Field of Marine Biology No matter what science oriented profession one chooses to pursue, education is the undisputed key to success and the field of marine biology is no exception. While a bachelor’s degree qualifies you for an entry level position, it is most likely insufficient if you have your sights set on a career involving independent research or field work. The majority of people working within the field of marine biology with only a bachelor’s degree, are for the most part relegated to doing lab research and charting est. results.
A post graduate degree, either a master’s degree or a Ph. D. , is necessary for anyone aspiring to make a name for themselves within the field or significantly increase the probability of career advancement. While an advance degree is necessary for the higher paying positions, the majority of Jobs within the profession only require a bachelor’s degree and an advance degree is no guarantee of advancement or even employment.
Given the extensive educational requirements, which are a significant investment of time and money without being a guarantee of employment within the field, this paper will offer some thoughts to consider in order to determine which degree is appropriate to pursue and some suggestions that may increase a new graduate’s desirability when attempting to enter the field. So what is the ideal degree to pursue when considering the cost in terms of time and money versus the probability of desired employment within today’s Job market?
The answer is driven in large part by what you want to do in the field. A bachelor’s degree is associated with non-research roles and graduates with such a degree may tart as scientists in testing and inspection. This usually is not the type of work a marine biologist dreams of, as it is more lab oriented and can be tedious. A master’s degree is usually required in advanced positions such as product development or management, and may allow one to work as a research technician or a teacher. A Ph. D. Pens the doors for further roles in research and developmental positions and according to Greg Guilt, a graduate of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, “If you want to be a research scientist and direct your own research, a Ph. D. Is almost required. ” Depending on what it is you wish to do in the field will most likely affect your education plans. If you are satisfied performing the entry level work associated with a bachelor’s degree, then the educational requirements will not present a significant challenge.
But if you wish to do more involved and meaningful work, or even teach at a university, a Ph. D. Is advisable. There are 108 colleges in the United States that otter advanced degrees in marine biology. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, The Scripps Research Institute, University of California (Santa Barbara) and the University of Miami (Rosenstein School of Marine and Atmospheric Science) are a few of the top ranked colleges in marine biology. Obtaining a degree from one of these institutions while clearly advisable is not feasible for most due to the limited number of positions available and the costs.
Given that most will not be in a position to obtain a degree from a top ranked institute, a student can choose to increase their marketability by obtaining double soars with emphasis in multiple areas of science, mathematics, statistics or communications. Strong communication and writing skills are important as marine biologists may need to write scientific articles and apply for grants for funding. Another thought to bear in mind is that completing a degree may not be enough. The Job market is highly competitive in this field and therefore grades and any other means of distinguishing oneself from other graduates is advisable.
If a master’s degree is pursued, one way to distinguish yourself is by being a teaching r research assistantship. These positions offer not only financial support, but also valuable experience. This can be very beneficial as experience in the field is an asset when seeking employment. Internships or some sort of volunteer work is highly recommended to gain experience. Many of the schools that offer advanced degrees in marine biology offer internships or courses that can help you get experience in the field prior to graduation. Some programs even allow you to progress from an intern into an employee once you finish your degree.
This can be a big help in getting your foot in the door or even setting up your career with a stable Job right out of the gate. The problem that a lot of students considering this career face is getting that first Job. Many potential employers are looking for those who are at least somewhat experienced in this field, and that experience can be difficult to obtain or may require long hours and hard work. Enrolling in a school that offers such internships or programs can give you a significant advantage over the other applicants for the same bob.
In addition to school run internships, many companies, agencies and not for profit organizations offer internships which offer students an insight into the day to day work activities of a marine biologist while at the same time providing that much desired experience. If marine biology is to be your career choice, education is a necessity and hands on experience will provide an enhancement to your resume. If you desire to progress beyond entry level positions, you will need to commit to obtaining a graduate degree.