Why Study Biology?
A degree in Biology (Bachelors and/or graduate studies) opens a student up to a vast realm of potential careers. While the traditional professions requiring a Bachelors or advanced degree in the sciences still exist, modern technology has given a new direction to career opportunities for people with Biology degrees which fall under a fairly non-traditional route.
Scientific research can be a rewarding career and many biologists perform their research at colleges and universities where they also have the opportunity to teach in their area of specialty. Other biologists are employed by industries where they perform research in fields such as biotechnology, drug development, and food processing. Industries also employ production managers and quality control technicians to monitor on-site production at their plants. There are also many government agencies that employ research biologists who work on a wide variety of environmental issues some of which include protecting and restoring the environment, fighting disease in humans, animals and plants, and evaluating food and drug safety. Laboratory technicians also require biology degrees. They play an essential role in the day to day work involved in research. Their hands-on experience in the laboratory allows them to become quite proficient in the techniques performed in biological research.
Healthcare workers apply their biological knowledge to help others. Physicians, veterinarians, physical therapists, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, medical technologists, and physicians assistants all have biological backgrounds.
Many individuals who have a love of the outdoors seek professions that require Biology degrees. Applied biologists enter into many different professions, including horticulturists, fisheries biologists, botanical technicians, and zookeepers, all of which must be well trained in the life sciences. Employers in these areas are typically found in private companies and federal and state agencies. The not-for-profit sector is also beginning to open up to these types of job opportunities.
Education is a continually growing field for a graduating biologist. Biologists, with an interest in teaching others, traditionally seek positions at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels. However, museums, zoos, and nature centers also hire educators, exhibition designers, artists, and often specialists who have strong biology backgrounds to interact with visitors, plan and carry out exhibitions, give tours, teach specialized classes, plan educational programs, and even give hikes through nature trails.
BUSINESS AND CONSULTING
Many other professions combine biological knowledge with other professional training. The problem solving and analytical skills learned in Biology make this degree an asset in the business world. In some industries, scientists are hired as consultants. Hospitals hire people with Biology degrees for their administration departments. Lawyers that work with environmental advocacy organizations or biotech companies require a biological background. Businesses that sell environmental products, drugs, or other biological products hire sales associates and management with degrees in biology. These businesses also hire regulatory affairs people to put together scientific information about their products for governmental approval.
BIOLOGY AND COMPUTERS
In many careers experience in Biology coupled with some computer training can land an individual a position in bioinformatics, scientific programming, or creating/running web sites or servers for scientific companies and institutions.
People with a strong background in journalism or English as well as biological experience, can work as science journalists or policy analysts. Depending on a persons talents and inclinations, a biologist could become involved in other forms of communication including technical writing, the development of scientific multimedia systems and TV. (How about working for the Discovery Channel?) There are many important reasons to study Biology. Many research and nonresearch careers await those with biological knowledge, in fields ranging from medicine to education to environmental protection. Even if a person never chooses a career that directly requires a biology degree the scientific knowledge and way of thinking will serve him/her well when making personal health decisions, evaluating the environmental positions of elected officials and the quality of scientific explanations by the media, and even when purchasing goods and services. Studying Biology teaches a person to ask questions, judge evidence, and solve problems