An online biology degree can lead to many job options. A biology degree is a general science degree that many obtain before applying for medical or dental school. This general science degree gives you many job opportunities that you may not normally think of when brainstorming the possibilities an online biology degree brings. The only difference with an online biology degree is that it’s obtained online. This can be difficult for some students as the courses involved in an online biology program are as complex and require the same time commitment as those taken in the conventional classroom. As long as you’re obtaining your online biology degree from a regionally accredited program, you will be fit to apply for medical or dental school. A whopping 40% of biology scientists are employed by the government.
Those with a bachelors or masters in biology will typically have a non-science related job. Those who pursue their PhD will usually work in academia focusing on research funded by grants. For those with a bachelors or masters in biology, it’s important to gain experience working at an entry level position, early on. Once too many years pass since you’ve graduated, it can be difficult to get a job at an entry level position, as many companies or organizations assume you intended to obtain your PhD.
What are online biology degree classes like?
Online biology courses are as in-depth as those taken in the typical classroom setting. If you are going for a general biology degree, you’ll certainly take the standard classes such as organic biology, microbiology, physiology, anatomy and some animal biology. Beyond that you will study for your specific sect of biology, should be marine biology or botany. There will be several components to your online biology degree, including computer courses, even if they are taken on your own time, on our personal computer. Biology is a tech-savvy world and it’s imperative students are well-versed in the latest computer programs and formatting for conducting research in their field.
Online biology courses can be difficult because you are not usually required to keep up with work on a weekly basis. Often professors assign a bulk of work at once to be completed before the mid-term and then before the final exam. Because of this, it’s imperative online biology students keep up with their course work and participate in any online discussions or forums the online biology program offers. This will help keep you current with assignments and also give you a way to socialize with fellow students about the material. Most bachelor of science in biology programs require 120-180 hours of course work. For an associates in biology, you are looking about roughly 60-90 hours of course work. Keep this in mind when signing up for classes and remember that most university advisors suggest starting with 1-2 courses when enrolling in online classes if it’s your first time in an online program.
Job Opportunities with an Online Biology Degree
In this position, a biologist studies and researches parts of the body and their development. This is usually specialized research the biologist is trained in. This can be the immune system, molecular biology, viruses and diseases, and microbiology. Research biologists are typically employed by a university, though they can also work through grants or work for the government. Research biologists can also work for pharmaceutical companies.
Fish and wildlife biologist
This is a specialized area that requires a person who cares for the environment. This is a booming sector of biology as companies scramble to do good for the planet and not tamper with the eco-system. Fish and wildlife biologists are often brought in when developing a new product to ensure it won’t harm the environment. For products that will be implemented outdoors, a fish and wildlife biologist can ensure the prototype does not result in harming the eco-system in which the product will be used, which might vary from climate to climate. Fish and wildlife biologists also study the patterns in the eco-system and the animals that inhabit that area. This tells us which wildlife is thriving and which is decreasing.
Work with a contract research organization or CRO
A CRO stands for contract research organization. This organization can be a private company or the government. Biologists are testing and researching ingredients or products that may be up for FDA approval at a later date. It takes years to conduct this research before it is brought before the FDA and given the green light. In this case, a biologist is contracted by the organization to work on a project for a certain period of time. This is often the place many biologists start their careers and can sometimes end up working in that specialized area (such as organic food or cosmetics) in a higher capacity later on. A CRO is a great way to gain work experience, even if it is not the specific field you are looking to build a career in. Many CROs accept entry level technicians and are willing to train those who only have a BS in biology.
Working as a marine biologist is similar to the job description for a fish and wildlife biologist, but it focuses on sea organisms and animals. With ocean acidification and global climate changes that are greatly affecting our oceans, marine biologists are high in the demand. While marine ecology studies how organisms and the ocean interact, marine biology solely focuses on the organisms themselves. This may be the study of organism behavior or a particular species and its developments. Though it is growing, marine biology is one of the smallest sectors of biological science.
Students with a BS in biology often go on to become veterinarians. This requires state licensing exams to practice legally. It exposes you to working with various animals. Veterinarians working with large or exotic animals are high in demand. You can work as a zoo technician, tending to the various animals at a zoo or work at a sanctuary, caring for large or exotic animals. This industry is expected to grow by 21% through 2018, making it one of the most rapidly growing fields in biology.