The American Institute of Biological Sciences has an elegant way of defining its profession. “Biologists learn how living things work, how they interact with one another, and how they evolve. Understanding the natural world, our role in it, and the global implications from same means many varied positions within such a diverse field.
For students who want the challenges these present, online programs will provide opportunities for study and work.
If you want biological science broken into more practical terms, one needn’t look further than flu season. They are the people who pinpoint possible outbreaks, help prepare the vaccines, and then monitor the effectiveness of their research. Then they try to figure out what is the next health threat coming.
Research can be broken down into two categories: basic and applied. Basic research is conducted without any intended aim. The goal is simply to expand on human knowledge. Applied research is directed towards solving a particular problem. Most biological scientists specialize in one area of biology, such as zoology (the study of animals) or microbiology (the study of microscopic organisms). It should be noted these are not medical scientists, but basic biological scientists do study how microorganisms affect our health.
Biological scientists work in three primary environments; government, university and private laboratories. Even when they do field work, it’s in tandem with one of these three groups. The industry is currently going through an incredible new revolution thanks to major advances in biogenetics and nanotechnology.
In addition to required courses in chemistry and biology, undergraduate biological science majors usually study mathematics, physics, engineering, and computer science. Those interested in studying the environment also should take courses in environmental studies and become familiar with applicable legislation and regulations. Those with a B.S. in Biology can usually find jobs, but it should be advised that biological scientists do eventually go on for their PhD, and usually do it through work-study with online colleges.
Financial aid in this field is more readily available than in many others. Aside the standard Pell, state and other federal grants, many professional medical and biological organizations, both private and public, have extra scholarship and research money available. Many private corporations set up work-study programs with accredited online schools as a way to keep their employees.
That isn’t all these institutions do. The salary and other compensation packages offered biological scientists are well above average. Beginning salaries for a scientist with just a Bachelors averages about $33,000.
The median income inside the profession nearly doubles to $64,000. From there, the upper 10% bracket exceeds $100,000. Benefits packages include health and life insurance, research grants, retirement and other savings programs, as well as the aforementioned work-study compensation.