From the smallest microorganism to the giant blue whale, every living thing is of interest to biologists, who study the basic principles of plant and animal life. Biologists use the scientific method, testing their ideas or hypotheses through experimentation, to investigate questions about the origin of life, its development, and the relationships between living things, as well as a creature’s anatomy and how it functions in its environment. Whether they’re working in a lab, out in the field, or at a university, biologists collect and analyze biological data, although the specifics of their research are as varied as the creatures in nature. For example, some biologists may work almost exclusively with computer models, while others may spend months collecting and studying specimens at sea. Many specialize in working with plants, animals, or the environment. Biologists need strong communication skills. Their work is often as much about interacting with people and institutions as it is focusing on DNA or anatomy. A career in biology generally requires a bachelor’s degree in the field. Many biologists attend graduate school to earn more advanced research positions or professorships.
What they do:
Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.
On the job, you would:
Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.
Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
law and government
using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
group things in different ways
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Blue Tractor Software DNADynamo
The MathWorks MATLAB
Object or component oriented development software
Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
Development environment software
National Instruments LabVIEW
Software development tools
master's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed