Marine Biology

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Challenges in the Field of Marine Biology

No matter what science oriented profession one chooses to pursue, education is the undisputed key to success and the field of marine biology is no exception. While a bachelor's degree qualifies you for an entry level position, it is most likely insufficient if you have your sights set on a career involving independent research or field work. The majority of people working within the field of marine biology with only a bachelor's degree, are for the most part relegated to doing lab research and charting test results. A post graduate degree, either a master's degree or a Ph.D., is necessary for anyone aspiring to make a name for themself within the field or significantly increase the probability of career advancement. While an advance degree is necessary for the higher paying positions, the majority of jobs within the profession only require a bachelor's degree and an advance degree is no guarantee of advancement or even employment. Given the extensive educational requirements, which are a significant investment of time and money without being a guarantee of employment within the field, this paper will offer some thoughts to consider in order to determine which degree is appropriate to pursue and some suggestions that may increase a new graduate's desirability when attempting to enter the field.

So what is the ideal degree to pursue when considering the cost in terms of time and money versus the probability of desired employment within today's job market? The answer is driven in large part by what you want to do in the field. A bachelor's degree is associated with non-research roles and graduates with such a degree may start as scientists in testing and inspection. This usually is not the type of work a marine biologist dreams of, as it is more lab oriented and can be tedious. A master's degree is usually required in advanced positions such as product development or management, and may allow one to...
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