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Biology|College of Arts and Sciences

Career Opportunities

 As you plan your career path, it helps to know what you like most in biology. For example, would you rather work with people or with plants or animals? Are whole organisms more interesting or cellular systems more interesting? Do you prefer laboratory work or work outdoors?

Be aware that for some biology jobs a two-year college degree is sufficient. Examples include medical assistant, dental hygienist, or veterinary technician. However, most careers in the life sciences are going to require at least a Bachelors degree (i.e.,Bachelors of Science), and often an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science (M.S.). Research jobs typically require the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), which may take five or six years of intense and demanding training. There are some specialized degrees in the life sciences, the most prominent being the M.D. (Doctor of Medicine),which usually takes four years to earn, followed by additional training before they can practice medicine.

Biology teachers and other educators often major in biology or related science and also earn a teaching certificate. Science journalists may earn biology and journalism degrees. Science policy specialists often have an advanced biology degree and other specialized training such as a law degree. Very opportunistic students may want to combine their biology degree with special study in business or computer science.

While working on your formal education, try to get some relevant work experience. This is the best way for you to determine exactly what you hope to be doing after graduation. Summer jobs, part-time employment working for a faculty member, internships, and independent undergraduate research projects are some of the ways to obtain this valuable experience.

Get to know the faculty working in the same areas your find interesting. Not only may this lead to valuable work experience, but it usually provides students with interesting perspectives about the research and scholarship foundations in biology.

Humankind appears to be at the dawn of a biological revolution. New information in biology, and the application of that information are beginning to have a profound impact, both directly and indirectly on everyone¹s life. A biology degree, with the liberal arts background, is now one of the most "marketable"degrees.

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