Important Life Decision! Well, Kind Of


Well if you take up a career in art it might not be as fun as it is when your doing it with your free time considering you have to do what the boss tells you to. Music is pretty nice but it really matters what you wanna do in music.

Engineers ask how does it work, scientists ask why does it work, buisnessmen ask when will it work, humanities majors ask “do you want fries with that”.

There are tons of jobs you have ahead of you in biology or any science for that matter. Depending on your university you might get more or less exposure to these different kinds of fields. Also, if you have a specific interest in a specific field, like you say zoology, you might want to look for a school that has more of a focus on that so you don’t necessarily end up taking more cell bio classes than you would like. Biology is a very large field with a lot of different aspects. If you like zoology as you say you do, look for schools with a solid ecology or eco/evo program. As a note though, odds are you’ll have to do graduate studies at least on a master’s level to really take advantage of your education, but that’s my saying this from a molecular biology background, I’m not too sure what you can do with an eco background.

As comfortable as you think you are with biology though, real biology in college is a little different from what you see in high school. You’re gonna take basic calculus, basic general chemistry, basic organic chemistry and basic physics. You need to have a pretty good understanding of the chemistry to have a good understanding of the biology. Biology won’t be just taking a bunch of bio classes, you’re gonna take a pretty broad spectrum of classes, just to warn you.

I wouldn’t say there would really be any cons about going into biology other than you’ll probably find out that you need to work A LOT harder than you did as an arts major and that you will especially have to think very differently. A lot of people go into bio because they think its easy and mindless and that’s what kills them. You’re meant to think in science. In terms of career oppurtunities, I’m not entirely sure. I can talk to you about molecular biology and research and all kinds of different things, but that wouldn’t help you much. If you’re doing more ecology and evolution stuff, you’ll be dealing with different kinds of things than I’m used to. This would be a good question to ask an advisor at university’s eco/evo department. You will notice that what you like and how you think about things will change as you progress through the program and that ultimately you might come out with different ideas about what you’d like to do than you went in when you have a better understanding of what it is you care about. Just saying “zoology” doesn’t mean much. If you want to work with animals, become a vet. I’m not sure what it is you’d like to do with the animals though.


more school is rarely ever a bad thing. You definitely don’t want to later regret never doing something when you no longer have the time to. Like Sinistral said, be prepared for work. Biology is a lot of memorizing and if you haven’t taken the advanced math you are going to have to work hard to understand them.

For working in the field with wild animals you need to have REALLY good connections. They are able to do it because of grants and they have to either do a lot of convincing or have friends in the right places to get those. A great way to build these connections is in graduate school.

There are more options out there in the visual arts other than just those that your teachers throw at you (there’s no way in hell I’m gonna design business cards and magazine ads for the rest of my life…blech. >.>) But yeah, if you wanna go persue something else you think you’d be more comfortable doing for a living, go for it. :3

I have a couple of friends who are pre-vet, and from what I can tell, it’s a rather demanding field with little returns. Like, basing a job solely on income isn’t good, but they’re destined for like $30,000 to $40,000 a year unless they get really big or teach for a vet school. So, honestly, don’t even think about being a vet unless you REALLY want to be a vet.

People that think biology is all about memorization make me laugh; these are the people that go into biology and fail horribly. Some classes are more memorization then others (if you take a class on phyla and phylogenetic trees, your life sucks), a lot really aren’t, like evolution and developmental biology. I will admit there’s a larger memorization component than say physics or general/physical chemistry but people that don’t understand their material get the shaft in very violent ways.

Gila: you should probably look at the jobs that interest you and just inquire about the qualifications to get you an idea of what it is that you’d need, in addition to contacting a good eco or eco/evo department to ask them what’s out there. Nevertheless, if you stay throughout the whole program, this will most likely change.

Engineers ask how does it work, scientists ask why does it work, businessmen ask when will it work, <b>humanities majors ask “do you want fries with that”.</b>
Maybe so, but they’re also the basis for the existence of message boards such as this. When engineers, scientists, and businessmen ask, “Why bother?” the humanities major provides the answer.

Gila, your priorities should be:

  1. Graduating from college.

  2. If possible, with a degree on something that will have a demand in the job market.

  3. and finally, among those, one that you ENJOY taking.

Sadly, arts are NEVER a good bet. No matter your skill or the type of arts, it’s all up to the collective, unpredictable audience to decide if they like it. You could be a supertar… or a starving artist.

I’d suggest computer sciences since things like the Internet are obviously going to be around, and need people to work on them, for a long time.

However, many people end up NOT working on what they studied for, anyway. The really important thing, is to have a paper that PROVES you graduated from college, or you’ll never get a good job. So, whatever your choice… DON’T DROP OUT. K?

You don’t necessarily have to graduate from college to get a good job. Like, I know this guy who went for two semesters, said it wasn’t for him, and left. He ended up working at a Longhorn steakhouse. Last I checked, he’s the store manager for like four or five of them in the metro-Atlanta region. He has admitted he wants to get a business degree so he can move up the corporate chain to regional manager and whatnot, but he was still moving up the ladder and living comfortably without a degree. He may be the exception, but you don’t absolutely need the college degree.

Dammit Sin, you beat me again! I wanted to be the one to mention that more classes are involved in a science degree than just that core subject!

When you spoke about biology being more chemistry, it reminded me of the rest of the steps in the sentence… “Chemistry is physics, physics is math, and math is hell.” Sometimes I wish I had taken a step backward and done biology instead of chemistry, but then I think again. :smiley:

Gila, I can tell you that chances are good that with a degree in a harder science you’ll have more opportunites for jobs and greater job security, if that’s an important issue for you. The educational requirements seem a bit more well-rounded. Sin’s suggestion for looking at jobs that interest you and working backward is a good idea - it’s easier to build an educational plan when you have an idea of where you’d like to go.

984, in school I was friends with several people who were pre-vet. Even getting to go to vet school is a chancy thing! There are so many pre-vet students and only so many spots in vet schools… NCSU was rather good to their vet students (both undergrad and within the vet school), but even being a great student and at the university already wasn’t a sure thing.

edit - also, like 984 said, having a college degree is not absolutely essential for success, nor is sticking within your field after getting one. However, it does tend to help a lot. :smiley: Good luck to you, keep us posted.

I didn’t know you actually went to NCSU Vicki. That’s where I’ve been/am. When was your last year there if it’s not too private? :p. I have taken plenty of chemistry classes.

I agree that you can be successful without going to college. Nowadays college has become so ubiquitous that there are many upon many graduates even in so-and-so sure-job majors that struggle to find jobs. I know some that have had to actually hide the fact that they have a degree so places will hire them and not consider them over-qualified. These people then not only start where high school graduates start, but they have the burden of college loan as well.

However, if you are diligent in your pursuit of an education and make good connections during your years there getting a good job is rather easy. So in the end it is just about how much effort you put into it.

I would still definitely reccomend it. You will regret missing the chance later.


Working with animals in wild habitats? :o You mean like going out in expeditions, discovering/ researching a new species (or one not many things are known about) in a certain area (like desert, jungle, ocean, whateverrr), filming national geographic- style documentations, watching a certain species in a certain area over an amount of time for experimental value, that sort of thing? I could rather see you do that than sitting in a bio class or researching, and stuffing your nose into books (not saying thats not required, I mean after the studying process).
How about termites for example? I hear they like rock music. I mean hey, work with termites and death metal for one, two years, that’d be badass and pretty interesting results too, I bet. XD No, I’m serious!