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A Future in Biology
By Amber Gragert
Simply put, biology is the study of living organisms. A major in biology means to study the function and relationships between living things and their environments, whether they are humans, animals or plants. If studying living things within God's creation sparks your interest, then this may just be the major for you. Through your studies, you will explore the structure and function of many different living systems. You could certainly say that by perusing biology, you are also studying God - as He is the Creator and Author of life.
As a biology major, you will gather, organize and analyze data. Studying and digging deep into great issues of today such as cancer, genetic engineering, obesity and stem cell research. Classes will include a variety of lectures and traditional coursework that will cover subjects of physiological and ecological organization. You will also participate in laboratory courses that require ample microscope and other scientific equipment time. It is in these settings that you will not only get comfortable using scientific equipment but gain skills in developing and testing hypotheses and interpreting the data. And, don't forget about those scientific communication skills courses, where you will learn by critiquing research articles, write up laboratory reports, give oral presentations and participate in debates.
You can earn an advanced Bachelor of Science degree in fields such as endocrinology, genetics, physiology or agronology. Or, if plants and trees are more your speed, specializing in botany or arboriculture might be for you. There you will spend more time behind the lens of a microscope while earning a degree in something like: ecology, entomology, oceanography or marine/mammology. Students with a flair for both the sciences and high-tech industries would do well in a program that caters to a bio technology degree.
Traits and skills of biology majors include sharp critical thinking and problem solving skills, manual dexterity (during times of laboratory techniques and procedures), plenty of focus, a desire to be precise, detail oriented and the ability to be careful and systematic in laboratory projects. Any work in the sciences is very collaborative so having the ability to work well in groups and alongside other peers is perhaps the most important trait to have when pursuing a career in biology. Creativity and inquisitiveness about the world and how it works is also beneficial. This is very much a field of study that requires a passion and interest of the subject in order to have a lasting career in it.
A biology major can be used in both scientific and non-scientific jobs upon graduating.
- Biology Technician
- Chemical laboratory technician
- Financial analyst (think: bio technology, pharmaceutical, & environmental companies)
- Physician’s Assistant
- Nurse Practitioner