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Ensuring Innovation: Universities producing job ready Biological Science graduates

Studying Science should be about pursuing your passions, immersing yourself in the land of wonder that is the natural world and at the same time honing your talents in a particular field.

Life Science degrees don’t necessarily possess a set career roadmap. Unlike many of their more professional counterparts, such as Engineering or Medicine, science degrees can offer a broad range of flexibility both in what one can study and the opportunities available to you after graduation.

While pursuing your interests is a vital part of any degree, you also want a course that makes you job-ready, confident in the workplace, and that equips you with the skills needed to be a valued employee throughout your career, regardless of your chosen industry.

Many universities are catching up with this ethos and efforts are under way to connect future work with science degrees and make career opportunities more visible throughout the programs.

Outcomes of such degrees are shifting to not only include solid theoretical knowledge of the subject area but also the transferrable skills that so often underpin scientific thinking; including critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork, oral and written communication, ethical reasoning, and quantitative expertise.

This scientific way of thinking with transferable skill sets is one of the many attributes that makes life science graduates so appealing to employers.

It is essential that universities provide a coherent science learning experience that enables the skills expected by employers. The top-notch courses will enable students to develop and recognise the broader skills that are core to having a science degree, giving them confidence in their own abilities once it comes to application day and filling them with the accurate belief that they are “job ready” thanks to the valuable contribution of their university studies.

Here are 6 universities producing job ready graduates…

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, UMEÅ UNIVERSITY – UMEÅ, SWEDEN

Ranked in the top 5 in Europe for international student satisfaction, Umeå promises an exciting and rewarding student experience.

The faculty makes a point of actively updating the curriculum in tune with latest research and the labour market, ensuring students receive the most up-to-date knowledge whilst also gaining the expertise needed to ensure they are highly sought-after in the workplace.

The BSc in Life Science covers a broad spectrum of chemistry and molecular biology, and the world-class research extends to cover fields such as microbiology, medicinal, biological and environmental chemistry, infection medicine and plant- and forest biotechnology. As a result of this, Umeå graduates have a wealth of opportunities to enter a variety of fields upon graduation.

The Faculty also has exceptional connections with industry and takes an international and interdisciplinary approach to learning. This, when paired with the essential theoretical and practical skills needed in work life that are instilled as part of the Life Science curriculum, makes graduates highly-capable and ready to tackle life in employment.

COLLEGE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH – ONTARIO, CANADA

Improving life! Through excellence in teaching and research the University of Guelph is committed to making a difference locally, nationally and globally. This is what is at the heart of the University of Guelph, it’s students, faculty and staff.

The breadth and depth of first-rate biological science programs available, prepares students for a wide range of career options. These include opportunities in medicine, biotechnology, industry, environmental management and conservation, business, research and education, to name just a few.

Understanding that student success depends on the progression of knowledge, expertise and skills needed to reach desired goals, biological science programs nurture personal growth among aspiring global graduates. By teaching the importance of critical thinking, problem solving, numeracy, communication, professionalism, and the value of community, this institution is refining the most attentive leaders of tomorrow’s world.

Experiential learning is valuable learning experiences for students looking to enhance their value when pursuing diverse career options. The program encourages students to access these unique experiences which allows them to practically apply concepts learned in class and build job ready skills and attributes. These invaluable options seek to hone the whole person, offering multiple dimensions for development as students’ progress to their careers or post-graduate study options.

FACULTY OF HEALTH, MEDICINE AND LIFE SCIENCES, MAASTRICHT UNIVERSITY – NETHERLANDS

One of the most renowned institutes of its kind, the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) is home to cutting-edge research and education. This makes FHML graduates highly-employable, but when combined with the faculty’s focus on professional competences, students become unstoppable.

All FHML degree programs focus attention on the development of generic competencies such as academic thinking and working, professional behaviour, communication and collaboration in an international context. They are also designed in such a way that they tune in to the regional, national and international labour markets.

The faculty cooperates closely with several national and international organisations, giving students the opportunity to collaborate with leading world institutes, such as the World Health Organization and the Maastricht University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development, which facilitates international partnerships between Maastricht University and institutions in low and medium income countries around the world.

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE, AALBORG UNIVERSITY – DENMARK

The courses at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Aalborg are making a real difference in the environment and natural world. Degree courses such as Sustainable Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering, and Conservation Biology are tackling the big questions of our time, making graduates from these disciplines highly-relevant in today’s society.

The university’s internationally-recognised method of problem based learning also applies to all courses in the faculty.

Studying here is not all about note-taking. Each semester, students work closely with fellow students on a large assignment that breaks down the usual traditional instruction. Group work ensures students begin building a network from the very start of their studies, and guarantees you are not spending your days buried in books.

The group work adds an academic and social dimension to each study program and, at the same time, equips students for the labour market where skills in cooperation and teamwork are very sought-after.

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND FORESTRY, UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN FINLAND

The mission of the Faculty of Science and Forestry is to provide education and conduct research that are of a high academic standard and have a strong impact on society, making graduates from the faculty well adept in relevant skills for today’s requirements.

Playing a significant role in top-level international research areas, the faculty tackles pertinent topics such as Aerosols, Climate Change and Human Health, and Forests, Global Change and Bioeconomy.

To give students that added edge in the competitive workforce, UEF runs Aducate, a Centre for Training and Development, which fosters a culture of professional development among people and organisations. Aducate acts as a link between working life and science by following the development of new scientific knowledge and finding practical applications for it.

COLLEGE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Intent on their mission to bolster human welfare and living conditions worldwide, the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) at the University of Minnesota is constantly advancing our knowledge regarding the mechanisms of life, supporting breakthrough discoveries while preparing students for success in the world’s most crucial biological fields.

Promoting an active approach to learning and a unique undergraduate experience – not to mention five world-class graduate routes – the CBS stands as a recognised trailblazer among fellow institutions, revelling in a number of accolades from the prestigious Journal of Science.

“The college is home to two unique research stations — Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, where modern ecosystem science was born and where acclaimed ecologist Dave Tilman made his ground-breaking discoveries about biodiversity, and Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, a pristine living laboratory at the headwaters of the Mississippi River where CBS students begin their undergraduate experience.

“CBS is part of one of the largest research universities in the country and our facilities reflect that investment in research,” the institution notes.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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