Molecular Biology and Biotechnology - Introduction

Potential Careers

The majority of MBB students aim to enter jobs relating to their discipline. Upon graduation, some obtain employment as research assistants or lab technicians in Higher Education, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations and biotech organisations (including small firms - SMEs).

A very high proportion (usually about 45-50%) of MBB graduates go on to further study to enhance their prospects of pursuing a scientific research career in academia, research institutes, the NHS, pharmaceutical companies, and other industries. About half of those who enter postgraduate study undertake a PhD / MPhil, with others going on to Masters courses related to their discipline. A small number go into teaching training.

Other MBB graduates utilise the transferable skills gained from their course and extra-curricular activities to follow career paths as diverse as It, business management, accountancy, insurance underwriting, recruitment consulting, events management, and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

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Step 1 - Look at the career paths of recent graduates

Understanding what recent graduates from your subject have gone on to do can be a valuable source of information to help in career planning, but bear in mind that what you choose to do will be a personal decision based on many other factors, such as what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what you want from work.

Understand yourself and your options

Read this section first, if you have not already done so, as it will help you explore these factors and get ideas for possible careers.

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology - what University of Sheffield graduates do six months after graduation

This data was collected six months after graduation, so although useful, it doesn't provide a reliable indicator of longer term career paths. Some graduates are still in transition and may be in short term jobs, mainly in administrative, retail and customer service roles, developing further skills and experience while at the same time job hunting, travelling or taking time out.

Graduate case studies

Our graduate case studies database allows you to search by department and read the case studies from graduates who describe their career path and provide a realistic insight into the world of work.

Step 2 - Research options linked to your subject

We have put together a number of resources to help with this.

There are a number of obvious jobs that you may wish to consider such as academic research, research and development in industry, or clinical science in the NHS. However, there are many other alternatives. A large proportion of vacancies advertised to graduates are open to any degree subject, so you should be prepared to explore all your options and be open to new career ideas, investigating roles with small companies (SMEs) as well as the large organisations you may already be familiar with.

Options with your subject - Biochemistry | Biotechnology | Genetics | Microbiology

This section of the Prospects website will help you to explore how you can best use your degree.

Careers A to Z - Health Careers

The NHS website includes over 300 careers, including healthcare scientists and health informatics.

Pharmaceutical industry careers - APBI

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry careers website has occupational case studies, as well as practical information about employers and job hunting.

What can I do with a biology degree?

This guide produced by Targetjobs, should help you think about the skills you have and the jobs they can be applied to.

Explore types of jobs - Prospects

This part of Prospects includes profiles covering a wide range of occupations, including job descriptions, salary, entry requirements, training, typical employers and vacancies.

Search courses and research

A significant proportion (around 50%) of MBB graduates progress into postgraduate study, particularly those wishing to enhance their prospects of a career in scientific research. Many pursue a PhD / MPhil or MSc in relevant subjects around biochemistry,  microbiology, molecular biology and biotechnology, biomedicine, and other related areas.

A few graduates choose further study which enables them to use science in a different way, such as teaching, biotechnological law, or science communication. Small numbers choose to move away from science altogether, for example undertaking further study in finance or business management.

If you are interested in postgraduate study, a good place to start is Prospects, which offer a database of courses and research opportunities.

Step 3 - Search vacancy databases for jobs of interest

Career Connect

We advertise over 5000 vacancies each year for graduate jobs, placements, part-time, voluntary and vacation work.

Information resources

Our Information resources database includes a section covering a large number of general and regional graduate vacancy websites. Within the ‘Occupations’ section we include recruiters who specialise in a particular sector. Many professional organisations and government bodies also include vacancies as part of their website.

Other suggested vacancy sources