Biology means the “science of life.”People who study biology have a deep understanding for many types of life and ecosystems, from massive forests to tiny microorganisms. These are the people who can create medicines, find ways to save endangered species, and establish methods for healthier lifestyles. In many cases, they are also educators for future biologists. Earning an online biology degree might lead to a career in many practical science areas.A few possibilities: medical lab technician, high school teacher or research biologist. Biology is an especially useful major for anyone interested in a healthcare profession. It is a popular pre-professional degree for anyone interested in a medical career. Graduates with online biology degree majors often pursue careers in healthcare as nurses, lab techs or medical technicians. Other career opportunities exist in environmental management, science writing and public policy analysis. PayScale.com reports that demand for biologists is steady, and that biology graduates–most of them employed in the medical field–can expect to earn about over $90,000 annually.
THE CAREER PATH
Biology degrees bring excitement and interest to your life. They can include lab settings, allowing you to work on ground-breaking medicine and health-related technology, or they can include “in-the-field” work, such as conservation efforts and research. Positions for biology majors include zoologists, marine biologists, lab technicians, and bio-technology designers.
There are many reasons to study biology, including flexibility with career choices. Biology majors have a strong understanding of numerous science-related disciplines, and these can all be applied to various careers. As we alluded to earlier, if you enjoy being outdoors, a biology degree gives you the opportunity to work in the field while making real contributions to wildlife and plant life, as well as outdoor habitats enjoyed by humans. Two popular degree options for those that graduate with a degree in biology are:
Wildlife Biologist—The basic responsibility of a wildlife biologist is to study animals and determine how they interact with ecosystems. This work can include developing experiments, collecting data, analyzing the influence of people on animals, and writing research papers. The end goal is simply to create healthier animals and ecosystems all across the globe. The median salary for a biologist is $63,420 and requires a bachelor’s degree.
Biochemist—This is a high-paying, high-demand job that requires a doctorate or a professional degree. In this career, you will study the chemical principles that allow life to thrive, but you’ll also need significant education and training, and work experience could be required for entry in a specific doctorate program. While many will be content with a bachelor’s degree, this profession is an example of the nearly limitless possibilities that come from an online biology program. The median salary for a biochemist is $93,280 and requires a doctorate degree.
Online Biology master’s programs often assume students are already employed in a work setting that allows ready access to lab facilities and research opportunities. For those employed in field research, an online biology master’s may be the best way to access higher education from a remote study station.
Life science teachers–particularly at the high school level–also could benefit from pursuing an online biology degree at the master’s level. Expect an advanced program to cover topics such as botany (plant biology), herbal medicine, animal sciences, forestry and marine biology. Some programs may offer specialized courses in ethics, statistics or other bio topics, as well.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Biology is an interesting, engaging, and potentially lucrative career field that can help you be a contributing part of some of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs in the world. But what character traits are best for people who want to learn about biology? In general, you’ll find that this career is excellent for people who love animals, as many of the course (and the subsequent careers) directly apply to wildlife.
Zoologists, marine biologist and conservationists, for example, will clearly involve work that is directly or indirectly tied to animals. But you don’t have to love animals to enjoy biology, as many of the careers are focused more towards humans. If you are a detail-oriented person who wants to work on ground-breaking medicine, for example, a biology degree could be the right choice for you. Above all, if you are a compassionate, caring person who wants to contribute to the world around you, a biology degree gives you this opportunity.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Expect an online biology degree program to include courses in plant biology, oceanography, astronomy, environmental sciences, anatomy, genetics, microbiology and chemistry. Specialty classes may cover particular areas of biology, such as insect diversity, ichthyology (study of fish), or herpetology (study of amphibians and reptiles).
Popular related majors include the online environmental science degree, which looks at the living earth as a whole system and how humans impact the biosphere through industrial development. Environmental biologists also research changes in the biosphere due to global warming. For a research-based career, consider online clinical laboratory programs. Clinical technicians and scientists perform experiments, run data and analyze findings.
Before enrolling in an online biology program, research these aspects…
100% Online or In-Person Requirements: All of the courses offered on our website are 80% online or more. Many are in fact 100% online with no in-person requirements whatsoever. To get a learning experience that fits your schedule, research this aspect before enrolling.
Prerequisites: Courses will have different requirements for previous classwork, although some may accept previous work experience if it applies to the appropriate biology course. Work at a nature center or biology lab could qualify.
Coursework: Although these are all “biology” degrees, many have different specializations and focuses that will direct you towards different careers. For example, the Master of Science in Molecular Biology will focus on bio-techology, while other programs may be geared more towards conservation, environmental policy, or biology education.
Accreditations: The online biology program in which you enroll should be properly accredited, ensuring a high-quality education. Colleges and programs are accredited by institutions such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) or the Middle States Commission on Higher Learning.
You deserve an affordable, convenient degree that will help you land the right career. Use our complete list of resources to choose the perfect online biology degree for your future! Click on a program below to access information on tuition, accreditation, and admission requirements.