In some ways, choosing a degree to pursue is a lot like trying to predict the future. A law degree leads to becoming a solicitor or a barrister, an engineering degree is likely to turn you into an engineer, and a medical degree is bound to have you end up with a career in medicine.
Right? Well, not necessarily.
Even if you aren’t 100% sure that you want to commit to a medical career, Medical Bioscience is a degree that offers you several choices even if you should decide down the line that medicine is not for you.
This post broadly outlines five possible career paths you could take after completing a degree in Medical Bioscience, or, if you have one already, for you to consider as to what your next career move might be.
Path 1: A Medical Career
To begin with the most obvious direction, a Medical Bioscience degree can serve as a stepping stone towards becoming a medical doctor, a nurse, a dentist or a dental assistant which, of course, will require you to pursue advanced studies.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see how the line-up of Medical Bioscience classes serves as an excellent foundation or pre-med programme. This line up includes
● Human Physiology
● Cell Biology
● Molecular Biology
● Medical Biochemistry
● Molecular and Cellular Pathology
● Molecular Genetics
● Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
● Clinical Haematology and Transfusion Sciences
It’s just as easy to see how the skills you develop in a Biomedical Science programme would serve you well in your future medical career. These skills include
● Knowing how to perform both routine and specialised analyses on various biological samples
● Presenting the results of these analyses in an effective and organised manner
● Being able to detect anomalies in the results and knowing which steps to take afterwards
● Operating computers and laboratory equipment such as microscopes and other machinery
● Working with accuracy under pressure and processing large amounts of information simultaneously
● Maintaining laboratory equipment and materials
● Critical thinking and creative problem solving
● Written and verbal communication
Even if you don’t become an MD, you still have an important role to play in patient care as a Biomedical Scientist. It would be your job, for example, to test and analyse blood for transfusions or to detect the presence of viruses or disease.
Still other possible medical careers include Physical and Occupational Therapy, Osteopathy, Psychology, Neuroscience, and Chiropractic medicine.
Path 2: A Medical-Related Career
If you have a Medical Bioscience degree and know you want a career in medicine, but would prefer not to have direct contact with patients, the career opportunities multiply.
In Biomedical Engineering alone, there are several options you can explore that are related to the design and manufacture of medical devices and equipment, ranging from orthopaedic shoes and crutches to dialysis machines, pacemakers, ECG’s and even artificial organs. If, for instance, you decide on a career in
● Audiology, you’ll be helping with treatments such as hearing aids and rehabilitation for hearing and balance disorders.
● Bionics or Biomechatronics, you will be developing muscle-controlled mechanical or robotic prostheses to help people with limited movement due to accidents or disease.
● Medical Imaging, you’ll be helping to provide better images of the inner workings of the human body for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, such as CT-scans, ultrasounds or MRI’s.
● System Physiology, you’ll be focused on how the circulatory, digestive, musculoskeletal and other systems work together within the body.
● Neural Engineering, you’ll be helping to treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy and stroke.
● Computational Biology, you’ll be using analytics or algorithms in studying biological processes such as gene changes, cell organisation or protein expression in disease.
● Rehabilitation Engineering, you’ll be helping people with wheelchairs or other disabilities to become more independent through modifications in their homes or offices and other methods.
Here are other possible careers for Medical Bioscience degree-holders that you may want to consider:
● A clinical geneticist helps to treat rare diseases like muscular dystrophy, sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis using genetic testing.
● A clinical immunologist applies immunology in diagnosing and treating patients.
● A clinical laboratory technician performs tasks such as getting specimens ready for analysis.
● A clinical laboratory technologist carries out advanced lab tests such as finding microbes in a sample taken from a patient.
● An epidemiologist analyses outbreaks of disease among human populations to find ways to prevent and control their spread.
● A health care administrator oversees hospitals and health care delivery systems, which includes the staff, facilities, services, the programmes and funding.
● A haematologist studies blood and blood-producing organs to help treat blood diseases such as haemophilia, lymphoma and leukaemia.
● A medical journalist knows the best ways to use the media in disseminating public health messages.
● A medical librarian helps to keep doctors up to date with, and even contribute to the latest developments in their fields.
● A medical physicist takes part in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases, particularly when it comes to determining safe and effective radiation levels.
● A medical sales representative is involved in the sales side of medications and equipment, and is usually employed by pharmaceutical companies or manufacturers.
● A nanotechnologist in medicine works with molecular structures that are 100 nanometers or smaller, to help develop more effective drugs or products like sunblock.
● A nutritionist specialises in how food works and helps people to understand the properties of food and general nutrition.
● A pharmacologist works on developing medicines, vaccines and other ways to treat human diseases.
● A public health officer liaises with the public on behalf of the government, a hospital or any other large medical services organisation.
● A toxicologist studies poisons, pollutants and other chemicals that can affect human cells.
● A transplant coordinator plays a major role in organ transplants from liaising with the organ donors to educating organ recipients about the process and post-transplant care.
Path 3: A Scientific Career
If you’d like to focus on the “science” part of Biomedical Science and veer away from the “biomedical”, you will still be able to apply your research and laboratory skills to other fields of study. The sciences that would be closest to what you’ve already studied would be the likes of
● Agricultural Economics, Agrochemistry
● Biology, Microbiology
● Environmental Sciences, Ecology
● Food Sciences
● Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Genomics
● Marine Biology, Oceanography
● Zoology, Veterinary medicine
Path 4: A Career in Academia
If research and further studies are your passion, then a career in academia might be for you. Many who complete their Biomedical Science degree go on to complete their PhD’s and land such positions as tenured faculty scientists or higher education lecturers.
You should be aware, however, that there are limited career options in academia. The number of Biomedical Science degree-holders, even those with advanced or postgraduate degrees, is far greater than the number of open faculty positions. There are also issues concerning the training and research project grants that support graduate and postgraduate students.
This makes Biomedical Science a highly competitive academic career choice. This doesn’t any way detract from the traditional academic career path, nor is this meant to discourage students or professionals from following one. This is, however, why more, and more varied career options for Biomedical Science graduates are now being explored.
If you do decide to commit to biomedical research, your career will be devoted to studying how molecules and cells work together in a healthy and diseased organism. Earning your PhD is just the beginning as you search for new biological patterns and work towards improving human health in general.
Before working on your PhD, you might consider specialising in a field such as molecular biotechnology. You might also have to earn your teaching qualifications.
In devoting yourself to research, it may help to have some work experience as a laboratory technician or assistant. Participating in as many research projects as you can, may also look good on your resume when you try to land a job as a laboratory or research head.
One other way to contribute to the academic community is through writing—if you have great communication skills to match your biomedical science knowledge, you might write, edit or even illustrate for a scientific journal or similar publication.
Path 5: An Industrial (or even Corporate) Career
Finally, you can still forge a successful career for yourself in a completely unrelated field, as the knowledge and skills you have gained in completing your Biomedical Science degree are also in demand in other industries. Here are just some of the many possible verticals you can choose to enter.
● In Agriculture, you can help in discovering treatments for genetic plant diseases or developing drought-resistant crops.
● In Biomanufacturing, you’ll be using natural biological processes to produce biomaterials such as amino acids and enzymes for industrial use.
● In Cosmetics, you can help in the formulation of perfumes, anti-aging creams and other beauty products.
● In Energy, you can contribute to the development of biofuels.
● In Environmental Science, you will be studying how construction projects can affect our natural surroundings.
● In Financial Services, the mathematical, analytical and communication skills you have gained during your biomedical science studies are bound to come in handy as an actuary, risk manager or banker.
● In Food & Beverage, you can get involved in manufacturing and development by testing and analysing ingredients and additives for possible effects on the human body.
● In Forensics, you can help law enforcement officials to obtain evidence in criminal investigations by analysing hair, fluids and other materials found on a body.,
● In Insurance, you can help investigate claims as an insurance claims specialist or adjuster.
● In Law, combining your biomedical science studies with a law degree will enable you to handle cases involving clinical trials, regulations and compliance.
● In Occupational Hygiene, you’ll be working with government agencies or consultants to help reduce stressors such as pollution and poorly designed ergonomics or ventilation in the workplace. ● In Pollution Control, you can help in the regulation of how pollutants are released into the environment as a pollution controller.
● In Sports, you can become a coach, officiator or instructor.
● In Water Management, your work as a water quality technician or analyst will have you testing the water supply for contaminants and microbes to ensure its safety.
The Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Bioscience at EASB is one of the “6 courses that will prepare you for a promising career in the health sciences” featured on university life website, Digital Senior.
EASB’s Top-Up degree programme allows you to complete your studies and earn your Medical Bioscience degree, which in turn will allow you to jumpstart your career by following any of the five paths above.
The academic content of EASB’s Medical Bioscience programme is from Aston University, one of the top universities in the UK. Aston was ranked 2nd in the UK for Subjects Allied to Medicine (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017) and was the 2017 recipient of the UK Government’s highest award in its new Teaching Excellence Framework.
As this is an honours degree awarded by Aston University, you may choose to visit Aston in Birmingham, England for your graduation.
If you have a diploma in Biomedical Science or related Life Sciences from a Singapore polytechnic and proven English proficiency, you may apply for one of the four annual programme intakes in January, April, July or September.
Like this post if you agree that, whichever of the five career paths you choose, Medical Bioscience studies do make a significant contribution towards improving human health and the quality of life worldwide. You can also share this post with a friend who might be considering medical or scientific studies as a way of helping others and furthering their careers.