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If I don't get into grad school right away, where should I start looking for work with my current degree even though Biology isn't my intended focus.

Hello all, I am a recent graduate with a Biology degree. I would like to put my focus into grad school and possibly pursue a career in PT or Athletic training. Because of my basic GPA(2.9), I feel as if I won't get into the schools that I want. Also, because my school only offered a degree in biology and not exercise science I feel stuck in a way. I would like to start working but I also want to further my education so that I can land my dream job as well but I don't feel as if i'm totally prepared for that field. My only work experience in the field of PT was when I shadowed as a local hospital near my school. Please offer help. #biology #graduate-school #physical-therapy

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Tiffany’s Answer

Hello Kenneth,


With a degree in Biology, this positions you well to apply to many different career paths. Your degree most likely required you to have completed most if not all the prerequisites for physical therapy programs, which is a great position to be in. If you feel that your GPA is a limiting factor, it would be a worthwhile experience to schedule an appointment with the chair of a PT department of a program you are interested in or one that is simply close by to discuss what it would take to be a competitive applicant. You may be surprised with what they tell you, and how willing they are to help you to achieve your goals. They may tell you that perhaps completing a few extra courses to boost your GPA will be helpful, or that gaining more experience in the field may bolster your application. Before applying to PT school, I made appointments to review my application materials and talk about my experiences with the chair of a department, and I was given very insightful advice on what my next moves should be.


Another potential option would be to pursue additional coursework in the form of a post-baccalaureate degree in say, Exercise Science. If you have the financial means and time to pursue this, this will you give that additional experience you had mentioned, in a very relevant field. Keep in mind, that completing this degree, typically will not be like completing another 4 years of college, because you may be able to just complete the essential coursework for the degree, since you have already completed much of the core courses during your original degree. Talk to the chair of each department about this possibility, and see if your previous courses will transfer. Always keep in mind that professors at these institutions are there for guidance, and are typically more than willing to meet with an enthusiastic student that has goals. Best of luck to you in pursuing your dreams!

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Angela’s Answer

Kenneth,


Great ideas! You may as well apply for the DPT programs of your dreams (cost permitting) and see how it goes! Graduate schools are looking at so much more than just your college GPA (think about your resume of scholarships, volunteer experiences, academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities, awards or accolades, certifications, leadership roles, etc.), so don't think that you are out of the game without, at the very least, visually listing out your past four years of hard work. It's worth more than just a number.


In the chance that you are not accepted to any of your schools and remain interested in PT, it is common (unfortunately) for students to "sit out a year" for a variety of reasons. This will give you time to gain more experience to put on your resume and have a huge leg up on the next go round. I would advise getting a job in a PT clinic, as a "PT tech" or a "Rehab Tech" doing things like spraying down mat tables, bringing patients back from the waiting room, scheduling patient appointments and assisting with exercises under the supervision of a therapist. This will give you some invaluable experience, start your career off with a really nice network of professionals and give you some great resources to call upon during school. To find a job like this, I would recommend going onto any job website (careerbuilder.com or indeed.com or monster.com) and search "Rehab Aide" or "PT Tech" or "Rehab Tech" or a "Therapy Assistant" or "Rehab Assistant." Remember that a PTA or Physical Therapy Assistant is a licensed position that is different from what we are talking about here.


Good luck and I hope this is helpful!

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Kenneth,


With your major in Biology, you can work as a physician assistant:


Physician's assistants and nurse practitioners are in high demand as front line service providers in an increasingly cost conscious system for health care delivery. Biology provides an excellent foundation for graduate work in both of these similar professions.


Physician's assistants and nurse practitioners must have a sound understanding of human biological systems, anatomy, and physiology in order to diagnose medical problems.


They also need a biology major's advanced knowledge of the scientific method to interpret emerging research about the viability of various treatment options and medications.


Physician's assistants and nurse practitioners must have an aptitude for learning and remembering scientific and medical terminology, just like the biology major.


Some students who major in biology end up working in a field that’s directly related to their studies. Health technologists, physician assistants, and biological scientists are a few of the most common career choices for biology majors. Not all graduates work in an occupation that’s directly related to their major, though. Many graduates work in sales, education, management, and marketing.


In: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/college/ss/Top-Ten-Jobs-for-Biology-Majors.htm#step7
http://resources.alljobopenings.com/biology-majors


You could look for opportunities as Physical Assistant in retirement homes, NGOs that serve youth, children and adults with special needs, social health programs, clubs and community associations or rehabilitation centers. What do you think?


I wish you all the luck in your decisions!

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