What to expect from a biochemistry degree
What is biochemistry?
Biochemistry is a field of study that deals with the chemical processes that take place in living organisms. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines knowledge from biology, chemistry, and physics to understand how living things function. A sound understanding of biochemistry is crucial for comprehending the workings of life.
As a biochemistry student at the University of Delhi, I am expanding my knowledge base every day, learning about fundamental aspects of life on earth, genetics, neurobiology, and biostatistics. It has been a diverse experience that has altered my perception of nature entirely.
If you are considering pursuing a biochemistry degree, here’s what you can expect to learn.
The basics of a biochemistry degree.
Biochemistry is a fascinating field that encompasses various topics such as proteins, metabolism, carbohydrates, enzymes, and lipids. It involves the study of the chemical basis of life and its interactions. Students of biochemistry gain knowledge through lectures, seminars, and laboratory experiences. Although the curriculum may vary among institutions and programs, there are certain things that one can expect. Students should expect to have at least 18 to 20 contact hours per week, which will include lectures, seminars, and lab work. The rest of the time will be dedicated to independent study.
Students will also be expected to complete a research project in their final year. In terms of learning, biochemistry degrees require students to develop a strong understanding of the basic principles of biochemistry. Students will also be expected to develop their problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate their findings to others.
You’ll gain valuable skills you can apply to real-world problems
Biochemistry is a subject that is applied in real-world situations. The experiments and tests that we carry out in the lab have immediate applications. As a first-year biochemistry student, I have already learned how to conduct research and perform qualitative and quantitative tests on simple and complex biomolecules.
During my course, I learned how to operate ultraviolet and visible spectrophotometers, how to use a microscope, and how to separate biomolecules through techniques such as chromatography, centrifugation, and electrophoresis.
My degree has equipped me with many useful skills that I can apply in addressing real-world problems in my career. For example, I can use specialized software to perform genome alignment or tools that can assist in drug discovery. These skills will be useful in my future role once I graduate.
You’ll have many career options across various industries
Upon graduating with a degree in biochemistry, there are various career paths available for students. These include roles in bioinformatics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, agriculture, and forensic science, among others. Alternatively, one can choose to pursue an academic career and become a professor or a scientist. Another option is to study for a STEM-focused Master of Business Administration (MBA), which prepares students for leadership roles in the technology industry.
There is a high demand for biochemists with knowledge of molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology in the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology. In this field, biochemists can create new medications, medical equipment, and other technologies in the biosciences.
The pharmaceutical industry is also a significant career path for biochemists, as they can develop new medications, evaluate their potency and safety, and supply them to healthcare organizations and the public.
As for myself, I am interested in conducting research in evolutionary biology and studying the history of life on Earth. I aim to use a combination of computational biology and mathematics to develop mathematical models that can help us better understand the evolution of life on Earth and other planets.
The workload can feel intense but varied.
Biochemistry can be a challenging subject for many students because the material is broad and complex. It’s a multidisciplinary science that calls for expertise in a variety of fields, including chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
I’ve found that biochemistry subjects can feel ethereal and difficult to visualize. I initially had trouble understanding some of the modules, but I’m working really hard to work through that and get the support I need.
To avoid burning out, it’s crucial to create time for myself. Exams can be stressful for students at any level, and universities are no exception. Exams are challenging for me, so life becomes somewhat difficult around test time, and I have to carve out extra time to destress and rest.
As a first-year biochemistry student, I’ve had a really great experience so far. Biochemistry is a wonderful subject full of diverse information about life and its fundamental building blocks.