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Biologists’ job market better than authorities report

Biologists with a master exam from Lund University very often get relevant jobs that they are trained for. This shows in a study from the Department of Biology. The result is a lot more positive compared to many reports from authorities and organisations over the years.
The Department of Biology
A new study from the Department of Biology shows that almost all students with a master exam in Biology from Lund get relevant jobs after their exam. Photo: Inger Ekström

Official reports seldom highlight biologist as a profession worth aiming for. On the contrary; the competition on the job market has for many years been described as tough, especially for recently graduated biologists. One example is Statistiska centralbyrån, SCB, that in its annual Arbetskraftsbarometer takes the temperature on the job market for different professions. Since the year of 2000 the Arbetskraftsbarometer has stated that there is a surplus of biologists on the job market.

Lotta Persmark and Christina Ledje, study advisors at the Department of Biology in Lund, have now done their own thorough study. It shows a very different and a lot more positive view of the job situation for biologists with a master exam from Lund University.

From 2010 to 2014 there were 347 students who got their biology master exam in Lund. Approximately half of them were international students. 185 took their master in biology, 162 in molecular biology. The study advisors have managed to find out what 305 of them work with after their examinations.

• 143 (46.9 percent) are employed at postgraduate positions at universities in Sweden and abroad.

• 127 (41.6 percent) have other biology related professions (at authorities, municipalities, universities, in the private sector or their own consultancy business).

• 14 (4.6 percent) have jobs that are not related to biology. Two examples are the retail business and the model industry.

• 13 (4.3 percent) go through supplementary training to become, for example, a teacher, physician, veterinarian or chiropractor.

• 8 (2.6 percent) are unemployed.

”It is really good that we can show that a biology exam pays off. The education in Lund very often leads to relevant jobs”, says Jep Agrell, Director of Studies at the Department of Biology.

”There are 42 persons we have not been able to reach, but there is nothing that suggests that this group differs from the other students. We think that most of them have relevant jobs”, he continues.

Jan Olsson

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