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Is it worth it, to be a paleontologist?

I always loved to learn about animals and dinosaurs. Is it really that hard to become one? I would love to dig, find and learn about bones but... is it worth spending the money, to receive the amount given back along with the fact that you may not find anything at all? #job #college

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Shelly’s Answer

Hi Brooklyn,

I am a biologist and have colleagues who are paleontologists, who range from studying large animals to diatoms (a type of microscopic algea) and studying the paleontology of diatoms in lakes. Many are in academia in universities, meaning that they completed their bachelor's degree at minimum and went to graduate school, either completing their master's degree first or jumping straight into their PhD. Graduate school can vary typically anywhere between 4-7 years beyond the bachelor's degree. They now work as curators at science museums, work for government agencies, and/or as professors. While going out and "digging" is fun, that is not what it is like everyday. Depending on where they are employed, they have a combination of research, teaching, and/or service responsibilities. I think it can be rewarding if you are willing to put in the work down the road.

Best of luck,
Shelly
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Bettye’s Answer

It depends. If this is your passion and calling, no other career choice will complete you despite the circumstances surrounding the career choice. There’s nothing like doing the work that you love. It makes for an enjoyable journey each day you awaken! You must determine if you want a JOB or CAREER...

Bettye recommends the following next steps:

Go to the school library and find the catalogs that describe how much training and related costs are involved in your career choice. Many times it doesn’t require as much as you think.
Then make a list of the schools, their location and tuition costs to help determine if it’s workable for you. Research the options
Also available should be the projected tuition costs to help ascertain if you should consider part time or full time studies
Thank you comment icon Thank you a lot for your answer! I think it’s going to help me a lot! Brooklyn
Thank you comment icon I definitely hope it helps! Good luck in your quest Bettye Thomas-Gilkey, M.A.
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