Entering the Animal Kingdom with a Zoology Degree
Zoology is basically what the name suggests which is a study on animals. It concerns the study and research, experiment and data collection on animal origins, genetics, diseases, and behaviors of animals as well as the environment in which the animals live in. A love for animals and a passion for science are needed for anyone who wants a zoology degree.
Students who want to pursue their education in zoology need to be critical in thinking and are able to carry out independent investigation, be observant as you will carry out data collection and note taking in experiments as well as have a good sense of communication with your team, faculty and department.
Your CGPA in physics, biology, math and chemistry should be 3 and above to gain entry to universities and colleges that offer a zoology degree. Some good universities in the USA are the University of Wisconsin, Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University and Miami University. In the UK, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford are the sought after universities by all students.
Other universities are the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto in Canada, Australian National University and University of Melbourne in Australia, University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, University of Otago in New Zealand and University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
A zoology degree specializes in Animal and cell biology, neurosciences, evolution and population biology, ecology and animal embryonic development, veterinary training and wildlife management. Most degrees in zoology come with a comprehensive education on implementing hands-on experience with lab work and classroom instruction and take up to 4-5 years to complete.
A student needs to be good at biology as it is one of the core subjects in studying zoology. Other subjects that come under this study are General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Plant Ecology, Biology of Mammals, Marine Ecosystem Management, Environmental Geochemistry and Marine Biology.
The degree programs come under the life sciences and veterinary departments of colleges and universities where students are able to specialize in a certain field of research and support it with a wide range of other science-based courses.
Specialization will only be done after the student has completed the basic science curriculum. Students who pursue a zoology career can also opt in continuing their area of studies towards a Ph.D which can broaden future career prospects into medical and environmental research and agricultural lab work.
This career will lead you to a variety of animal and natural sciences research opportunities where you will be needed to work in environments other than zoos, clinics or animal hospitals. So, not only will you need to love animals, you would also need to prepare yourself to work in the outdoors and get down and dirty.
A zoology career can lead to positions in the zoo, forensic science department, fisheries, teaching, agriculture and well as conservation and ecological management with an average starting salary of $28 000 per year which can be increased with experience and qualifications to up to $49 000.
Jobs in zoology include animal trainers, wildlife and environmental biologist, veterinarian and lab technicians, aquarist, aviculturist, Animal Care Specialist, Animal Keeper, science writer, behaviorist, geneticist, Laboratory Manager and Medical Technologist