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A degree in biology prepares an individual with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate as a scientist, particularly in the study of life. Biology is one of the basic sciences, and it studies life, from the smallest organism to the largest. Through cross-discipline study individuals will learn about how organisms operate, as well as study the various organs and chemical reactions responsible for giving life and maintaining it. Degrees in biology begin start at the associate level all the way through the doctoral level. Independent research positions typically require an individual to have a PhD.
A curriculum in biology may include:
- Organic Chemistry
A career in biology typically requires at least a bachelor's degree. Entry level positions will find biologists working in laboratory settings as assistants. Higher level positions require higher level degrees. The areas of study covered by biology are many, and as education levels increase the biologists tend to specialize. Many will enter microbiology, biochemistry, or biophysics related fields through study. Research positions will typically involve finding applicable technologies or medicines through biological study and research to assist in the curing of disease or produce medications. Environmental biologists will study the effects of encroachment or other factors on the environment, and how to reduce or reverse such effects.
The need for qualified biological scientists is expected to increase of the next decade as the demand for technological and medical breakthroughs rise due to the aging population and the interest in wildlife and environmental preservation increases. Career opportunities will be competitive as the most talented and accomplished graduates will fill positions as they open. The average salary for a biologist is $45,000 per year, with researchers earning much higher salaries.
Individuals with a degree in biology may seek work in areas outside of their expertise due to the ancillary skills earned through study. These include critical thinking, analysis, research methodology, and technical writing. A bachelor's degree in biology may also be used to enter graduate level medical programs, pharmacy or pharmacology programs.
For further information on a career path in biology, visit our Definitive Career Guide in Biology on our blog. As an additional resource, you can also read our blog post titled Top College Degrees for Animal Lovers for more information.