Careers in Microbiology

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: “The development of new medicines and treatments is expected to increase the demand for microbiologists in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. Microbiologists will be needed to research and develop new medicines and treatments, such as vaccines and antibiotics that are used to fight infectious diseases. In addition, microbiologists will be needed to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies develop biological drugs that are produced with the aid of microorganisms. Aside from improving health, other areas of research and development in biotechnology are expected to provide employment growth for microbiologists. Many companies, from food producers to chemical companies, will need microbiologists to ensure product quality and production efficiency. Increasing demand for clean energy should drive the need for microbiologists who research and develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels and biomass. In agriculture, more microbiologists will be needed to help develop genetically engineered crops that provide greater yields and require less pesticide and fertilizer. Finally, efforts to discover new and improved ways to preserve the environment and safeguard the public’s health also will increase demand for microbiologists.”

Direct Career Entry:  A degree in microbiology provides inroads to a number of careers. Examples include biomedical research technician, science educator, food, industrial or environmental microbiologist, quality assurance technologist, forensic scientist, and medical technologist. College graduates with a degree in microbiology are prepared to work in food processing plants, plant or animal disease control agencies, biotechnology companies, human and animal health/pharmaceutical companies, the industrial fermentation industry, and basic science research laboratories.
Professional Programs: A degree in microbiology is excellent preparation for professional school in the health sciences, including medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, and pharmacy.  For BSM students who are admitted to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine prior to their senior year, the BSM will be awarded upon successful completion of the second year of veterinary school if all other degree criteria have been met.

Graduate Programs: In addition to job opportunities immediately upon graduation, the BSM prepares students for admission into a wide variety of graduate programs including biology, botany, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, public health, and zoology. These degrees then lead to opportunities in academic, private sector, or government settings.