What to Do With a Biology Degree Besides Medical School

February 16, 2024

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A bachelor’s degree in biology is a common and extremely popular first step toward medical school. In fact, more than half of all medical school matriculants enter into their residencies with a degree in biological sciences. But what happens when you graduate with a biology degree without any medical school aspirations? Don’t worry — a biology degree is incredibly versatile. Even if you don’t use it to start a path to medical school, the degree still holds significant value in a large number of other professions within the biotech and life sciences industries

Alternatives to Medical School for Biology Majors

Contrary to popular belief, not all biology majors choose to go on to medical school—and that’s perfectly acceptable. Success in a biology degree program means you’ve likely acquired critical skills, including analytical thinking, laboratory training, self-motivation, problem-solving, and the ability to work collaboratively in a team setting.

You’ve also likely memorized reams of information on biological sciences that many employers (especially those in the biotech industry) consider prerequisites to hiring. 

Among the many options outside of medical school available to biology majors, you may want to consider careers in:

  • Education (public or private)
  • Health/biology content writing
  • Food science
  • Environmental science
  • Forensic science
  • Biological research assistant
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biotechnology (including consulting, marketing, research and development, and bioprocessing)

This list is not exhaustive. Biology majors may find themselves in a variety of different careers that don’t require medical school.

And, if you choose, you can still pursue a career in the medical field without having to default to medical school. Many graduates who hold a biology degree ultimately pursue careers in nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy.

What is an Average Biology Degree Salary Without Medical School?

Although medical school graduates are known to command high salaries, anyone who graduates with a biology degree can still earn well above average, even without attending medical school.

Some of the highest-paying jobs for biology majors include:

  • Pharmacist – Average salary: $128,000
  • Bioprocess Engineer – Average salary: $120,000
  • Nurse Practitioner – Average salary: $105,000
  • Regulatory Affairs Consultant – Average salary: $97,000
  • Research Scientist – Average salary: $99,000
  • Biotech Consultant – Average salary: $82,000
  • Microbiologist – Average salary: $75,000

While you don’t need medical school to obtain a fulfilling, high-paying career with a biology degree, you’ll likely still need a post-secondary degree. With medical school acceptance rates at just over 40% of applicants each year, it’s important to explore biology degree career alternatives.

Enjoy a High-Paying Biology Degree Career with a Master of Business and Science

You’ll find that many of the best-salaried jobs available to individuals with a biology degree exist at the intersection of business and science. Careers such as Bioprocess Engineer, Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Research Scientist, and Biotech Consultant are all possible paths for those who graduate with a Master of Business and Science (MBS) degree from Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in Claremont, CA.

Our MBS program will take you through an intense and worthwhile curriculum that focuses on higher-level biotechnology sciences, government, and business.

Launch your two-year MBS degree at KGI with classes in Molecular Biology, Bioprocessing, Finance, Ethics, and more. Then, finish off with one of five elective concentrations in:

  • Bioprocessing
  • Biotech Management
  • Clinical and Regulatory Affairs
  • Medical Devices and Diagnostics
  • Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development

KGI’s Master of Business and Science graduates have an average salary of over $150,000 within just three years of graduating, and 90% of our alumni achieve a job placement in the biotech industry within six months of earning their degree. We also have two-year master’s programs in bioprocessing, medical device engineering, and genetics.

Make your biology degree work for you, even without going to medical school. To learn more about your next degree steps, download our Guide to a Master of Business and Science. Or, you can contact us today to learn more about the Master of Business and Science degree, including tuition, curriculum, and application deadlines.


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