It must be one of the hardest questions a prospective student will ask themselves: what on earth am I going to major in?
Fortunately for some, those who have had an innate, burning desire to work within one particular profession can count themselves lucky. Whether it be an aspiring doctor, psychiatrist, lawyer or even sports coach - a complete awareness of a professional route makes it significantly easier to choose an associated degree.
However, if you tend to be like the most, and your mind has remained back and forth, to-ing and throwing between the various options in the USA, find peace in the fact that most students have been in this situation before.
Choosing your major can be a difficult process. Combining your interests with the idea of a realistic profession at the end of your studies can be a daunting task.
The benefits of undergraduate courses are that they offer a wide range of modules throughout the four years it takes to complete. This helps students to be exposed to various fields within their time at university, to help identify which areas within their studies they wish to pursue.
Here are some examples of the core modules you would expect to study during your first year (excluding the introductory year) within a Biological Sciences (BSc) degree:
- Introduction to Evolution and Biology
- Cell Biology and Physiology
- Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences
- Fundamentals of Biochemistry.
As you can see, there are an array of different subject matters to be exposed to within the first year of studying Biology. So, whether you are into academic-based, cellular laboratory work, or you have a passion for plant sciences, there is a wide range of study areas for undergraduate students.
Moving on into the later years of your undergraduate means you then have the option to choose from various modules including:
- Cellular Neurobiology
- Eukaryotic Gene Expression
- Biodiversity and Conservation Management
- Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection.
By examining the modules which take place in the third and final year of a Biological Science undergraduate program, the options then become more specific, giving students the chance to explore their interests.
As you can see, a degree in Biology offers the chance for students to study across a range of areas, but this is only one of the many benefits of a major in Biological Sciences!
The Advantages of Studying Biology
Various diseases caused by microbes can lead to epidemics that can harm and kill millions of people. Specializing in the study of cellular research and disease prevention can allow students to make a difference in peoples lives.
Identifying and Solving Social and Economical Issues
In a world currently split by opinion on such concerns as climate change, it is vital now that biological researchers can continue to conduct studies to strengthen our knowledge and understanding on the effects of greenhouse gases and temperature changes, as well as identifying the implications such changes have on our world.
Improving Human Health
As well as preventing bacterial epidemics and the spread of disease, biologists also contribute to improving human health in various ways. A further example would be the use of biotechnology to prevent malnutrition in third world countries.
Identifying foods high in vitamins and nutrients has allowed those in need to prioritize their consumption of certain food groups and has thus prevented the rate of illnesses and deaths associated with malnutrition.
Gaining a Stronger Understanding of Living Beings
Whether it's humans, animals or plants which spark your interest, biology is defined as the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution.
Biology has Multiple Divisions
As a scientific area, Biology has multiple divisions which mean that students go into various specialties upon completion of their undergraduate. Find below an example of just some areas that can be explored:
Just from looking at this list, it becomes evident that there are multiple options for graduates to choose from. As a biology degree has such strong academic underlining, many students go onto their masters and P.h.D. programs to specify in some of the fields aforementioned.
A number of universities across the country offer such programs so there are limitless opportunities once your undergraduate degree is completed.
University Opportunities - Biology
Most states across the US offer a range of undergrad and post-graduate courses in biology. From Washington to Florida, there are hundreds of colleges and universities offering high-quality learning opportunities in the field of biology.
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According to Top Universities, 13 of the top 20 higher educational establishments in the world offering biological science degrees are based in the United States.
With Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology taking the top two places, there are also a number of additional universities such as John Hopkins, Cornell, and Columbia which are well respected for their Biological Science programs.
A Biological Sciences degree will often ask the student to head out into the world to conduct their research. This not alone promotes intuitive learning, but it installs a further sense of purpose and dependence upon the individual when researching areas of their liking.
It is said to enhance the amount of satisfaction when students are given such responsibility. It also gives students the option to work collaboratively on various projects which are fun and helps to develop certain team working skills that are necessary characteristics for professional life.
Laboratory and Field Work
Do not expect a fixed setting when it comes to studying biology. Again, the modules you embark upon will most likely determine how much time you spend in the field and how much time you are in the lab.
A student specializing in ecology would naturally spend most of their time in the wilderness/analyzing the environment, whereas microbiologists would mainly be situated in scientific laboratories.
Yet, all student are will have the opportunity to explore a range of settings throughout an undergraduate course to help determine which environments they feel most comfortable in.
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Additional Support for Biology Students
A bachelor of science is often identified as being one of the most challenging higher educational certifications to receive - so expect a degree in biology to be both rigorous and time-consuming.
Students from across the country explore multiple extra-curricular opportunities to help support them during their studying.
From tutoring, online courses to various physical resources, there are several ways in which students can get a step ahead in preparation for hectic examination periods.
Find more on online biology courses here on Superprof.
Job Opportunities for Graduates
Some of the top jobs for biology majors boast impressive annual salaries surpassing the $100,000 mark.
As mentioned previously, a biology degree opens the door to many career possibilities. Here we have identified a number of these possibilities as well as including the starting wage for top candidates:
1. Biological Technician
Fundamentally based in the laboratory, a biological technician is responsible for carrying out accurate investigations based on academic research.
As quoted by The Balance Careers, a Biochemist can earn up to $177,840 annual income. A knowledge of anatomy and physiology is necessary and again, such a job would be mainly located within a lab.
3. Medical and Health Services Manager
Unlike the previous jobs mentioned, a Medical Manager spends most of their time interacting with healthcare providers/professionals, having such responsibilities as interpreting scientific regulations related to medical services.
A top-earning graduate could well expect a $176,130 per annum salary - pretty impressive! Just be aware that such top jobs are reflective of the most established companies, which therefore means that the competition for such opportunities will be very competitive.
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