Biochemistry Careers: What Can I Do With A Biochemistry Degree?

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When it comes to Biochemistry, there is quite a lot that you can do with your biochemistry degree. A lot of graduates with a biochemistry degree are gainfully employed in almost all sectors of the economy. There is no limit to your career with your biochemistry degree.

In fact, being a biochemist opens a wide door of opportunities for you. If you are thinking of studying biochemistry or you’re a graduate of biochemistry, I think you should take your time to read this post. But before we go fully into careers in Biochemistry, let’s, first of all, understand what Biochemistry is all about.

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is simply the study of life at a molecular level. As a biochemist, you’ll learn biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, and genetics. You’ll also be exposed to biochemical experiments using molecular experimental tools.

During your studies, you’ll be exposed to both practical and technical skills through laboratory-based work. Biochemistry is more of a research-based course. This is just to prepare you for a research study or a technician position.

Branches of Biochemistry

Biochemistry has so many branches. As an undergraduate, you can only do the general biochemistry. However, if you want to further, you can specialize in any of the branches of biochemistry.

  • Genetics and Cancer Research
  • Energy and Metabolism
  • Bioinformatics and Biosignalling
  • Cell Biology
  • Plant Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Industrial Biochemistry
  • Toxicology and Forensic
  • Drug Metabolism
  • Nutritional and Food Biochemistry
  • Environmental Biochemistry

Job Opportunities for a Biochemist

A biochemist can work in any of the fields listed below.

  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Healthcare scientist, clinical biochemistry
  • Clinical research associate
  • 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
  • Patent Examiner
  • Science writer
  • Toxicologist

Importantly, many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject. So you don’t have to limit your job search to the ones listed on this page.

Industries Where a Biochemist Can Work

As a biochemist, you can work both in government or private industry. The main industries that employ biochemistry graduates in the public sector are:

  • Research Institutes
  • Universities
  • Government Agencies and Parastatals
  • The National Health Service
  • Forensic Science Services
  • Environment Agency
  • Food Industry
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Biotechnology Industry

Work experience with Biochemistry Jobs

The practical and technical skills that you’ve developed through laboratory-based research prepares you for a technician position. You can improve your chances of securing a good job by getting relevant work experience, for example, an internship in research or company.

Some universities provide a four-year undergraduate course that already includes industrial training. You can choose to undertake in any relevant industry of your choice.

Whatever your career plans are (or even if you don’t have any 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.

Further study

If you want to pick a career in research or industry, you’ll need to further your studies either to a Masters or Ph.D. level. In fact, a Ph.D. 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.

What’s more, with a Biochemistry degree, you can also apply for graduate entry in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science.

Skills to Include in Your CV for Biochemistry Jobs

During your degree, you develop specific skills associated with Biochemistry. The most important skills that should be at least mentioned on your CV are:

  • The ability to understand complex biological processes
  • Having a full and critical understanding of relevant texts
  • Critical and analytical skills
  • In-depth knowledge of molecular biology techniques
  • Practical laboratory skills
  • 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:

  • Practical skills
  • Numeracy
  • Communication, presentation and IT skills
  • Teamwork
  • Self-management and professional development
  • Communication and presentation
  • Report writing
  • Planning and time management
  • The ability to work to deadlines

You can demonstrate your experience in these areas by giving examples from the practical work and group projects included in your degree course.

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