Learn About Careers in Life Sciences

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Wellesley Career Education

A career in the life sciences can include a broad range of companies, organizations, and foundations concerned with the study of living organisms, including biological sciences, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, and a number of related subjects. Employers may include biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, healthcare organizations, foundations, and federal agencies. Most of the information on this page concerns non-patient facing options but there are opportunities to create career paths that merge patient and non-patient settings.

“I previously had dreams to be an author, but found myself called by the combination of logic, mystery, and truth in science.”

“After grad school, I jumped straight into curriculum development as a Middle Grades Editor at Pearson Education, then left for a startup making video games that taught science, and finally ended up at the Smithsonian Science Education Center as a curriculum developer (my dream gig!).”

Curriculum Design

Hayley
Hayley Meredith McIlvaine

Career paths in curriculum design are wide-ranging, beginning with the variety of terms and job titles you will hear and levels of preparation required (a Bachelor’s degree is required, often a master’s is preferred--or depth of knowledge in the subject). There is often confusion within the occupation surrounding titles. Typically, the role involves development and evaluation of curricular and training materials.

Library Science

Hayley
Hayley Meredith McIlvaine

Wherever there’s a need for information, there’s a need for a librarian. Libraries have been empowering people by offering resources, services and training to expand their knowledge for thousands of years. According to the American Library Association career resource page there are approximately 400,000 librarians and library workers who bring opportunity every day to the communities they serve.

Science Research

Alexis Trench
Alexis Trench

Participating in research experiences as an undergraduate is an excellent way to add depth to your science understanding and actively engage with what you are learning in the classroom. By doing so, you further develop your laboratory, analytical, and problem-solving skills, and you start to build your network with faculty members. Research experiences are valuable components to your resume, and they can make you more competitive for both graduate school and industry opportunities.

“I hear from the parents of Dynamo Girls whose daughters are on the cusp of taking great risks: at the top of mountains, at the sides of a pool, in the wings before going on stage, and the parents say to them—‘You can do this. You are a Dynamo Girl.’”

Fulbright Program (rising seniors & graduates)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

Supports a year (or occasionally more) of study or research abroad in any discipline, or year-long English teaching assistantships (ETAs) abroad in programs designed by the host countries. Eligible are graduating seniors and graduates who are US citizens. Campus application deadline for Wellesley students and graduates typically in August.

“I realized that my heart was in health communications — how could we use words and pictures to influence the health behavior decision process?”

“As a nurse I have educated patients and their families, provided a shoulder to cry on, assisted in surgeries, managed complicated equipment, advocated for my patients, saved them from unsafe prescribed doses of medications, visited new families at home, and witnessed both birth and death. I am a touchstone for patients and their families in their most joyful and tragic moments, and it is an honor.”

“In the past year I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, talking, and journaling about my career, values, and interests. The courage to see if different doors would open for me, to reach out to people and ask for their time and wisdom, was sometimes hard to come by, but my curiosity pushed me to do things that were slightly uncomfortable, and the results were worth it.”

“Seeing young girls excited about STEM has been really meaningful and encourages me to continue improving Robogals and increasing our reach to impact more girls.”

“Our time abroad this summer has allowed us to explore the broad discipline of global public health while getting a glimpse of life in Hanoi.”

“She said, ‘If you could do anything in the world, what would you be?’ I immediately said, ‘A nurse, but it’s too late.’ She said, ‘No it’s not.”

“Right away, we met amazing, enthusiastic teachers who were ready to jump in to help us with our project.”