What can I do with a degree in Biochemistry?
Through their Biochemistry degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:
- Analytical and problem solving
- Good planning and organisation
- Oral and written communication
- Teamwork and leadership
- Capacity to think creatively, logically and quantitatively
- Mathematical and computer competencies
- Observation, research and development abilities
Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.
Biochemistry is the science of life. Biochemists explore how cells work; including the complex reactions that release energy to maintain cell function, the interactions between molecules in cells and the complex relationships between macrobiomolecules and their involvement in regulation of cell function.
Biochemists also study what happens when these complex chemical interactions go wrong - this is the chemical basis of disease. If we understand what causes disease we might be able to develop treatments to put the chemistry right; for this reason Biochemists are key members of drug development teams in the pharmaceuticals industry.
Biochemists also work in government departments (eg in medicines regulation), diagnostic departments in hospitals, and in research institutes studying subjects as diverse as crop protection and nanotechnology.
Biochemistry graduates find employment with food and beverage producers, manufacturing and processing companies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisations, regulatory and government agencies, health and beauty care organisations, and science publishers. Graduates with Biochemistry in their degrees are also well-equipped to teach biology, chemistry and other science subjects in secondary schools.
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Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including research and teaching.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Studies the composition of all living things
- Develops and tests new pharmaceutical products
- Studies how disease or vaccines interact
- Research scientist
- Undertakes experimental lab work
- Researches and documents results
- Analyses data
- Manufacturing scientist
- Interacts with suppliers
- Manages other team members
- Writes reports
- Salesperson for scientific
- Travels to meet clients
- Assesses supplier needs
- Provides equipment instruction
- Business development analyst
- Researches competing technologies, partner companies and clinical results
- Provides support with company marketing and contracts
- Secondary school teacher
- Prepares and delivers instructional activities and lessons in specialised subjects
- Observes and evaluates performance in order to provide feedback
- Develops and marks tests and assessments
- Patent advisor
- Maintains knowledge of relevant laws and regulations, and assessment of new inventions
- Researches technical or scientific documents, enabling assessment of a product as new and innovative
- Science writer
- Researches specialist scientific publications
- Interviews scientists, medical personal and academics
- Writes and edits scientific articles
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
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As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed below.
- Royal Society of New Zealand
- New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists
- Australian and New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
Related course of study include the honours degree, and studies at masters and PhD level. Other areas might include study in chemical engineering, dairying technology or forensic science. This additional study can impact on the entry level of employment in industry.
Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.