Jump to contentJump to search

Career prospects


The number of students in science is continuously increasing. The study of biology is a very popular course and covers most students in the natural sciences. Graduates of a biological programm are required among universities, hospitals, research institutes and industry, thus leads to the conclusion: There are many employment opportunities for biologists.

Job description and possible occupational fields

Statistics of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) show that the unemployment rate among biologists tend to be higher among graduates than other scientists. In fact, the ratio of job seekers biologists to free places in the life sciences is less favorable than those mathematicians or physicists. However, the career fields for biologists are very diverse. Students do not find it at first as particularly helpful that the profession of a biologist is slightly outlined. Which is also a great opportunity, because graduates of a biological programme is open to a wide range of career opportunities. Students learn basic concepts in the study of biology, professional basic knowledge of life sciences, and the use of specialized scientific methods and techniques. In addition to these subject-specific skills students acquire also other transferable skills, which are also in high demand in other professional fields. Thus, most scientists are characterized by a structured and goal-oriented approach, which represent very sought-after skills in project management as well as in the management consultancy. In addition to technical skills scientists learn also how to convey complicated issues short, precise and comprehensible in written and oral form. These skills are required in professional fields such as information and communications industry. In addition, the study promotes the ability to work productively in a team.

Useful information and links
How can you increase your chances of finding a job?

A graduation in standard study period, can be helpful, and the acquisition of additional qualifications and skills that might be useful for later jobs should give you a competitive edge when applying, such as: foreign language skills, business knowledge, knowledge of project management, special mathematical skills, programming skills or cross-cultural experiences through stays abroad. We also recommend to start in an early stage "Networking", in which you carry out voluntary work placements in industry or other institutions, or in which you purchase a membership in interest groups (VBIO) to get in touch with professionals. Since the job situation for biologists is more tense than in other sciences, it is advisable to show a high degree of flexibility in career choice and location. In addition, it may be helpful to study very early job offers to see which skills and competencies of candidates are expected thus you can try to professionalize yourself while studying. More information about the possibilities of individual professionalization is available on the website of The Student Academy.

Career areas

University & Co
for example: Research at universities, colleges, Max Planck Institutes, Leibnitz Association, Helmholz Society, Fraunhofer Society. Usually with the aim of a professorship or permanent employment as a research assistant. Recently, these institutions have begun to employ staff to coordinate research projects, structured graduate programmes or courses of study. There are also other positions within the German Research Foundation (DFG). However, the majority of these positions are temporary.

Nature conservation and environmental protection
for example: Independent activity; expert reports, cooperation in nature conservation associations; curator or employee of collections, zoos, national parks; cooperation in industrial companies for technical environmental protection.

Health sector
for example: University and university hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, laboratory management, clinical monitoring, reproductive medicine, immunology, molecular life science.

Communication and Information
e.g. science journalism at publishing houses, TV stations, radio stations, jobs in publishing houses (lecturer, editor, editor), software development in universities, offices & industry (bioinformatics). For bioinformaticians, the job market situation looks better, but they also compete with graduates of a bioinformatics course. 

Laboratory work in industry
for example: Companies, BKA, LKA, offices Analytics/diagnostics in biomedicine, plant and animal breeding, forensics and food control; research and development in biotechnological and life science companies

Other possible careers:
Production, approval or marketing in industry
School Service
Foundation Management
Patent lawyer

Responsible for the content: