There are often specific topics that you can take up on your degree. This could be a more technical subject such as biotechnology or animal genetics. You might also opt to specialise in one particular area of the subject. If you are a naturalist, you could specialise in wildlife conservation, while if you are an evolutionary biologist you could specialise in the field of evolution. These are all topics that will help you get started in the life sciences industry.
If you specialise in a particular topic, you will be able to progress in your career quickly. If you have a good grasp of the subject, you’ll be able to write your own grants and research your own projects. If you’re a student, you’ll also be able to work alongside senior researchers. If you’re interested in this kind of professional development, you may even wish to take up a PhD.
Once you have completed your degree, you’ll usually start looking for employment at a university, college or other institution where you can continue your education through a further level of training, such as a doctorate program, as you try to gain entry into a medical school or medical research centre. Many universities require that their students complete a general biology major or similar course. The courses may vary between academic subjects such as mathematics, chemistry or physics. You may also take a course in a foreign country, such as Latin American or Chinese studies.
If you have a particularly high grade in a course such as a mathematics class in your undergraduate degree, you may have an advantage when applying for jobs in the life sciences industry as your general biology grades will be higher than other candidates. Some employers also favour candidates who have taken a certain amount of pre-determined elective or foundation courses, or seminars to prepare them for the job. Some schools offer courses in biology, but these often aren’t considered to be sufficient.
There are also research jobs available in the life sciences industry that are much more than laboratory assistants and lab assistants. Research positions will often involve more than research and will involve carrying out laboratory experiments or testing different techniques and equipment in order to help scientists find the answers to some of their questions.
When applying for a job at a university or research facility, employers will typically want to see a portfolio of your work. For example, you could be asked to carry out a series of tests using animals, bacteria or cells under the microscope. This could include growth, tissue culture, development, reproduction, or immunology work. It is also necessary to have published your findings in a peer-reviewed journal so that potential employers can see what you have discovered.
Many employers also prefer applicants to have a university examination, especially when it comes to a written interview. This is to ensure that you are able to carry out the duties expected of you. It’s usually taken as part of your university applications process. The examination is normally structured to test your knowledge, skills and experience.
If you do pass the examination and are selected as a successful candidate, you’ll need to take an oral and written board exam to confirm your results. Most colleges offer this test, along with the requirement to complete a laboratory-based examination. You’ll be required to answer questions relating to general biology. Some employers may ask you to complete additional lab work after your final exam to demonstrate further study and/or skill.
In addition to taking an examination for general biology, some jobs in the life sciences industry also require you to attend a continuing education course of at least once every two years. To become eligible for this requirement, you will usually need to have at least a master’s degree, although most employers prefer applicants with a doctoral level qualification or higher.
Career paths in this field can be lucrative if you’re prepared to work hard for it. Even after you have gained experience and qualifications, there are still several ways to continue your education, even after you begin to work in the field.