Biological Sciences

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Biological Sciences

Area

Employers

Strategies

Biotechnology

  • Research and Development
  • Laboratory System
  • Education

Colleges and universities,

Pharmaceutical companies, Agricultural industry including fertilizer manufacturers and animal and plant breeding and production, Federal and state government laboratories and agencies,

Industry, particularly biotechnology firms

Become proficient using laboratory equipment and computers. Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced positions in research, development, and management. Take additional courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Complete an undergraduate laboratory research project with a professor.

Genetics

  • Research and Development related to: Animals, Plants, and Humans
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Education

Colleges and universities,

Pharmaceutical companies, Large producers of seed, livestock, and poultry,

Government laboratories, such as: Department of Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Institutes of Health, Biotechnology industry,

Hospitals and medical centers

Acquire a broad background in sciences, mathematics, and computer technology. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Earn a master's degree from an accredited program for genetic counseling. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Microbiology

  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Quality Control

Colleges and universities,

Private research foundations,

Government research, laboratories and service agencies, Hospitals and public health facilities, Agricultural experiment stations, Food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic companies, Industry including wood products, paper, textiles, optical equipment, leather, and electrical equipment, Environmental and pollution control agencies

Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Develop additional competencies in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Take courses related to your field of interest or consider an advanced degree to specialize. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Develop strong skills using laboratory equipment and computers.

Botany

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Conservation
  • Production
  • Quality Control
  • Administration

Colleges and universities,

Medical and private research laboratories, Pharmaceutical industry, Industries and laboratories, involved in production of food, textiles, chemical, and forestry products, State and federal government, especially the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and Health Botanical gardens and arboretums, National and international environmental Organizations

Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Take courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Systematic Biology

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Taxonomy
  • Conservation
  • Consulting
  • Administration

Colleges, universities, and agricultural colleges,

Federal agencies including Departments of Agriculture and Interior, State and local agencies,

Private research foundations, Museums,

Botanical gardens and arboretums, Zoos and aquariums, Public health laboratories, Hospitals,

National and international environmental organizations

Earn a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Develop excellent laboratory and computer skills. Get involved with undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Etomology

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Toxicology
  • Conservation
  • Quality Control

Colleges and universities, especially colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine, Industry including food producers and processors, chemicals for insect control, and lumber and pulp, Chemical companies, Pest control companies, Federal and state government,

Health agencies,

Agricultural experiment stations, Inspection agencies and control boards, Conservation agencies

Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Marine and Aquatic Biology

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Administration
  • Production
  • Quality Control
  • Conservation

Federal, state, and local government, Inspection organizations, Private recreation organizations, Research laboratories, Colleges and universities, Zoos and aquariums, Fish hatcheries, National and international environmental agencies

Develop a good foundation in mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, and chemistry. Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Obtain experience related to fishing and boating. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Take specialized courses in this area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities.

Zoology

  • Animal Care Training
  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Administration
  • Production
  • Conservation

Wildlife preserves and parks, Zoos, aquariums, and other collections of animals, Museums,

Research organizations,

Pharmaceutical, chemical, and agricultural service industries,

Federal, state, and local government, Colleges and universities, Veterinary hospitals,

Clinics and hospitals

Obtain experience working with animals and various related laboratory equipment. Develop a broad background in biology and other related subjects such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. A zoological background is good preparation for a career in veterinary science or medicine, but an advanced degree is also required to practice.

Biomedical

  • Physiology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Quality Control

Colleges and universities,

Professional schools including colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture,

Clinics and hospitals,

Private research foundations, Pharmaceutical companies, Federal laboratories and regulatory agencies, 

Independent testing laboratories, Public health departments, Agricultural experiment stations, Industrial laboratories including chemical, petroleum, food processing, drug.

Obtain a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research positions. Acquire a background in physics, organic and physical chemistry, mathematics, and anatomy. Take courses in area(s) of specialization and/or consider an advanced degrees; some may require an M.D. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Bioinformatics

  • Research and Development
  • Education

Biotechnology industry

Pharmaceutical companies, Government research laboratories,

Universities and colleges

Double major or minor in computer science. Acquire experience working in teams. Develop in-depth programming and relational database skills. Learn molecular biology packages, web design, and programming skills. Complete an internship in your area of interest.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Non-Classroom Education

Universities and colleges,

Medical and other professional schools,

Public and private schools, K-12, Museums,

Zoos, Nature centers and parks

Certification is required for K-12 school teachers, and Ph.D. is needed in universities and colleges. Gain experience working with students through tutoring, interning, or volunteering. Learn to work well with all types of people.

Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.

Healthcare

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Chiropractic
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Allied Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy

Hospitals, Medical centers, Nursing homes, Private practice, Government agencies, Armed forces, Home health organizations, Universities and schools,

Nonprofit organizations

Plan to attend a medical school or other related graduate program. Maintain an outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences. Secure strong faculty recommendations. Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically. Join related student organizations. Demonstrate leadership abilities. Obtain a summer job, volunteer position, or an internship in a hospital. Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied. Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistant and nurse practitioner.

Technical and Pharmaceutical Sales

Manufacturing firms, including: Pharmaceuticals, Animal pharmaceuticals, Laboratory equipment,

Medical supplies and prostheses

Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Take courses in anatomy, pharmacology, and chemistry. Obtain sales experience and/or a business minor. Hold leadership positions in campus organizations. Join the student American Marketing Association.

Legislation/Law

  • Lobbying
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Science Policy
  • Patent Law
  • Environmental Law

Federal and state government, Law firms,

Large corporations

Acquire internships in federal or state government.

Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Acquire a Ph.D for advanced positions. Take courses in history, political science and/or legal studies. Earn a J.D. degree to practice law.

Biological Photography

Major medical, dental, and veterinary schools,

Research centers,

Federal government,

Museums, Zoological and environmental societies, Publishing houses, Free-lance

Acquire thorough knowledge of photographic procedures and technology. Become skilled with medical and scientific instruments including microscopes.

Take specific courses in biological, medical, and ophthalmic photography; courses in illustration and printing are also helpful.

Technical Writing

  • Writing
  • Editing

Newspapers,

Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks, and online publishers, Medical and veterinary colleges

Take advanced courses in technical writing or journalism classes or consider a minor in either. Develop strong writing skills and command of the English language. Obtain an advanced degree in scientific journalism.

Illustration

Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks, and online publishers, Educational and scientific software companies, Medical and veterinary colleges

Double major or minor in graphic illustration. Acquire word processing and desktop publishing skills. Find a part-time, summer, co-op or internship position with a publisher or newspaper.

Strategies for placement in Biological

  • A Bachelor's degree will qualify one for work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist, or research assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks, and gardens.
  • An undergraduate degree can also be used for nontechnical work in writing, illustration, sales, photography, and legislation.
  • Master's degrees allow for more opportunities in research and administration. Some community colleges will hire Master's level teachers.
  • Doctoral degrees are necessary for advanced research and administrative positions, university teaching, and independent research.
  • An advanced degree provides the opportunity to specialize under the different areas of the biological sciences.
  • The biological sciences are good preparation for a career in healthcare such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science, but professional degrees and licenses are also necessary to practice in these fields.
  • Learn laboratory procedures and become familiar with equipment.
  • Obtain summer, part-time, volunteer, co-op, or internship experience to test the fields of interest and gain valuable experience.
  • Develop strong computer, mathematics, and verbal and written communications skills.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.
  • Read scientific journals related to your area of interest.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to improve chances of graduate and professional school admission.
  • Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.
  • Secure strong relationships and personal recommendations from professors and/or employers.
  • Consider completing a post doctoral experience after graduate school
  • Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. The federal government is the largest employer of biologists.
  • Gain experience with grant writing and fundraising techniques. Often research must be funded in this manner.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.

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