Options with your subject
The following information is applicable to both undergraduates and post-graduates interested in entering the Marine Biology. You will also find information on specific jobs related to this subject, occupations where your degree would be useful and how to get started if you are not too sure.
Your degree will open the door to many graduate jobs and careers, but the following areas are among the most popular pathways for Marine Biology graduates.
Marine Biology is a fascinating and ever changing field and can involve, for example, work preserving habitats, biodiversity, analysing ocean pollution, climate change effects, work on sustainable fisheries or threats of invasive species. The sector is research orientated so many Marine Biologists work in academic institutions or research organisations and laboratories. Some, however, will go into career areas such as fisheries, water management or fields such as ecological consultancy or marine conservation. Others find work in diving or as aquarists or move into education or natural history. Careers open to Biologists, in general, are also wide ranging from medical sales, forensics and bioinformatics to scientific communications. It might, therefore, be useful to look at other subject pages relating to biology or the environment. Scientists are valued by many employers because of their numerical literacy, IT and problem solving skills. Many graduates have found work in IT or areas such as finance.
This is a highly competitive field where it is important to build as much experience as possible, making contacts and networks along the way. If you are interested in a particular species, behaviour, technique or ecostystem then try to systematically gain further experience and understanding relating to it. It is also important to develop generic skills e.g. working in and managing teams, understanding project management, stakeholder awareness etc. There is plenty of opportunity to do this – from local volunteering e.g. the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, BCTV, National Marine Aquarium, Living Coasts etc
but also through projects e.g.at the MBA. Other projects might include e.g. Green force, Ecology Projects International or Earth watch and Zo ox. Some projects will involve a financial commitment so check and research carefully. Inclusion here is not an endorsement of these organisations. Marine Biology UK also links to some useful projects and volunteering and there are sometimes internships advertised in the Environment Post and Environment Job. See also voluntary work
for general opportunities.
If you have interests in non-biological careers then make early contact for a discussion with a Careers Adviser to help you think about ideas and opportunities. See also the section on general work experience
Further study beyond a Bachelor’s will be helpful in gaining specialist knowledge and is a popular and often necessary option for Marine Biologists. It is also now a potentially expensive option, particularly at Masters level, so it does require careful research and consideration to make sure the investment is worthwhile. Discussion with a Careers Adviser on your options both in the UK and overseas would be recommended.