The simple answer to why people should study a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Biology is simple: the world needs it! We are facing many challenges — environmental, social, health-related — and biologists are in one way or another involved in finding solutions. No pressure, right?
The truth is, there are many other reasons to study Biology, and we’ve looked at some of the most important ones below. Let’s see why you too might want to study Biology:
1. You can choose from various Biology specialisations
Biology is a vast field of study, which means you don’t have to settle for a general degree. Many subdisciplines are available (most of them at Master’s level); here are just a few to get you started:
2. Biology is a fascinating subject
According to the Oxford online dictionary, Biology is “the scientific study of the life and structure of plants and animals” — isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t it exciting that you will spend your time learning about life on this planet and how it has evolved and developed over billions of years?
You’ll approach all kinds of topics and stumble upon curiosities that leave most people speechless. For example, did you know that:
- the blood vessels of an adult human could circle the Earth’s equator 4 times?
- elephants have almost 150,000 muscle units in their trunks?
- giant pandas spend between 10-16 hours a day eating?
- frogs can inexplicably change their sex?
These are only a few examples of discoveries you’ll make or facts you’ll learn during your Biology studies or after graduation.
3. You can study at the best Biology schools
To be the best often means you need to learn from the best. And the same applies to future biologists. According to the latest QS Rankings, the following are the top Biology universities in the entire world. Check them out:
- Harvard University, the US
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- Stanford University, the US
- University of Oxford, the US
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the US
- ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Yale University, the US
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the US
- University of California, San Diego (UCSD), the US
Other rankings are available:
4. Biology jobs offer high salaries and job stability
Biology is highly specialised, so it’s hardly surprising that experts in this field are paid very well and appreciated for their work.
The job outlook for biologists also looks great; in the US, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 4-5% growth between 2019-2029 for microbiologist and biological technician job openings.
Your salary will vary based on experience, job title, and, of course, the country where you work. But to reveal what you could earn, we’ll take a look at the most popular Biology jobs and the average salaries in the US based on data from PayScale:
- Biotechnologist – 51,725 USD/year
- Microbiologist – 54,600 USD/year
- Marine biologist – 52,390 USD/year
- Soil scientist – 58,650 USD/year
- Research scientist – 81,380 USD/year
- Biochemist – 61,760 USD/year
- Wildlife biologist – 51,010 USD/year
5. You can become a bio-entrepreneur
Bio-entrepreneurship is an increasingly popular term nowadays. That’s because a growing number of young scientists/Biology graduates regard it as an opportunity to use their knowledge for the benefit of the world, but on their own terms.
Obviously, bio-entrepreneurship isn’t all fun and games. Actually, Biology knowledge alone won’t be enough. You’ll need a secondary degree in Business or at least some experience of how new companies work, how to manage people, and so on.
But there are many opportunities in the biology and biotechnology areas:
- Opening a medicine store
- Starting a genetic engineering laboratory or company
- Creating an organisation offering advice regarding environmental or biological issues
And the list could go on. Now, it’s your turn to be creative!
6. Biology is the perfect blend of office, lab, and fieldwork
A Biology degree is ideal for people who love studying just as much as they love experimenting or being outdoors.
One week you’ll be focused on your course books, the other, you’ll fail your first lab experiments, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself testing out academic concepts in the real natural environment. And this pattern carries on even after graduation.
The nature of your job will decide how your time is spent, but we suspect that if you’ve chosen this major, you won’t want to spend all day staring at books or computer screens.
7. The world needs biologists
Although there’s no such thing as a “good or bad” time to become a biologist, the truth is, many of the issues we are facing today are somehow connected to Biology:
- Reducing carbon dioxide without creating side effects
- Using antibiotics without creating super-resistant bacteria
- Dealing with invasive species from other habitats
- Creating resistant and easy-to-produce materials that are reusable
- Designing the future of agriculture, crops, and food supplies
And these are only a few examples. Our challenges are numerous, but if you have the curiosity to understand life and nature itself, you could do a lot of good in the world with a Biology degree.