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Microbiology Degree: What to expect?

Fungus, algae, and bacteria get a pretty bad name, and for the most part, it’s fairly deserved. However, when you get into a microbiology career, you consider these organisms pretty great. In fact, you might even call them coworkers!
Microbiologists are the Scientists who study the attributes of different microorganisms in order to figure out their characteristics and the way they react to certain stimulants and environments. These findings are used for everything from curing disease to brewing yummy beverages. So, how do you get into this field? Start with a microbiology degree.


Getting a degree in microbiology requires you to spend more than a few days in a lab. No matter what industry you go into after school or what job title you end up having, you’ll most likely be doing a lot of research. Typical classes include microbial genetics and lab, microbial ecology and lab, and microbial genetics and (you guessed it) lab.

There are a variety of schools that offer everything from a certificate to an undergraduate to a master’s or doctoral degree. Since you spend most of your time working in a lab, most schools offer this major as an on-campus option only. However, you can do some of your prerequisites or math requirements through an online university.

Next Step

If you’re interested in this field, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll need to get a higher degree, preferably a doctorate. Though there are some Technician positions available for those with only an undergraduate degree, they don’t offer much opportunity for growth or greater responsibility.

Once you get your advanced degree, you open yourself up to a whole range of career options. You can teach at a university, carry out medical research for a private lab, or even work as a Beer Brewer or Winemaker. Other popular job titles include Marine Microbiologist for those who want to study the small creatures of the oceans, or Agricultural Microbiologist if plants are more your thing.

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