Has medicine and the human body been an enchantment and thrill to you? You might have gone through a life-changing experience that changed your perspective on life. Your favorite course in high school is biology, and the insatiable curiosity about science always consumes you. Then, it would help to consider becoming a molecular biologist.
Molecular biologists are scientists who study cells and other microorganisms. Different jobs require unique skills, from academia to research and development, depending on where you work. Your study of molecular life will teach you new things about tiny organisms, DNA, and cells. You will most likely present your findings in written reports or presentations to colleagues and those funding your research. But how can you become one? Fortunately, this post will serve this question. So, let’s get started.
Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
Get your bachelor’s degree. Aspiring molecular biologists can major in biology with a concentration in molecular biology or cell and molecular biology. A typical course load for these students includes biology, chemistry, physics, and genetics. Lab courses teach them how to use equipment properly and conduct experiments. Furthermore, they can complement their studies with online resources that enhance their knowledge. For instance, these evolution worksheet answers can help assess your learning efforts.
Students can find research opportunities through undergraduate-specific programs or by making a special request to faculty. A research project at the undergraduate level is an excellent way for students to develop critical thinking skills and professional skills, as well as learn how to conduct a credible research project.
You can enhance your knowledge and skills in molecular biology by gaining experience working in a lab setting. Molecular biology offers several opportunities to gain experience, including:
- Internships — Molecular biology internships are a great way to build your resume by gaining work experience.
- Entry-level research jobs — An entry-level research position is another option. Networking with other scientists with similar interests while pursuing a graduate degree can help you earn an income.
Apply to Graduate Courses
A graduate program can prepare you for a career as a molecular biologist. Taking the GRE test is a requirement for applying to graduate programs.
Besides your test results, you’ll need to submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other application materials.
Get a Graduate Degree
You can then enroll in a graduate program to finish your education. It is common for molecular biologists to earn a Ph.D. The doctoral programs accept students with bachelor’s degrees rather than master’s. It can take up to six years to complete this process.
Graduate studies in molecular biology offer the opportunity to conduct biological research and publish the results. While pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular biology, many universities employ graduate students as research assistants.
Publish a Research Paper
Publishing your research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal is the next step in becoming a molecular biologist. Peer-reviewed journals publish articles written by experts, which other experts review in the field for accuracy.
By publishing articles as a co-author or lead author, you can gain recognition in molecular biology.
Create Your Resume
It would be best if you created a resume highlighting your expertise in molecular biology and accomplishments. Molecular biologists should consider the following resume tips:
- List published articles — Adding citations to your resume to show employers your research results is an easy way to impress employers.
- Examine your career experience — Describe your research work on your resume rather than listing job duties to demonstrate your scientific skills.
- Quantify your accomplishments — Include numbers on your resume to show employers how your work has impacted them.
Fill Out Job Applications
Once you have earned a graduate degree in molecular biology, you can search for molecular biologist jobs using your resume and professional network. You can find open positions by checking job boards for scientists. A molecular biologist might work in the following industries and institutions:
- Governments — Many government agencies hire molecular biologists to conduct research.
- Bioscience companies — Molecular biologists can develop drugs for bioscience companies using their biological data expertise.
- Pharmaceutical companies — With your molecular biology expertise and research skills, you can assist pharmaceutical companies with developing drugs.
- Universities — Both private and public universities offer teaching and research positions in molecular biology.
- Agricultural companies — Agricultural companies hire molecular biologists to study plant genetics and improve crops using genetic engineering.
There you have it. You can use the above steps to become a molecular biologist. You can work in various positions, such as research, development, or teaching. A university, a private company, or a government agency may be an employer.
A molecular biology degree can lead to careers developing products for consumers or teaching molecular biology students. Your work could provide a solution to protect crops from harsh weather, create a product that helps people fight the common cold, or advance scientific research.