The applied knowledge and experience gained through the MS in Biology will prepare students for continued education through Biology PhD program matriculation. Obtaining the MS in Biology will significantly increase the likelihood that a student will be accepted into, and successfully complete a quality PhD program.
Students who complete the MS in Biology from West Liberty University will be qualified to work as research technicians in many of the research intensive universities in the surrounding areas, such as the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Over 30 job openings for positions involving biological research at the University of Pittsburgh that require a Master’s degree and 29 at The Ohio State University were identified. These openings indicate that in the local area, there is a substantial need for more individuals with graduate-level training in the biological sciences.
Completion of an MS in Biology from West Liberty University will qualify students for careers in industry working in laboratories at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or biomedical companies. A recent search of Monster.com using Master’s in Biology as the search terms revealed over 1000 jobs, while the quoted phrase “Master’s degree in biology” revealed 131.
The education attained by completing the MA in Biology curriculum will substantially prepare students planning to enter professional programs such as medical school. These students will have shown that they are capable of completing graduate courses with the level of rigor associated with medical and other professional schools.
This will be especially helpful for students with identified academic challenges in the undergraduate background, as admission boards are more likely to accept these students when presented with evidence that they have had success beyond the undergraduate level.
The students achieving an MS or MA in biology from West Liberty University will be qualified to teach biology courses as an instructor at the collegiate level, or to begin a professional career that requires a graduate degree. For instance, thirty-six openings posted on “The Chronicle of Higher Education” were identified for instructor positions at colleges and universities that require a Master’s degree in biology.
Students who attain a Master’s degree in biology represent the preferred pool of applicants for a multitude of careers in the environmental sciences as well. State Departments of Natural Resources, Departments of Environmental Protection, Forestry Departments in addition to environmental non-profit organizations and private environmental consulting firms all prefer to hire applicants who have completed the requirements for a Master’s degree in biology over individuals lacking a graduate degree.
A job search conducted on 15 January 2016 on the Texas A&M Environmental Jobs Board found that nationally all full-time positions (n = 26) with both leadership roles and salaries above $40K/year required an MS in Biology or related fields. Federal employment in the U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency is ceilinged for individuals lacking a graduate degree, and limited primarily to technician positions. Acquisition of a Master’s degree enables access to higher paying positions that often deal with environmental policy, regulation, and major national decisions. Acquisition of a Master’s degree at WLU will enable our graduates to join this workforce.
Students within the MS in Biology program will also have the opportunity to prepare for entrylevel and managerial positions within the animal care and husbandry industry. Training within the program will prepare students for research opportunities associated with this industry.
The United States Department of Labor reported that the rate of job growth for various positions related to animal care careers will increase at a more rapid (15%) rate than other job markets from 2012 – 2022.
Examples of potential careers within this line of work include: veterinary assistants and technicians; laboratory animal caretaker; zoo and aquarium animal keepers, curators, and research biologists; animal trainers; keepers and managers at sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation facilities, and nature centers; and managers within the pet care industry.
Other Potential Animal Husbandry Related Careers:
- Animal Trainers – Service animal trainer; Zoo animal trainer; Equine industry trainer; Animal trainer for military and law enforcement
- Exotic Animal Care – Keepers, managers, curators, registrars, and administrators at zoos, aquariums, nature centers, sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, and fish hatcheries
- Exotic Animal Research – Reproductive physiologists, animal nutritionist, endocrinologist, conservation biologist, and ecologist positions at zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers
As graduation rates increase, students will need to further their education to compete for research and management positions in a market of individuals who have successfully completed Bachelor degree training.This program will be unique to the animal care industry providing one of only three animal care specific Master’s degree opportunities in the country where students are trained in exotic animal husbandry, and it will be the only program in the country that will offer direct hands-on applied experience to students in a zoo setting with a collaborating Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institution.
The nature of this program will encourage participation from students at the local, state, national, and international level.