Biology or Biological Science can be referred to as the study of all life forms, whether living or dead. They can be either on land or at sea or a being that can co-exist at both places. Let us take a look at one of the professions in the field of biology called biological scientists.
Who Is a Biological Scientist?
A biologist and a biological scientist are basically the same professions except for one minor difference. A biologist is one who understands science from an ‘arts’ perspective, which means, they study ecology, zoology, plant sciences such as botany and various theories like Charles Darwin’s ‘Theory of Needs’ to understand the symbiotic relationship between different human lives and how the environment around them affects their needs. A biological scientist is one who looks at science from a ‘hard science’ perspective.
This means that while studying life, its trends and its traits like adaptability, population change, famine, ecological change, etc., they work with more statistics and hard data to prove or disprove various theories about a specific scientific hypothesis. They majorly focus on microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, biotechnology etc.
How to Become A Biological Scientist?
Here’s a step-by-step guide for the process of becoming a biological scientist:
• Post 10th grade, it is mandatory for one to select the science stream for their 11th and 12th a.k.a. their junior college specialisation. They also need the subject mix of PCB, which translates to Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
• After 12th grade, one must go for a bachelor’s degree in Biology (ex: B.Sc. In Biology) and choose the specialization subjects that the field they want to grow into covers.
For post-graduation, a master’s (M.Sc.) in the specialization chosen during graduation seems to be most adequate.
• A step further for more advanced skills and knowledge would be getting an M.Phil or a Ph.D. in biological sciences and the selected specialization.
The 3rd step is enough for one to become a biological scientist who can practice independently in their desired field.
Most bachelor’s degrees in biology do not have an entrance exam. However, master’s degrees and Ph.D.s in the same do for eligibility purposes.
Biology courses offer lucrative careers in the field of research, healthcare, environmental management and education sectors. Here’s a list of educational courses in biology:
• B.Sc. Biology/ Biological Sciences
• BS-MS Dual Degree in Biological Sciences
• M.Sc. Wildlife Biology and Conservation
• M.Sc. Environmental Biology
• M.Sc. Environmental Microbiology
• M.Sc. Conservation Biology
• M.Sc. Biology/ Biological Sciences
• M.Sc. Applied Biology
• M.Sc. Computational Biology
• M.Sc. Biochemistry
• M.Sc. Molecular Biology
Careers in Biology
Careers in biology depend upon the subjects that one might major in. There is a wide range of opportunities that different biological fields have to offer for students.
For graduates in biology, most entry-level jobs are the open fields. They can easily take up jobs for project assistance, laboratory technician, research assistant, etc. They, however, require some prior experience in laboratories, be it through internships/jobs or through thorough college projects. Graduates in biology are eligible for competitive exams conducted by the Government of India for posts such as IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.
However, a Master’s in any field of biology like biomedical, biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, ecology, zoology, botany, etc. is more resourceful because it lands responsible roles on researching projects, allows management on one’s own project, lands senior teacher jobs, etc. A doctorate degree with different minors and electives in subjects such as math and statistics can result in getting rewarding government jobs too. Biotechnology and microbiology are the most growing fields of biology.
A specialization in the biomedical field and/or epidemiology can provide students with an opportunity to work in CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) India. It can also allow jobs in healthcare research that discover various cures for pandemics, different medicines, vaccines, food intakes, etc.
For majors in environmental science and ecology, jobs in the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), India and state controlled environmental protection bodies related to research and/or advisory roles are available.
There are a lot of students majoring in biology who want to dig deeper into a career in law enforcement. For these students, forensic biology is a specialization to go after. Examining evidence from various crimes, understanding what might have happened during the crime involve some of the daily tasks of a biologist or a biological scientist in the field of law enforcement and criminal activities.
Biology is one of the basic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects. This makes it crucial for students to understand biology on an elementary level at least. This leaves biology majors with another career option – teaching. This career is not only for the students who have always wanted to teach but also for researchers and doctors who might have grown in different fields but can still appear as guest teachers or visiting faculties.
Private Industries have a great amount of funding which makes researching ten times more convenient. Hence, students who want to build a career in research work can keep an eye on private industries for biotechnology, microbiology, botany, epidemiology, etc.
Biology students can have a bright future in the field of agriculture, provided they match the eligibility criteria through their majoring subjects. They can develop herbicides and pesticides that cover functions required for smooth growing of crops.
As talked about earlier, biotechnology is one of the most growing branches of biology. Jobs involving research work and discovery of genetic modification and future technological developments in agriculture are found here.
All of these jobs have a terrific set of scope to grow in and have a demand of their own.
Biology is growing more branches than ever and that provides students with a dream to become a biologist or a biological scientist with diverse opportunities. We hope that the data provided above will give you the guidance you seek.