Zoology degree: What to expect?


Did you know that squirrels could only remember the location of 30 percent of the nuts they bury? Or that birds need gravity to swallow?

Chances are if you’re considering a zoology degree, you have at least a few random animal facts up your sleeve. After all, Zoologists are experts in animals, passionate about furry (and not-so-furry) creatures of all types. This major prepares you to work in zoos, research labs, aquariums, and wildlife reserves—pretty much anywhere you find an animal, insect, or reptile.

Training
When considering where to get your zoology degree, you need to keep a couple of things in mind: how long you want to be in school, and what type of degree you want.

Bachelor’s degrees last four years, master’s degrees take two, and PhD’s can last about six. Since you’ll take lots of science courses (which mean labs), there really aren’t any online zoology degree programs. Though this means you’ll have to show up for class, the upside is you’ll be able to learn from other future Zoologists, and create solid connections that can help when you start your job hunt.

Before you start imagining this degree as a sort of petting zoo with tests, however, you should know it can be a pretty difficult major. Zoology is a branch of biology, concentrating on the study of animal life. Many schools offer it as a bachelor of science, so expect to spend your time in biology, physics, and chemistry classes and labs. You’ll take classes like ecology, general genetics, and neurobiology.

Next Step
When you finish school, you should have a strong grounding in the anatomy of animals, their behavior patterns, and how their environment affects them. With your education, you should be able to work with everything from fish to tigers to scorpions to snakes.

Getting your master’s or doctoral degree will help you get jobs with more responsibility—positions like Curator or Administrator for a zoo.



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