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FROM STUDY TO SKILLS

All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills.  Biologists study life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.  Subfields range widely from biochemistry and molecular biology to physiology and ecology.

The various biology concentrations are intended to be part of the broad intellectual experience of a liberal arts education; at the same time they may prepare students for graduate and professional school. As a biology concentrator, you will develop project skills from research and investigation to analysis and communication.

Related fields include Program in the Environment, Chemistry, Psychology, Anthropology, Museum Studies, Pharmacy, Public Health, Medicine, and Statistics.

 

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Investigative Skills

Identifying problems
Assessing risks
Defining expected / potential results
Inspecting specimens
Cataloging information

Research / Quantitative Skills

Defining problems
Designing experiments
Utilizing laboratory equipment
Using computers for computation / simulation
Conducting studies
Recording observations
Interpreting results
Utilizing statistical tests to predict outcomes
Preparing statistical reports

Analytical Skills

Examining components of problems / ideas
Reasoning logically
Categorizing data
Making projections from data
Organizing ideas / information
Evaluating the effects of phenomena

Communication Skills

Writing research proposals
Contributing to teams
Summarizing research findings
Explaining complex ideas for technical and nontechnical audiences
Designing charts, graphs and other visual aides
Reporting results and conclusions orally and in writing
Presenting alternative explanations

 

BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. The Society of Biology Students is sponsored by MCB and EEB and presents seminars and sponsors other events, as initiated by the student membership. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.

 

FROM SKILLS TO CAREER

Biology concentrators develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers in the sciences, health care, business, government, and education. For example, the ability to conduct investigations and perform analyses may be equally useful whether working as a college administrator, director of biomedical communications, curator of a natural history museum, or teacher. Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Biology graduates.

Investigative Skills

Environmental protection specialist green leaf icon
Public health officer open book icon
Water quality inspector green leaf icon
Food and drug inspector open book icon
Conservationist
Industrial hygienist
Pest control consultant

Quantitative/Research Skills

Biological researcher
Biochemist open book icon
Biostatistician green leaf iconopen book icon
Data analyst open book icon
Aquarist
Parasitologist open book icon
Marine biologist open book icon
Botanist open book icon
Zoologist open book icon
Ichthyologist open book icon
Entomologist open book icon
Curator, botanical garden green leaf iconopen book icon
Geneticist
Food technician
Toxicologist open book icon
Bacteriologist open book icon
Epidemiologist open book icon

Analytical Skills

Programmer/analyst
Hunger policy analyst
College professor open book icon
College administrator open book icon
Administrator, nuclear waste program open book icon
Ecologist open book icon
Bioengineer open book icon
Molecular biologist open book icon
Veterinarian open book icon
Physician open book icon
Health policy consultant open book icon
Administrator, HMO open book icon
Medical librarian open book icon

Communication Skills

Park ranger green leaf icon
Park naturalist green leaf icon
K-12 teacher
Fundraiser, environmental organization green leaf icon
Science magazine editor
Technical writer
Wildlife photographer
Medical illustrator open book icon
Pharmaceutical sales rep
Trainer

green leaf icon = Green Jobs
open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/

 

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

The undergraduate biology program offers seven different concentrations: Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), General Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, and Plant Biology. We also participate in interdepartmental concentrations in Anthropology-Zoology, Program in the Environment, Biochemistry, and Biophysics.  In addition, we offer minors in Biology, EEB, and Plant Biology, along with an Honors program.

For more information, visit
www.lsa.umich.edu/biology/concentrations.asp

Biology Undergraduate Program
1111 Kraus Natural Science Building
734-764-2446
www.lsa.umich.edu/biology/

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
734-764-0332
www.lsa.umich.edu/advising

 

NEXT STEPS / RESOURCES

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:
www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/getting-started-linkedin

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Career Center Connector: www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/career-center-connector

On campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at: https://studentemployment.umich.edu/JobX_Home.aspx

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in: http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
734-764-7460
www.careercenter.umich.edu
www.facebook.com/careercenter.umich
http://twitter.com/careercenter

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan