If you find you’re scientifically-minded and nurture a passion for protozoa, there are some wonderful options out there for you when you graduate from high school, and eventually, college. And not every option involves wearing a white coat and safety goggles.
The diversity of further study and careers you could pursue is truly exciting: whether you want to chase after academic specialism, become involved in life-saving research, conserve nature for years to come or pursue a medical career, all can grow from the kernel of an interest in biology.
Psychology is a competitive college subject to get into, but a qualification in Biology, such as a Bachelor of Science in Biology, can give you the basics in brain anatomy, evolution and genetics to get your foot in the door for a psychology qualification.
Not only is psychology a diverse, demanding and ever-changing field of research, career prospects are very strong, with jobs in social work, criminology, child development and neuroscience all potential specialisms for the budding psychologist to pursue. Along with good grades, it can be useful to have great written and oral communication skills, compassion, and a genuine desire to help people.
Helping justice be served is the main concern of the forensic scientist, and attention to detail is vital. A typical work day might involve sorting through evidence, analyzing fingerprints and examining crime scenes. You need to be intensely logical and objective, and usually will require a postgraduate qualification, so commitment is vital. It’s also important to be able to speak up and justify your conclusions in a court of law, so shrinking violets might need to take a rain check.
It takes more than a love of animals to become a zoologist, but it’s a good place to start. At university level, there are a number of relevant and fascinating courses you can take to qualify in zoology, from animal behavior to conservation. It can be helpful to travel and volunteer abroad as a student. You may end up protecting the habitats of endangered species, legislating on animal welfare or working in agriculture, and a typical day will involve research, studying animals and producing reports.
Medical lab technician
Although you might not be the one doing the rounds in the wards, as a lab technician, you could be working at the heart of medical diagnostics or research, and actively contributing towards saving lives. As well as a positive outlook for employment and job security, there’s the opportunity to move into different fields such as nursing or pharmacology, or to progress in your field. You’ll require an associate’s degree, and need to be prepared to spend a lot of time on your feet, but the pay is good, and it’s significantly more varied than a desk job.
Having a knack for biology gives you a wonderful position from which to consider your next career move, whether from high school, college, or a vocational shift. But this won’t be the only determining factor. Consider the day to day logistics of your dream job, along with the supplementary skills needed and your personality before making your next move, to be sure it will be the right one.
Image by Amin Allen Tabrizi