Through studying biochemistry, you not only acquire a great deal of subject knowledge but you also develop many skills which will be invaluable for your next career move…
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Clinical research associate
Higher education lecturer
Research scientist (life sciences)
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Health and safety inspector
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Many biochemists want to forge a career in the biosciences, so you should try to gain practical and technical experience during your degree course as this will equip you well for a research or technical position. Your final year research project and other associated practical work will help towards this, and if you can secure a vacation job in a laboratory, it will definitely work in your favour when you approach employers.
Whatever your career plans (or even if you don’t have any as yet), it is important to enhance your degree with extra skills and experiences which show that you are a proactive person engaging with the world around you.
Most biochemists are employed as researchers in universities, research institutes and large companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals. Small companies also employ biochemists to provide specialist services, such as toxicological studies. Many also work for in:
government laboratories, such as the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
public health laboratories, such as the Health Protection Agency (HPA)
Find information on employers in teaching and education, science and pharmaceuticals, health and social care and other job sectors.
Skills for your CV
Specific skills associated with biochemistry include:
the ability to understand complex biological processes;
having a full and critical understanding of relevant texts;
assembling arguments and engaging in debate;
critical and analytical skills;
independent thinking and problem-solving.
Generic, transferable skills include:
communication, presentation and IT skills;
self-management and professional development.
You can demonstrate your experience in these areas by giving examples from the practical work and group projects included in your degree course.
It is common for biochemists to continue their higher education if they are intending to forge a career in the biosciences. A PhD is essential for academic research or to secure a career as an academic lecturer. Even for those entering research in industry or associated careers such as publishing, science communication or clinical careers, further qualifications are an asset and increasingly essential.
If you are aiming for a career path away from science, it will be well worth considering what kind of professional qualifications may stand you in good stead for getting into, and progressing, your chosen career.