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Biology Professions Video: Career Options in the Biological Sciences

Biology Professions Video: Career Options in the Biological Sciences Transcript

Biology is among the most exciting fields of study available to recent graduates. Cutting edge discoveries are consistently being made on a regular basis, often opening up entire new areas of study. What's more, the work of biologists adds to our understanding of human health and the planet we live on. Advances in the field have the capacity to add to our quality of life to an extent unparalleled in most professions. As a result, many graduates find rewarding careers in biochemistry, marine biology, wildlife biology and related sciences.

Introduction

Biologists are involved in the study of organisms on the full continuum of life, from the functioning of microscopic cellular bodies to that of human beings. Many of these professionals perform research to better understand fundamental life processes and apply that knowledge toward the betterment of life while ensuring the preservation of our world.

Job Skills and Duties

Biologists may work in a wide range of environments, from laboratories to field locations across the globe. Often this work revolves around the study of an organism, a group of organisms, or a particular ecosystem. In addition to field and lab work, biologists may be required to obtain research funding. These monies are most often secured through grant money offered by universities, companies and government agencies. Advances in research are important, be they developments toward new drugs or higher crop yields. For this reason, biologists must publish papers or demonstrate innovations in other ways. Often grants are tied to specific research goals that have biologists working with a team of other scientists, engineers and technicians.

Training Required

Biology programs can vary depending upon the school and one's chosen discipline within the field. Generally speaking, however, students may be required to take courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics and environmental studies. In these programs, classroom work is complemented by hands-on instruction in laboratory and field settings. Often a bachelor's degree only qualifies students for non-research related positions. For this reason, many pursue graduate studies in a specific area, be it biotechnology, marine biology or another discipline. Those enrolled in graduate programs are required to complete extensive lab or field work and produce original research. Graduates with master's degrees are eligible for research positions in applied biology (such as plant engineering or chemical development). A doctorate, however, is often required of those pursuing independent research or professorships. Those not seeking advanced degrees may work in a biology-related field but not in a research capacity. Many also use a bachelor's degree in biology as a touchstone point for entering medical or dental school.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field of Expertise

Biologists may specialize in a broad range of disciplines. Botanists identify, classify and study plants. Biochemistry professionals examine the chemical makeup of organisms. Physiologists study the composition of plants and animals at the macro and micro levels. Microbiologists examine the smallest organisms, often with the goal of understanding their role in various sicknesses. Biophysicists study forms of energy and how they affect living organisms. And zoologists examine the behavior of animals, while ecologists try to understand relationships between organisms and their environments. Even within these seemingly related areas of study there can be a high degree of specialization. For example, marine biologists have comprehensive knowledge of saltwater ecosystems.

Conclusion

Biology careers are great for those who are intellectually curious about human beings, plants, animals and the world that surrounds us. Many of the best positions in academic and corporate settings can be quite competitive. This fact, however, does not prevent many thousands of recent graduates from landing exciting positions annually.

Sources

www.bls.gov/oco

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