Online Colleges for Biology

Biology offers a diverse range of educational and occupational possibilities. Biologists can work in the laboratory, in the field and, yes, in the classroom. They can also be found in agriculture, conservation and health care. In fact, Kathleen Eyster of the University of South Dakota says career opportunities for those with biology degrees go far beyond typical science occupations. According to an article published in Advances in Physiology Education, Eyster outlines 101 things you can do with a biology degree that include market research, political lobbying and poultry science. While there are many ways to earn a degree, online biology programs provide a solid foundation upon which to pursue these and other careers.

Biology Online Programs

Although you can earn a degree strictly in biological science, there are many specialized degree programs that make sense for biologists planning to pursue a particular career path. For example, those interested in teaching will need an education degree. The master's of science in education or master's of art in science education are two common online biology programs for those wishing to be biology instructors. Meanwhile, if public policy is one of your passions, a degree in environmental policy can combine your interest in biology with public advocacy. At the bachelor's degree level, most degree programs provide a general overview of biological sciences. With a master's degree, students may focus on a specific subset of biology such as botany. Individuals planning to do biological research or teach at the university level generally have a doctoral degree.

Doctoral degree holders are most likely to become biological scientists. These scientists may focus on zoology, microbiology or biochemistry among other specialties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the overall need for biological scientists should grow 21 percent between 2008 and 2018. Biochemists and biophysicists will be in particular demand with job openings for these professionals expected to grow 37 percent. In addition, biochemists and biophysicists are well compensated: according to bls.gov data, the mean annual incomes for this profession were $86,580 in 2010. However, if you are not interested in committing to the years needed to earn a doctoral degree, there are plenty of other career options: biomedical engineers, dental hygienists, environmental engineers and pharmacy technicians are other possible occupations. By exploring online biology degrees and related programs, you can decide which of these careers might be right for you.

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