Online Degree Programs for Zoology

Students of zoology are often exceptionally adept at caring for animals, and enjoy studying them in their natural habitat. Zoology is the study of the animal kingdom and includes all animals, both living and extinct. The study of zoology requires significant laboratory research, and to that end, there are limited fully online college degree programs available in zoology, though some schools might offer online classes as part of a campus-based program. To simply enter the field of zoology, students typically need a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s degree is often required for advanced positions, and a doctorate is necessary for those interested in research and teaching positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Zoology

A bachelor’s in zoology provides a strong background in animal biology. Students generally study math, chemistry, physics, animal science, animal behavior, ecology, and physiology, ultimately learning about animal groups, how animals live and interact in their environment, and their natural surroundings. They also gain veterinary science and animal husbandry skills. Students typically have the opportunity to conduct research in a faculty research laboratory, as well asin the field. This degree prepares students for an entry-level career in health professions or graduate study in zoology.

Online Master’s Degree Programs for Zoology

The master’s degree provides professional study for advanced zoology positions. Students are trained in zoology practice, studying ecology, evolution, behavior, comparative and environmental physiology, and genetics while also learning about a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments, geographic regions, and organisms. Students typically choose to specialize in a specific field, such as population biology, wildlife ecology, aquatic ecology, or pollution biology, for example, andare required to conduct original research and complete a thesis in order to complete the program.

Online Doctoral Degree Programs for Zoology

Students interested in pursuing academic research or teaching at the collegiate level would benefit from a doctorate degree in zoology. As in the master’s level program, students often choose tospecialize in a specific area, such as genetics, aquaculture, wildlife ecology and management, or a specific species, which directly influences their course work. While pursuing their Ph.D, students may study environmental risk assessment, animal behavior, fish management, and evolutionary biology, among many courses, and are typically required to conduct original research, as well as present and defend a dissertation.

Online Degree Programs in Zoology in the Work Place

The state government, excluding education and hospitals, employs the highest percentage of zoologists, at 34% in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The federal government, excluding the postal service, is the second-highest employer of zoologists, at 26%, followed by research and development,and management, scientific, and technical consulting firms. Zoologists, naturally, often work for zoos, as well as marine parks and aquariums, laboratories, educational institutions, museums, and environmental conservation groups. Those with a Ph.D in zoology are eligible to pursue advanced research or professorial positions at colleges and universities.

Employment of zoologists is expected to grow slower than the average for all occupations. According to the BLS, the profession is anticipated to increase by 7% through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There will be continued demand for zoologists to study the impact of population growth and development on wildlife and their habitats, though demand in local, state, and federal government agencies, such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, will vary based on the budgets for these agencies. Zoologists can expect to make between $35,660 and $93,450 a year, with a median annual wage of $57,430 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), though these statistics are influenced by individual education, experience, and employer.