How employable is a Biomedical Science degree?

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pineapple201
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This question is aimed at university students/ graduates who are completing/ completed a Biomed degree. What are the typical job prospects for a graduate? I know that the typical answer we get from people is that 'it opens so many doors' such as a career into finance or some sort of scientist, but what is the reality really like? Are there people who have become a scientist straightaway after completing a Biomed degree or is it more acceptable to complete a master's before pursuing that career? How competitive is it to get a job in science as I'm aware that the percentage of graduate jobs available is plummeting every year. Is there any advice or warnings you would give to students who are considering to study the degree?
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QuentinM
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(Original post by pineapple201)
This question is aimed at university students/ graduates who are completing/ completed a Biomed degree. What are the typical job prospects for a graduate? I know that the typical answer we get from people is that 'it opens so many doors' such as a career into finance or some sort of scientist, but what is the reality really like? Are there people who have become a scientist straightaway after completing a Biomed degree or is it more acceptable to complete a master's before pursuing that career? How competitive is it to get a job in science as I'm aware that the percentage of graduate jobs available is plummeting every year. Is there any advice or warnings you would give to students who are considering to study the degree?
Great question.

If you are considering a career in science, your two main options are becoming a research technician, or doing a PhD and progressing on to postdoctoral work, then potentially starting up your own lab. As someone who has pursued both routes (even if only temporarily for one of them) I can give my own perspective.

If you go down the research technician route, generally posts will be available for 6 months-2 years if you apply for posts in a specific lab. Long term career wise, you can go into more lab-manager roles, or join as a more permanent technician later on not fixed to a lab, personally I wouldn't recommend it but if you're not keen on a PhD but keen on science, its a good way to stay in the game. I would say the first positions I mentioned generally require more experience than you might get in a Bachelor's degree, I applied for several after a Masters I did because only then did I have the appropriate experience to be considered competitively. Only people I know that did it without a masters had already worked in the lab as a volunteer before applying (which is something I've personally had to do, and I feel is becoming more common in several ways)

Generally if you want a longer-term career in science I'd say doing a PhD is the better option. Again applications for these are VERY competitive (I considered myself a pretty decent applicant but it still took me 3 years to be successful in applying for one) and often you will need a Masters degree to be considered competitive (unless you do a placement year after year 2). However after doing this, you can go into postdoctoral positions and potentially set up your own lab.

My general advice would be: all of these routes are VERY competitive. Research technician posts often require a fair amount of experience and can be heavily applied for (e.g. one I applied for, a 6 month position, had 20 applicants, I was one of the 6 interviewees and even with BSc and MRes, most of those interviewed had more experience). PhD's also VERY competitive, heavily applied for and a big gamble for the labs that supervise them so they have to be sure they are choosing the right people. The career path after PhD's (post-doctoral work, then maybe setting up your own lab) then requires grant application, which can be even more competitive.

Personally I really enjoyed the degree I did (medical sciences), really wanted to do a degree and couldn't see myself doing anything else. If you are really keen on a career in scientific research then by all means go for it, my post is purely to warn how difficult your journey ahead might be (so you can prepare yourself). Honestly from my previous work in labs, I can't imagine myself doing anything else
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pineapple201
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(Original post by QuentinM)
Great question.

If you are considering a career in science, your two main options are becoming a research technician, or doing a PhD and progressing on to postdoctoral work, then potentially starting up your own lab. As someone who has pursued both routes (even if only temporarily for one of them) I can give my own perspective.

If you go down the research technician route, generally posts will be available for 6 months-2 years if you apply for posts in a specific lab. Long term career wise, you can go into more lab-manager roles, or join as a more permanent technician later on not fixed to a lab, personally I wouldn't recommend it but if you're not keen on a PhD but keen on science, its a good way to stay in the game. I would say the first positions I mentioned generally require more experience than you might get in a Bachelor's degree, I applied for several after a Masters I did because only then did I have the appropriate experience to be considered competitively. Only people I know that did it without a masters had already worked in the lab as a volunteer before applying (which is something I've personally had to do, and I feel is becoming more common in several ways)

Generally if you want a longer-term career in science I'd say doing a PhD is the better option. Again applications for these are VERY competitive (I considered myself a pretty decent applicant but it still took me 3 years to be successful in applying for one) and often you will need a Masters degree to be considered competitive (unless you do a placement year after year 2). However after doing this, you can go into postdoctoral positions and potentially set up your own lab.

My general advice would be: all of these routes are VERY competitive. Research technician posts often require a fair amount of experience and can be heavily applied for (e.g. one I applied for, a 6 month position, had 20 applicants, I was one of the 6 interviewees and even with BSc and MRes, most of those interviewed had more experience). PhD's also VERY competitive, heavily applied for and a big gamble for the labs that supervise them so they have to be sure they are choosing the right people. The career path after PhD's (post-doctoral work, then maybe setting up your own lab) then requires grant application, which can be even more competitive.

Personally I really enjoyed the degree I did (medical sciences), really wanted to do a degree and couldn't see myself doing anything else. If you are really keen on a career in scientific research then by all means go for it, my post is purely to warn how difficult your journey ahead might be (so you can prepare yourself). Honestly from my previous work in labs, I can't imagine myself doing anything else
Thank you so much for the advice!😊
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Chris2892
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(Original post by pineapple201)
This question is aimed at university students/ graduates who are completing/ completed a Biomed degree. What are the typical job prospects for a graduate? I know that the typical answer we get from people is that 'it opens so many doors' such as a career into finance or some sort of scientist, but what is the reality really like? Are there people who have become a scientist straightaway after completing a Biomed degree or is it more acceptable to complete a master's before pursuing that career? How competitive is it to get a job in science as I'm aware that the percentage of graduate jobs available is plummeting every year. Is there any advice or warnings you would give to students who are considering to study the degree?
I work with biomedical science and engineer graduates, but work more on the mechanical aspect of medical devices myself, as opposed to the human bio factors.

Johnson & Johnson Biomedical science and engineer employees have recently started making career insight videos on Instagram about what they studied, what job they wanted to do/now do, and how they got their roles. As far as I know they’re still actively adding new videos.

There are also some individuals on a graduate scheme who have posted a videos. The career insights can be found at:
www.instagram.com/a_day_in_the_life_stem/

Hope this helps
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pineapple201
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(Original post by Chris2892)
I work with biomedical science and engineer graduates, but work more on the mechanical aspect of medical devices myself, as opposed to the human bio factors.

Johnson & Johnson Biomedical science and engineer employees have recently started making career insight videos on Instagram about what they studied, what job they wanted to do/now do, and how they got their roles. As far as I know they’re still actively adding new videos.

There are also some individuals on a graduate scheme who have posted a videos. The career insights can be found at:
www.instagram.com/a_day_in_the_life_stem/

Hope this helps
Thank you!
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