show that you are a proactive person engaging with the world around you.

Typical employers

The main employers of biochemistry graduates in the public sector include:

  • Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • forensic science services
  • government departments
  • National Health Service
  • research institutes
  • universities.

 Typical employers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, water and agricultural companies. Small companies employ biochemists to provide specialist services, such as toxicological studies.

Other employers include scientific and medical publishers and the Intellectual Property Office (as patent examiners). You can also use your biochemistry skills and knowledge in areas such as sales and marketing, where you could be selling the latest technology, and law firms dealing with scientific cases.

Skills for your CV

During your degree, you'll develop specific skills associated with biochemistry, such as:

  • in-depth knowledge of molecular biology techniques
  • practical laboratory skills
  • the ability to understand complex biological processes
  • the ability to assemble an argument and engage in debate
  • observation skills
  • research and data analysis
  • critical thinking and problem-solving.

Other general skills include:

  • maths and information technology
  • communication and presentation
  • report writing
  • planning and time management
  • the ability to work to deadlines
  • teamworking
  • self-management and the ability to work independently.

Contributor: myshsrank |
University

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