A zoology degree is important for many animal-related careers, including that of a zoologist, veterinarian, wildlife biologist, biology teacher, environmental consultant, wildlife management and more.
If you’re not familiar with this major, zoology involves the study of animals, both in the wild and captivity. In most programs, zoology majors are given a broad education in the biology of animals, beginning on the cellular level and moving all the way up to entire ecosystems.
Many zoology degrees end up being very specialized, depending on the student’s area of interest and career goals. For example, a B.S. in Biology differs significantly from a B.S. in Zoology, as the latter has course requirements in animal physiology, anatomy and phylogeny.
A solid zoology curriculum prepares the student for graduate school and beyond. Here the career path can take many turns, with students going on to veterinary school, medical school, dental school and other health-related careers. Zoology majors can also pursue studies in marine biology, ecology, wildlife science and management, and more.
A typical zoology degree may include some or all of the following required courses:
If you’re considering degree in zoology, and you want to be successful, you’ll need to develop a broad range of skills that go beyond just technical proficiency. These include good communication, problem solving, organization and critical thinking skills. Being a team player is important as well, as employment in this career field typically requires a great deal of teamwork and interaction with others.
Students of zoology have a wide range of employment options upon graduation. There are a variety of jobs available in various state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private industry. Another option is to going into private practice, and many veterinarians eventually do.
For many zoology majors, the best course to employment is by gaining career-related experience prior to graduation. This can take the form of a summer job in an animal-related facility such as a zoo, or an internship, or even volunteer work with a non-profit organization. There are many non-profits that work to rescue or rehabilitate wildlife and domestic animals, and this can be a great way to make contacts and get a feel for what this type of work entails.
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