Biology is related to the broader society in many ways, and biologists’ employment is consequently much broader than generally thought.
Fundamental and applied scientific research (> 40% of graduates) at universities and institutes (in Flanders for example KBIN, INBO, VIB, KMDA, …) is a first major job opportunity. A research career usually starts with a PhD, through an appointment as university assistant, PhD grantee or project collaborator. A full academic career is achieved by only a limited number of outstanding researchers.
The private sector offers many possibilities in Research & Development (often after having acquired a PhD) and in marketing, among others in the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and in industrial labs.
In Belgium, biologists are also much sought after by governmental bodies (at a federal, regional, provincial and communal level), by nature associations, and by consultancy bureaus, especially in the environmental sector.
Approximately one fifth of graduates becomes a teacher in secondary schools or in higher education.
Graduates in Biology specialised in Biodiversity: Conservation and Restoration are specifically prepared for positions which require them to analyse policy and influence decision-making in the field of biodiversity protection. Graduates are often employed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), consulting agencies and governmental bodies at both national and international levels.
As mentioned above, research offers another career opportunity, both abroad and in Belgium with its well developed research landscape in the field of biodiversity. The recognition of the value of biodiversity for ecosystem services to society means that a specialisation in conservation and restoration a much sought asset.