Scientists do many different things, so there
are many different educational requirements.
I am a biology professor now. I needed a PhD to
get this job, and it helped that I had done extra
research after my PhD. My daily activities involve
actually teaching classes, planning classes,
working with students, grading student work, and
learning how to be better at teaching. I also meet
with other professors about teaching and stuff
that is less exciting. I work on things for a
group of science professors around the country. I
meet with people to plan activities for the
community. I do a lot of writing.
Before I got my PhD, I had a master’s degree. I
worked in a lab that studied ways to help protect
brains when people have strokes. We used rats to
understand humans. My day-to-day duties included
mixing chemicals, making slides to study brain
cells, improving the way we stained the brain
slices so that we could see the cells better,
ordering supplies, and keeping things organized. I
really only needed a college degree for the job,
but having a master’s degree helped me get it.
While I was working on my master’s degree, I
worked in a crime lab. I tested blood and other
things for drugs and poisons. I followed
directions for many types of tests depending on
what we were looking for. I also did things like
mix chemicals and kept the lab clean and
organized. I cataloged evidence that was sent in
from police departments around the state.
My students with bachelor’s degrees have a wide
variety of jobs. One works a state park ranger.
She had to have law enforcement training as well
as biology education. Another works with a soda
company, making sure their products are safe and
good quality. Another teaches kids about plants
and animals at a nature center. Another works with
the local blood bank. Some do medical tests at
hospital or research labs.
Some of my students have gone on to graduate
school, veterinary school, and medical school.
There are many different ways to be a scientist.
What would you like to do?
Thanks for asking,