As students in the field of biology look ahead to the future, there are a number of things they can do to prepare themselves for a rewarding career in the biological sciences. Generally, there are two majors ways to prepare for a biology career. First, the students must engage themselves in the world of biology. This is the only way they can learn the terms, concepts and methods necessary to excel. Second, students must have experience and an understanding of the field. This will help them as they search for jobs and opportunities.
1) Spend time in literature
There is no better way to prepare for a career in biology than to be familiar with the field. Students that spend time in both current and famous, classic papers will have an appreciation for and a better understanding of the field. They will have a greater grasp of concepts, current theories, methods and procedures that will help them greatly.
2) Spend time in the lab
Time spent in lab environments will help any student of biology. They will see research first hand and will gain a great experience, especially if they plan on going into research later. It will build their resume and help them appreciate how hypotheses are both developed and tested.
3) Gain teaching experience
There is no better way to learn material than to teach it to others. The process of understanding the material comfortably to present to others will surely help cement the information in the teacher’s mind. Students should take advantage of teaching and teaching assistant positions whenever available, as these will further strengthen a resume and give them real, practical experience.
4) Contact those in the field
A relatively obvious way to prepare for a career in biology is to contact those working in the field. Touch base with professors, researchers, scientists, teachers and the like to try to gain an understanding of what is expected. Ask them about their experience and what experience they had when they first applied for their job. Try to understand the job outlook in the field and what kind of knowledge is sought. This will prepare you to look for jobs in biology, but also give you an idea of how to better prepare.
5) Look for unique opportunities
If you come across really unique opportunities related to biology, take them. Study abroad, expeditions, field research, internships and special training programs are all great ways to gain practical experience, build your resume, and meet people who can provide useful references in the future.