Gaining A Better Understanding of The Animal Kingdom: Zoology

Do you love animals and have an interest in studying their behavior as well as their environments? Would you like to play a role in preserving important habitats to protect the future of animal species that are in danger? Whether you are passionate about a certain type of animal or care about all of them, a degree in zoology can help to prepare you for a career as a zoologist. As a zoologist, you can embark on a path where your love for nature and animals are always at the forefront of what you do. It is an area of study where some great names have already left their mark, such as Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall as well as David Suzuki. So, if you would like to work with animals and have a career where your work makes a difference, then a zoology degree could be ideal for you.

Zoology Degree Information

Bachelor of Science in Zoology

The Bachelor of Science in Zoology degree typically takes about four years to complete and involves courses that fulfill general education requirements along with major foundational courses. Course topics range from General Biology and Genetics to Environmental Science, Invertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Zoology, Ecology, Microbiology and more. This type of degree is also available as a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology where there is less of a focus on math, physics and chemistry and a stronger emphasis on social sciences and humanities.

Master of Science in Zoology

Students with a bachelor’s degree can also go on to complete their Master of Science in Zoology degree. It is typically a two year program, but can take longer depending on the research you end up doing. This type of degree also typically consists of a thesis in addition to the required coursework. Courses may include Comparative Animal Physiology, Cell and Receptor Biology, Taxonomy and Biodiversity, Evolution and Animal Behavior, Ecology, Wildlife Biology and more. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology

After completing their master’s degree, students who are interested in academic positions or devoting their life to research can also opt for a Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology degree. The completion of research and a thesis also form part of this type of degree program. Typical courses may include Ecology, Entomology, Immunology, Wildlife Biology, Endocrinology and more.

Zoology Degree FAQ

Is It Possible To Study For A Zoology Degree Online?

Online zoology degrees are available, but may be rare because of the hands-on nature of the program. This often means that online zoology degrees are hybrid in nature and require students to attend laboratory classes or do field work in person in order to supplement the theory based online courses. Online courses typically provide students more flexibility in terms of when and where they can study compared to campus based courses.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Zoology?

When studying zoology, it is a huge advantage to not only love animals, but to also have a passion for biology. It is an advantage to have some exposure to working with animals, which can be obtained through volunteer work at shelters, kennels or even zoos. Because the work can involve presenting your research findings to the public or employers, it is beneficial to have good communication skills as well as being comfortable with public speaking. In addition, you need to be good with problem solving as well as critical thinking. Furthermore, good observational skills is a must for this type of career path. Since zoology may involve a lot of fieldwork, often in remote areas or challenging weather conditions, being fit and healthy will certainly be a benefit. Finally, patience is definitely a virtue in this field as studying and monitoring animals can often be time consuming.

What Type of Career Options Might Be Available After Earning A Zoology Degree?

While many students go on to become zoologists after graduating from a zoology degree program, it is not the only career path that is available. A degree in zoology can also be useful for careers in veterinary medicine, environmental assessment, science education, zoo and marine park administration, animal care and rehabilitation, and much more. Most entry-level positions in the field of zoology require at least a bachelor’s degree while a master’s degree is often necessary for those interested in careers involving scientific work. Zoologists interested in university research positions or leading independent research typically need a Ph.D. Zoologists often also specialize in certain species, so those who are interested in marine animals may become cetologists while ornithologists focus on birds and herpetologists work with reptiles and amphibians.

What Type of Duties Are Common In This Field?

When employed as a zoologist or wildlife biologist, your primary duties will typically involve studying animals as well as wildlife along with the ways in which they interact with the ecosystem around them. General duties may include studying animal characteristics, conducting studies, performing analysis of the influences that humans have on animals as well as working on breeding programs for animals. Some jobs in this field also require a lot of report writing, working on research papers and giving presentations. Tasks that are performed by zoologists could range from taking blood samples to tracking animal movements.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Employed In The Field of Zoology?

When employed in the field of zoology, your income will depend on what type of career you have chosen as well as where you are employed. Those who go on to become zoologist and wildlife biologists earned a median pay of $60,520 per year as of 2016 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paying industry for this occupation is the federal government, while those employed in management, scientific, and technical consulting services can also earn more than the average for this occupation. In terms of the job outlook for zoologists and wildlife biologist, data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook indicates a projected growth of 8 percent for employment in these occupations.

What Are The Other Advantages To Studying Zoology?

One of the biggest advantages to studying zoology is that fact that most of the career paths that become available to you involves working with animals. This can obviously be very challenging, but if you love animals, it can also be very rewarding. Since a lot of what you do in zoology involves field work, it is also a great career path if you are not fond of being cooped up in an office. In addition, you get to assist with helping to solve problems that can result in better futures for animals.

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