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How difficult is it to pursue a career in Marine Biology?

#marinebiology #biology #career

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David’s Answer

It's not easy. But nothing worth doing ever is. I did change careers from Oceanography to Technology, just because I was unwilling to continue taking temporary (post-doctoral) positions. But there is opportunity out there, and if you start exploring it you will find what you love to do.

David recommends the following next steps:

Take an internship at a Marie Biology lab/facility.
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Adrianna’s Answer

Hi Jeffery,
I believe that Micheal has some good points though I would like to argue that you do not NEED a doctorate. I am a Zoology graduate, which in essence isn't to dissimilar from marine biology. I currently only have a BS with no current intentions of getting a PHD. The most important part of this field is experience, and the most frustrating part is experience.

I am sure you have seen the memes where it says "how can I gain experience if you wont hire me." That meme hits far too close to home. Getting into this field is competitive, with little to no pay (in the beginning), and few jobs avalible.

I suggest starting young and getting AS MUCH experience as you can. This means job shadowing, volunteering, interning, and everything you can get your hands on. This means that during the fall applying for jobs and internships to work in summer instead of taking a long vacation. The nice part of this is that the internships are generally fun, you learn a lot, you make amazing friends, and all your friends at home are doing the same thing so theres no one to hang out with at home anyways.

The field is interesting and fascinating and gives you a wealth of information you will treasure. It is also extremely difficult to get into (which I am finding out more than ever) and you will get out competed for entry level positions by people with higher degrees. This ALSO goes the other way however!

I have spoken to people with masters who have talked about how they get out competed by people with BS because the people with BS have more experience. AAANNNDD people with PHDs can be over qualified for jobs (which is just ridiculous).

My recommendation, get a BS, work in the field, make sure you LOVE that field. It's hard to get jobs and it can be disappointing but its important. Then if its everything you thought it would be THEEEENNN go get a PHD (skip masters its not worth it).

It is a hard and challenging field but even with all that I still think its worth it.

Adrianna recommends the following next steps:

Call professionals in your field and see what they did and recommend.
Get a BS
Apply for jobs, internships, volunteer work now and not later
Work in the field
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