A molecular biologist is a scientist who studies cellular structure, bacteria, and viruses at their smallest level. They determine how diseases form, and how genetics play a role in our lives. Becoming a molecular biologist is quite difficult, and takes years of education, but the rewards of becoming a molecular biologist are both emotionally and financially great. Molecular biologists are helpful in the curing and prevention of disease. This article will give you step and hints into how to become a molecular biologist.
The first step in how to become a molecular biologist is to get good grades while you are in high school. Molecular biology is a very difficult and competitive field, and requires good grades to ensure acceptance into a good molecular biology program. While in high school you should develop your attention to detail skills, and analytical skills which will be helpful in college.
After high school you should attend a university which has a well renowned molecular biology program. These degrees often focus on engineering, biology, chemistry, and other sciences. Since higher education is almost always required to become a molecular biologist, you may want to consider a program which combines a bachelor’s and master’s degree. These programs typically take 6 years to complete. While in school, you should try to volunteer or get an internship in one of your school’s labs. You will gain valuable experience in data collection and analysis, while getting a feel for what a molecular biologist studies.
After completing your master’s degree, you will want to focus on obtaining a Ph.D. in either micro or cellular biology. The coursework you take will be similar to that of your undergraduate studies, but will be far more advanced. Obtaining your Ph.D. will require you to complete hours of laboratory work as well, which are commonly provided by your school. While finishing up your PhD, you will want to focus your attention on your thesis. This will take a lot of research, and experiments, but is required to complete your education. Once you have completed your thesis, you will want to publish your dissertation, which is a written presentation of your thesis along will all of your experimental results.
After completing your thesis and obtaining your PhD, the next step in how to become a molecular biologist is to get a job. Many post PhD molecular biologists decide to get a job working in research for a university or private company. Your research findings will continue to become published as you continue your research. Other options for molecular biologists include working as a consultant for a private firm, or becoming a professor and teaching molecular biology. Becoming a professor usually comes after publishing more research journals.