Q: I plan to get a BS in microbiology. What type of jobs can I get with that degree?
A: Because microbes are involved in virtually every biological process and can be found living almost everywhere the jobs for graduates with a degree in microbiology are quite varied. Jobs are available in all the following categories:
- Government (local, state, national)
- Health Care
The American Society of Microbiology has an excellent site that lists career options in each of the categories above. The site also lists other helpful websites and posts job opportunities: http://www.microbiologycareers.org/index.php/microbiology-positions
The ASC Career Services office at OSU also is a resource for you concerning careers: http://asccareerservices.osu.edu/
Q: What is the average salary I can expect to make with a BS degree in microbiology?
A: Salaries will vary greatly depending on the particular job, the location of the job, and your previous experience. One site lists the average starting salary for a graduate with a BS degree in microbiology in 2011 as ~$38,000. Remember, this is just a guide and may not reflect the salary you may be offered. The site also lists average salaries for graduates with other degrees: http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp
Q: How difficult will it be for me to find a job with a BS in microbiology following graduation?
A: The difficulty of your job search depends on several things including how well you have done with your course work, your experience during your college years, how willing you are to relocate, etc. Some things you can do to increase your chances of finding the job you want include:
- Have a goal in mind as early in your college career as possible. This will help you decide which opportunities that come your way as a student will best help you reach your goal.
- Do well in your classes. Potential employers WILL look at your grade transcript.
- Take advantage of any internships, volunteer opportunities, undergraduate research, etc. that you can. Participation in these activities will make your resume and application stand out from others.