Female college students continue to be highly sought out by colleges and universities. Aside from helping to even out the gender gap that sometimes tends to occur at some schools, the move to enroll more women at campuses has led to some interesting results–namely, what majors these students tend to favor and why. According to recent studies, more and more female college students are opting for the life sciences field.
What Are Life Sciences?
There are a variety of ways to define what Life Sciences are but in general, this term describes the academic study of anything that deals with the sciences and organisms (plants, humans, animals). Some recognizable niches within this category include but are not limited to: biotechnology, cosmeceuticals, biology, health and environmental technologies.
Why the Favoritism with Female Students?
Studies on the subject suggest that the gravitational pull life sciences has on female students very likely has to do with their innate need to nurture. According to the numbers, 58% of biology degrees are earned by women, while their male counterparts tend to go towards degrees–and eventually careers–that are more math oriented. Life sciences encompass areas where female college students feel they can really make a difference. This also includes research projects, where their efforts and contribution are likely to influence various elements in society or at least bring more attention to areas that are lacking support.
Popular Careers in Life Sciences
So what can women do with their degrees once they’ve obtained them? Career paths for those with the right training and skill set have their pick of job positions, including working in biotechnology, biomolecular engineering, agrotechnology, genetics and genomics, neuroscience and food sciences, to name a few.
However, there is a bit of a downside to this career choice for women with degrees in life sciences. Despite the fancy-sounding job titles mentioned, securing such positions doesn’t mean rolling in the dough. Entry-level typically starts at $30,000/year. In most cases, women that find employment often end up in the research and/or teaching field–both of which are not known for high paying salaries. Those with graduate degrees aren’t immune, either. The financial backing needed for many life sciences related research has been hard to come by in recent years, especially during the economic meltdown, leaving little room for hiring.
The Right Choice?
Female college students thinking about whether or not to pursue a degree in life sciences should take even more care to weigh their options and find out what their job prospects could be by the time they’re scheduled to graduate. For those that feel life sciences may not be worth pursuing a major in, it could be worth looking into other related STEM majors. Depending on the school and degree program ultimately chosen, taking life sciences as a minor is an alternative that would still allow female students to study this discipline without putting all of their eggs into one basket.
On a more positive note, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does project that the biotechnology sector will slowly but steadily offer moderate job opportunities for professionals in this field.