Every degree comes with it’s own set of benefits and shortcomings. These are often greatly influenced by where you choose to study your degree and to what level.
For the most part dedicating 3-5 years of your life to learning about a particular subject will do much more good than harm in the long run.
This is the case with biomedical science because although it is often advertised to people interested in medicine, the degree is far more than just a pre-med course! Here are 5 reasons you should think about studying a biomedical science degree.
5 Great Reasons to Study a Biomedical science degree
Biomedical science students are usually given many opportunities to apply for and do a placement either during the summer, alongside your studies, or even completely independent of the university. Placements are the best way of getting a foot in the door when it comes to getting a job.
In the past, students have found placements in companies such as Covance, Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Mast Laboratories, Nestlé and the Sanger Centre in Cambridge. It may only take your supervisor admiring your work ethic and dedication for him/her to offer you a full-time job after you finish university or keep you on after your placement comes to an end.
University is an ongoing learning process and most biomedical science students choose to remain in lecture theaters for another year to complete a master’s degree.
This may seem like a lengthy process but students holding a first degree as well as a masters seem to be more employable, and on average make more over their lifetime than just first-degree holders.
The further you study a topic at university, the more connections you make, and the more you become an expert on a niche topic. This makes you uniquely qualified to carry out research in this field.
Universities often employ graduates to work alongside PhD’s carrying out research for big companies who will potentially give you A LOT of money to fund their research.
If you play your cards right, you may get to a place where you can apply for your own grants and organise your own research teams!
Chance to stand out
Many universities, once you complete a biomedical science degree, will give you a guaranteed offer to study a masters program with them. This gives you a new set of skills beyond learning about the human body.
MSc courses open to biomed graduates include Bioinformatics and computational Biosciences. Bioinformatics and computational biosciences involve using computer programming to analyse biological data.
This field is rapidly becoming more and more relevant with the use of computing systems spreading beyond what was imagined even 10 years ago.
Someone with knowledge of the core principles of the human body, as well as computing knowledge will soon be indispensable to many healthcare firms and medical tech start-ups. You may even be able to start a medical company of your own with the knowledge and skills you acquire.
Bioinformatics allows you to analyse big data. Picture this. You’re a bioinformatics MSc graduate. You developed a system where you can detect if a person has a rare disease based on extremely large datasets you analysed using an in-house algorithm you developed and programmed yourself.
Hospitals start using your program and see how useful it is. You patent your algorithm and license out your software. Boom. Monthly checks for doing absolutely nothing, except saving hospitals millions in expensive experimental tests.
You may think that’s unlikely to happen, but it absolutely isn’t. I know biomedical science graduates (now bioinformatics graduates) who have developed amazing software as part of their research project. Just make sure the university doesn’t take credit for your work!
Physician Associates aid doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. Their training allows them to run tests, examine patients and generally help doctors in the diagnosis of patients.
Newly qualified physician associates may have starting salaries in band 7 which is actually higher than starting salaries of junior doctors. This is however dependent on background expertise and experience building up to the current role.
To become a physician associate you must apply for a physician associate training course that usually lasts for 2 years.
Lancashire universities even runs an integrated 4-year Master of Physician associate course where you qualify as a physician associate and get a master degree as well.
The only requirement is having a health-related science degree such as biomedical science and a degree classification of at least 2:2. Certainly a career path to look into if you want to do patient facing work in a hospital.
medical sales representative
To study biomedical sciences, you have to be pretty target driven and be knowledgeable about the medical field. These are the very traits of good medical sales rep.
medical sales reps are essentially the people that connect medical companies to the healthcare professionals. They sell company’s products such as drugs and medical equipment to different customers which include doctors, GPs and pharmacists.
This is a potentially lucrative role as your pay will be supplemented with big bonuses if you manage to meet and exceed sales targets. The job role is typically open to most graduates however a background in bio-sciences significantly improves your chances of landing a lucrative role as a medical sales rep.
If you are still unsure about which courses to study, consider checking out my short course where I walk you through several life sciences courses and which ones to study in the future!