I'll chime in as someone in the water industry and mention some avenues that weren't mentioned previously, although those are all fantastic options.
1. Marine Biologist - you can specialize in microscopic organisms or the water quality of aquatic environments, such as oceans, estuaries, and rivers. They are important for managing fish and oyster populations, and can give input on projects that might effect the flow or quality of water from entering water bodies. Still takes a lot of understanding of biology and looking in microscopes, but you can apply it to the larger picture of a watershed!
Here's where I learned a lot about it: https://www.whitney.ufl.edu/ but but if you are in Illinois you might look into lake management too.
2. Lab technician at a drinking water or wastewater treatment plant. There is a growing need across the country for labs to test water samples for PFAS/PFOA and other emerging contaminants. In general, an important part of any water treatment plant, which exists in every community in the US and beyond, is constantly looking at samples and measuring concentrations of different chemicals and microbes and using that information to adjust how treatment is done to keep the water safe for people and the environment. For some of these jobs you only need a G.E.D., or you can have a PhD. There's a lot of variety.
Check out different career paths in water here: https://www.h2opportunity.net/
3. Environmental Engineer - if you love STEM and really want to lean into the technical college degree, environmental engineering is a great option! It combines chemical and biological sciences with physical worldly applications such as wastewater and drinking water treatment, landfill management, air pollution, and all sorts of other fun stuff! This is a very versatile and highly technical field that is still accessible and if you aren't dead set on being a scientist, but still love the sciences, I highly recommend this path as there's lots of job opportunity and very flexible in terms of who you can work for, where you can work, etc.
A great school near you: https://cee.illinois.edu/academics/areas/environmental-engineering-and-science
Best of luck!
Maya recommends the following next steps:
Microbiologist: As a microbiologist, you'd dive deep into the study of tiny life forms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and algae. Your work could take place in diverse environments such as laboratories, healthcare facilities, or research institutions.
Cell Biologist: In the role of a cell biologist, you'd explore the structure, function, and behavior of cells. Your research could shed light on cellular processes, study diseases at the cellular level, and even pave the way for medical breakthroughs.
Medical Laboratory Technologist/Technician: As a professional in this field, you'd conduct vital laboratory tests, examining cells, tissues, and microorganisms. Your work would be key to diagnosing and treating diseases.
Biomedical Scientist: As a biomedical scientist, you'd delve into research to unravel the mysteries of diseases and create new treatments. You might find yourself working in research institutions, universities, or pharmaceutical companies.
Genetic Counselor: In this role, you'd guide individuals and families in assessing the risk of genetic disorders. Your analysis of genetic data related to cells could help people make well-informed healthcare decisions.
Biotechnologist: As a biotechnologist, you'd harness biological principles to create products and technologies. Your work could involve exciting projects in genetic engineering, bioprocessing, or the creation of new pharmaceuticals.
Research Scientist: As a research scientist in biology, your focus would be on exploring various facets of living organisms. This could involve studying cells, genetics, or other biological processes.
Epidemiologist: In this role, you'd delve into the patterns and causes of diseases in populations. While this field is wide-ranging, you could specialize in studying infectious diseases caused by microorganisms.
Immunologist: As an immunologist, you'd investigate the immune system, including the cells and molecules that drive immune responses. Your work could contribute to understanding immune system-related diseases or the development of immunotherapies.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Have your thought about of being biologist, doctor, zoologist, biochemist engineer, pharmacists, dentist, biology teacher, etc. ?
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Guess what? The perfect career match for you would be a microbiologist. As a microbiologist, you'll dive into the fascinating world of tiny organisms like bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and even certain types of parasites. Your job will be to explore how these little creatures live, grow, and interact within their surroundings. Plus, you'll investigate the impact these microorganisms have on humans, animals, plants, and the environment. If you're someone who loves biology and is particularly intrigued by the microscopic world, this career path could be a perfect fit for your interests and abilities.
Here are the top 3 trusted sources where you can gather more information:
1. National Institutes of Health (NIH) - nih.gov
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - cdc.gov
3. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) - asm.org
Sending you all the positive vibes for your future endeavors!
Great question! There are several careers in STEM that are aligned with your biology interest. I have written some of them below.
1. Biomedical Engineer
2. Forensic Scientist
3. Science Writer/Communicator
4. Conservation Biologist:
6. Research Scientist
7. Lab scientist
Find out what you enjoy the most about the study of microscopic organisms or cells and try to see if any of the above fits.
Focus on figuring out exactly what kind of microscopic organisms you'd like to study is half the work! From there, you can specialize your studies into a perfect career match for yourself! Some ideas may be:
AND SO MANY MORE!
I would highly recommend looking at this website to help you find a college that will kick-start your passion for STEM, and later, your career!