A major in zoology prepares students for rewarding careers in a wide array of fields. Below are just some of the fields that zoology students commonly go into.
- Environmental management: Biologists apply their knowledge of the living world to enrich biodiversity, solve environmental problems, and preserve natural resources. They work toward achieving these goals in many capacities, from protecting threatened wildlife with government agencies, to constructing nature reserves with conservation groups, to providing landowners advice on managing resources through extension services.
- Healthcare: Biology is absolutely fundamental to all healthcare fields, from veterinary medicine to physical therapy. Biologists apply their broad and sophisticated knowledge of life systems to care for and treat the ill, and to maintain the general health of their patients. Biologists also conduct research that aims to improve the well-being of humans and other animals.
- Research: Working in laboratories and the outdoors, biologists conduct applied and basic research on living systems – from human cells to wetland ecosystems – to understand how they work. Biological research is carried out at universities, but also through positions at museums, hospitals, government agencies, and private businesses, where biological research skills are highly prized.
- Science education: Biologists play an essential role in an educated society by enriching public understanding of life systems through teaching and disseminating research findings. This includes educating the public within traditional institutions of learning, like universities, community colleges, and K-12 schools, but also by contributing to museums, nature centers, zoos, parks, and aquariums.
- New directions: Demand for biologists is high in many exciting fields not always associated with bioscience. In the realm of politics, biologists are crucial to providing sound scientific evidence that informs legislation dealing with life, such as biomedicine. Biologists are increasingly fixtures in science communication as media outlets depend on trained biologists for making science accessible to the public. In the art world, biologists create scientific illustrations that appear in textbooks and popular media. And biologists are advancing knowledge in biotechnology fields, such as food science, as they develop and enhance products.
In September 2018 we surveyed zoology major alumni who graduated within the past five years, and 110 respondents shared their current job titles with us. We have organized these job titles into employment sectors. To give you a better sense of how zoology major alumni are using their degree, check out these sample real-world positions.
Perhaps the best way to gain valuable career experience and make professional connections, as well as to learn about different career paths, is by doing internships. Listed below are a few internship-related resources.
SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science offers a wide range of internship-related resources here.
Students with an internship secured in the United States are encouraged to take Inter-LS 260: Internship Course, a one-credit online course that enables them to earn academic credit connected to their work experience.
Students interested in receiving credit for an international internship should explore the Worldwide Internship Program.
Students unsure of which careers to follow are encouraged to visit the Career Exploration Center, where they will work with advisors to explore their values and interests and connect them with possible career paths.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the career development resources offered through SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science, from resume and cover letter help to tips on applying for public sector jobs to opportunities to practice for interviews. SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science also has advisors available to meet with and help students.
Additionally, students are encouraged to take Inter-LS 210: Career Development, Taking Initiative, a one-credit course that seeks to connect the benefits of a liberal arts education with career development.
Below are a few resources suitable to zoology students that contain job and internship listings.
- SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science provides job/internship search tools and strategies here.
- The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies posts environmental jobs and internships here.
- More environmental jobs can be found at ecojobs.com.
- The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Texas A&M University posts bioscience jobs and internships here.
- Professional organizations that represent the biosciences often list job and internship opportunities, and their webpages provide information on common careers in the biosciences. For example, explore the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Ecological Society of America, and the Society for Conservation Biology.