Class of 2020: Faculty of Biological Sciences finalists – what are my options?

Explore your career and study options as an FBS final year student with the help of Alison Kusinska, Employability Assistant in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Current picture

Research so far under lockdown shows graduate hiring is down but has not ceased. The full effects are still uncertain in many areas. Effects on big graduate recruiters may be less, however, already competitive recruitment processes may be difficult to conquer. You may find opportunities in smaller companies more accessible and somewhere you are able to grow in confidence and gain experience.

Healthcare opportunities

There are many healthcare opportunities being advertised unsurprisingly, both in direct patient facing roles and in the wider healthcare sector including opportunities in science communication and medical affairs & regulatory type roles.

Scientific Research & Development

There is no official view yet of how recruitment in scientific R&D has and will be affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Although there will have been undoubted upheaval, the hope is that opportunities in the life sciences especially in vaccine development and other therapeutics & diagnostics including their support services may well increase in the short & longer term.

Other sectors

Opportunities in the areas of ecology & conservation, with sports clubs and many teacher training opportunities are still currently evident on recruitment websites and social media.

Identifying career options

Some of you will have already gained graduate jobs or positions on graduate schemes starting after the summer, some perhaps exploring self-employment and business ideas. Others will be taking time out, perhaps working casually or volunteering whilst some will be waiting to start postgraduate study/research.

Here to help

If you are not at all sure of your next step, especially in the current climate, you are not on your own. The university careers team is here to support you!

Exploring specific options

A range of career resources on areas popular with FBS students including sport & exercise science can be found at Your school/faculty resources. The FBS monthly Career Opportunities Newsletter also has a career resources section.

The FBS careers website has a range of resources including a section on Healthcare careers and for those of you looking to use your science but not based in a laboratory, the Non-lab science careers talk should give you further ideas.

Prospects job profiles and the ‘What can I do with my degree?’ series are also very useful. For some career paths you will need to explore postgraduate courses or PhD options while other online learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and FutureLearn can help to boost skills.

Virtual internships & volunteering are also options to consider. Register on MyCareer for Employer and FBS alumni (virtual) career talks in the summer term – #classof2020 events/workshops

Leeds Network  Find a Leeds alumni working in your area of career interest who can help you with career choice.

Mentoring Access advice of a Leeds alumni mentor who is in a role you are thinking about.

Minerva lecture capture of FBS alumni career talks

FBS Graduate Destinations

Where can I find job information & vacancies?

Careerweb – Job Market Trends

Careerweb – finding a job

Staying in Leeds  Opportunities in Leeds- includes top employers of FBS students.

Autumn Graduate Careers fair & STEM fair (Normally occur in October at the university sports centre, The Edge but may be in a different format this year). Register via MyCareer.

My Career Vacancies

Leeds Internship Programme

Introduction to virtual internships blog

FBS Employability Facebook group for daily opportunity postings

Target jobs Indeed Yorkshire Graduates UK Biotech Company List

Pharmaceutical recruiters list

Learned Societies e.g. Royal Society of Biology have great career resources, normally free membership for students and jobs boards.

Otta – lists companies (mainly based in the London area which are still recruiting) Specialist recruitment agencies have many contacts and can search for positions for you and help you tailor your application to a specific company – scientific posts.

Further study

If you were originally considering applying for a course of postgraduate study or now looking at this in light of changing job opportunities in the current situation, the following links will be useful.

Should I do a Masters?

University of Leeds Masters courses FBS Masters courses

Find a Masters

University of Leeds PhD search  University of Leeds FBS PhD search

Many teaching course providers are taking applications right now. If this is an area you are considering. Get into teaching is a good place to start.

How do I access further advice/application support?

Sign up for the #classof2020 events/workshops.

Book a careers appointment via MyCareer with the University careers service either centrally or within your school or faculty. It will currently either be an online appointment via MS Teams or telephone or email guidance.

For any quick career related queries you can contact

After graduation- you can still access help

Don’t forget, as a Leeds graduate, you’ll be able to access the Careers Centre’s services for as long as you need.

In FBS you can also join the Faculty Linkedin alumni group to help remain connected.

Links to related blogs/ resources

How are different industries coping with the pandemic

Top 10 tips for career planning in lockdown

Class of 2020: Leeds Exclusive Opportunities

How to choose a career: Tackling the “What are you doing after uni?” question

Developing skills during self-isolation: a guide to LinkedIn Learning

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Filed under Advice, Class of 2020, Covid-19, Job Market

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