Career Exploration in Biology and Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Students attend college for many reasons, often these reasons include the pursuit of a desired career and to enhance their earning potential. Yet, it is quite common for students to know they are interested in the field of biology, without having a specific career in mind. The field of biology is broad, as is our curriculum, so with proper preparation, you can use your degree in biology to springboard into an equally diverse array of careers. The resources below are meant for you to do some career exploration. It would be advisable to identify careers of interest and to then schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss your next steps.
Grand Valley offers a 1 credit class - US 301 Internship and Job Search Strategies. It provides a structured approach to organizing and executing a job search campaign for an internship, or employment following graduation. Course topics include skill identification, job market research, resume writing, effective networking, interviewing, negotiating offers, and job survival skills.
Career Guides by Major
You are more than your major. It is important to take an active part in the academic life of your department but a career action plan cannot stop there. Use Career Guides by Major to map out your plan. Each guide includes sample career paths; internship ideas; graduate, professional, and certificate programs to consider; major-related study abroad experiences, student organizations, skill sets; and other helpful resources.
What Can I Do With This Major?
The million dollar question! Try searching for ‘Biology’, ‘Natural Resource and Environmental Management’, or something more refined. You can select those careers of interest and learn about areas of study, typical employers, and strategies to be most successful within this field.
Focus 2 is a free personalized career assessment and exploration tool available to all GVSU students and alumni. Focus 2 is designed to help you explore careers and majors by identifying those that best fit your career interests, values, personality, and skills. From these results, you can explore in-depth information related to specific careers (e.g., typical responsibilities, projected job growth, salary, etc.).
O*Net allows you to search for career options. Try simple search terms at first, like bio, vet, education, or lab to see the breadth of possible careers within this field. O*Net provides information about each possibility, including skills, related careers, salaries, and employment trends. Careers are labeled as ‘bright outlook’ and ‘green’ to easily those with expected growth and a sustainability focus.
O*Net Career Clusters
O*NET Career Clusters identifies careers requiring similar skills. You can use this tool to better plan what knowledge, competencies, and training you need to be successful in the career of your choice.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
A search engine for jobs using keywords, location, or job type. This site also has interesting career advice.
Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
A search engine for jobs using keywords, location, or job type.
Information on careers in biology, resource, career development, and job hunting links.
The Sloan Career Cornerstone Center is a career exploration resource in STEM disciplines (i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). You can learn about potential careers within a discipline, how you need to prepare for careers, what a ‘day in the life’ of this career may be like, as well as information on earnings, employment, and career path forecasts.
Glassdoor is a job search engine with some interesting features including common interview questions, company information, and salary information including national and local averages.
You may use this government website to examine the outlook and expected wages for careers of interest.