Biology Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Biology Degree

Earning a biology degree offers students the ability to understand, analyze, and research the living world around them. Biology degree programs provide students with a versatile, liberal arts educational base in disciplines like physiology, chemistry, anatomy, plant biology, environmental science, mathematics, molecular biology, and computer technology. Biology programs also offer students the ability to concentrate studies within over 135 specialized fields, like: ecology, evolution, environment, genetic engineering, integrative biology, medical science, education, medical technology, and many more concentrations. Biology courses offer students a versatile liberal arts based education as well as means to strengthen research and analytical skills while increasing technical abilities in the field. Graduates from biology degree programs advance to a number of professions within research, scientific, and educational occupations.

Many colleges and universities have developed online degree programs to extend education beyond traditional, on campus locations. As many students manage work and family responsibilities in addition to educational obligations, pursuing an online degree is often one of the most convenient means of gaining knowledge necessary to propel personal and professional goals. Online degree programs feature virtually the same educational materials and information as their on campus counterparts. Online classes also offer the added benefits of flexible course scheduling and smaller class sizes, with groups of 25 students or less. Online courses also provide a more personalized degree experience with increased interactions between students and professors through one on one Internet chats. Online degree programs are one of the most affordable and convenient means of increasing knowledge and expanding skills necessary for educational and professional success.

What Students Learn Within A Biology Degree Program

A biology degree program offers students a broad understanding of the liberal arts, biological sciences, and specialized knowledge within a number of concentrations. Most biology degree programs offer instruction based in mathematics, molecular biology, computer science, biotechnology, bioethics, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and plant, animal, and human forms of life. Most professionals in the field of biology are required to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for employment.

Many students begin studies within an associate degree program to gain a basic understanding of the field. Courses at an associate level include: laboratory safety and regulatory compliance, general biology, English composition, cell culture, introduction to biochemistry, human biology, protein purification and analysis, molecular biology techniques, biotechnology careers, bioinformatics, HPLC methods, microbiology and fermentation methods, chemistry, introduction to physics, general botany, general zoology, introduction to philosophy, Western civilization Ancient to Medieval, elementary statistics, mathematical and quantitative reasoning, human growth and development, biological diversity, human biology, ecological conservation, field ecology, introduction to microbiology, and an internship. Graduates from associate degree programs may advance to employment or continue studies within higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded understanding of the field of biology as well as the ability to increase skills necessary for critical thinking and research. Bachelor level courses include: introduction to biology, English composition, college Algebra, intensive writing, introduction to philosophy, intermediate inorganic chemistry, U.S. history and government, molecular biology, genetics, survey of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, embryology, applied microbiology, pharmacology, immunology, gross anatomy, anatomic pathology, neuroscience, histology, evolution, animal behavior, ecology, botany, introduction to zoology, parasitology, public and preventative health, bioethics, and an internship. Bachelor degree graduates may advance to employment or continue studies within master’s degree programs.

A master’s degree provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills required to advance to a number of lead research or administrative positions within scientific organizations upon completion of required coursework. Courses include: research methods in biology, evolutionary mechanisms, molecular biology, biostatistics, statistical methods, biology literature research, analytical methods and information systems, organizational and market dynamics, bioethics, international perspective, cellular immunology, recombinant DNA technology lab, biometry, advanced topics in biology, research in biological sciences, ecology, ornithology, biometry, emerging diseases, epidemiology, advanced physiology, advanced pathophysiology, cell biology, mycology, virology, evolution, pharmacology, toxicology, animal behavior, endocrinology, cancer biology, immunology, genetics, mammalogy, proteonomics, bacteriology, neuroscience, public health, parasitology, early life, cell signaling, developmental biology, master’s research, thesis, and an internship. Graduates from master’s degree programs may advance to doctoral degree studies or employment.

Doctoral degree programs in the discipline of biology offer students the ability to be considered experts in the field. Doctoral level courses include specializations in the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, and/or behavior, neuroscience, plant sciences, or molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Courses include: biostatistics; molecular, cellular and genetic basis of disease; cancer biology; developmental biology, human cytogenetics; biological macromolecules; fractals and chaos in biosciences; biological kinetics; signal transduction pathways and networks; epigenetics; epidomiology; genomics; genomic and proteomic analysis using bioinformatics techniques; receptor trafficking and signaling; translational and transcriptional regulation of gene expression; DNA/protein interactions, repair, replication, and recombination; protein structure and dynamics; biochemistry and cell biology of membrane lipids and proteins; animal behavior; behavior and evolution; population ecology; population genetics; mathematical biology; dissertation research; dissertation; and a clinical experience. Graduates with doctoral degrees generally gain employment as expert researchers or instructors within facilities, colleges, or universities.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Biology Degrees

Graduates who complete studies within a biology degree program generally gain employment based upon education level, area/s of specialty, and related work experience. Most graduates advance to employment within public or private scientific organizations as technicians, researchers, or educators. Graduates who complete associate level degree programs generally gain employment as a teaching assistant, research assistant, science technician, horticulture workers, or with some additional training may work as wildlife, fish, or game wardens. Bachelor degree graduates generally work as food and dairy quality control specialists, environmental consultants, microbiologists, greenhouse curators, biological researchers, product developers, public health representatives, ecologists, environmental technicians, middle or high school educators, or research specialists. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as food or health inspectors, assistant professors, vocational school instructors, environmental project managers, biological scientists, research associates, or administrators within scientific facilities. Doctoral degree graduates generally advance to positions as independent researchers, biotechnology research specialists, college or university professors, or biologists.

Salary Range For Biology Degree Graduates

Biology degree graduates gain the knowledge and refined skills required to establish successful careers with a varied earnings. Salaries for graduates with biology degrees is based upon factors like: education level, area/s of speciality, related work experience, and organization of employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for biologists ranges from $52,260 to $108,950 annually. Graduates with associate degrees who work as research assistants have earnings of $27,910 to $47,480 annually. Bachelor degree graduates employed as middle or high school teachers earn $33,227 to $51,180 annually. Graduates from master’s degree programs who advance to employment food or health inspectors earn $43,600 to $81,340 annually. Doctoral degree graduates who work as professors within colleges or universities generally earn $52,520 to $104,020 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Biology Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete studies within biology degree programs gain the ability to establish successful careers based upon their level of education and area of specialty. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects job growth for professionals within the field of biological science will increase by 21 percent through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Technological advances, growth in the healthcare industry, expansion of the pharmaceutical industry, and landmark discoveries in the science of biotechnology have significantly increased the demand for workers with diverse educational backgrounds in biology. Additionally, biological scientists will also be needed to research, prevent, and correct environmental issues like pesticide use, industrial impact, and pollution. Factors like limited Federal funding may adversely affect the number of jobs available to biology degree graduates as well as increase competition for graduates with less training and experience. Graduates who specialize studies within botany, zoology, ecology, marine biology, public health, and educational concentrations are expected to find increased employability over candidates with backgrounds in other specializations Most graduates who complete studies within associate degree programs begin employment within entry level research assistant positions under close supervision of more experienced biologists and advance to positions with higher salaries and greater responsibilities upon continuing education and gaining experience.

Bachelor degree graduates who begin employment as middle or high school educators often advance to administrative positions or teaching positions within vocational schools or colleges upon gaining relevant training and experience. Graduates with master’s degrees often gain entry level employment as researchers and advance to positions as lead researchers supervising teams of scientists and researchers after acquiring work experience or continuing education. Doctoral degree graduates generally begin employment as lead researchers or educators within smaller facilities or educational institutions and advance to positions with greater responsibility and prestige within larger organizations upon gaining training and experience. Many graduates advance to positions as independent consultants upon securing adequate funding and experience.

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