What is Biology? What are the Subjects of Biology?
Rather than being so diverse, what is this biology? The common features of this field that unites all these diverse disciplines and sub-disciplines are: To characterize and study all living organisms. To investigate and question the science behind life. As we can see here, many biology departments show lectures in the early years focusing on basic concepts such as cell theory and molecular biology, evolution, physiology and adaptation, gene theory, and homeostasis.
After learning the basic principles of biology and establishing relationships between them, you will be able to choose which field to specialize in. Some of the fields you can choose are Anatomy, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, computational biology, ecology and evolution, environmental biology, forensic biology, genetics, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biosciences, natural sciences, neural biology (Neurobiology), physiology, animal biology (zoology), etc.
In the departments of biology, these courses can be taught as elective, which is useful for those who have not yet chosen which field to progress, or these fields can be taught as special undergraduate programs.
Departments and sub-branches related to biology are very diverse. Biology or biological sciences encompass many fields, each specialized in itself. For those who want to study in the field of biology, a wide range of fields is available from anatomy to ecology, from microbiology to zoology.
The skills that those studying in the biology department will gain:
General laboratory skills, using laboratory equipment
Safely analyze and draw conclusions on complex data sets, acquire general analytical skills
Learning teamwork and building strong communication skills through group work and seminars
Gain organizing and time management skills
Understanding the scientific literature and learning how to use it
Assertiveness and independence
Awareness and insider knowledge of ethical issues and commercial contexts related to scientific research
Mathematical and technological literacy
Writing and presenting reports according to academically accepted standards, presenting written and oral findings
Lifelong learning understanding
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT?
In general, students studying in the first year of biology departments should expect to take a significant number of theoretical courses based on reading and writing, accompanied by practical classes. While students taking courses such as cell biology, genetics and epidemiology mostly practice with laboratory-based courses, students who take courses such as ecology and environmental biology practice their field studies.
In the following years of your education, after you have learned a lot about the field, you can spend less time in the laboratory according to your preference, or you can continue to work in the laboratory by concentrating entirely on the laboratory. Towards the end of your studies, you will usually be asked to do a graduation project. In some universities, this project is done in group work, in others, you do it individually by choosing one of the pre-approved projects.
As your education progresses, you can spend most of your time in lab work or do personal research. It would be good practice to start your biology career.
Generally, biology undergraduate majors last between 3 and 4 years (depending on the country). Some universities want you to do a year of your education abroad or gain experience by working in a job. Some undergraduate majors may have an extra year in educational programs to award their students a master’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree. Whichever area you want to focus on in biology, you must be ready to lose yourself in a busy schedule in a complex and rapidly evolving field.
There are countless areas for those who are considering studying biology that they can specialize in the future. To reach the level of expertise required to start a career in biological sciences, you need to choose a field that will be your subject of study anywhere in your academic career, before starting your education, in the first year of your education, or after graduation. Some of the main biology fields you can choose are:
Animal biology, also known as zoology, is a branch of biology that focuses on biological principles and problems related to animals. You can choose only one field of animal biology as a field of study in your further education, or you can divide your studies into two separate areas. One of the areas in this scope could be marine and freshwater biology. These areas are based on learning the biology of aquatic organisms, including aquatic environments and aquaculture management.
It is an area where living systems are studied on a molecular basis. Molecular biology seeks to understand nature and the relationship between the units that make up living organisms at the most basic level possible. The popular field of molecular biology is the study of DNA. It aims to examine the effects that will occur by sequencing or mutating DNA.
Those who choose to work in this field will explore the complex biological phenomena in multicellular organisms, look at the behavior and organization of different tissues and cells, and examine the functions of molecules found in organisms. Also, those who choose this field will learn how diseases and modern medicine relate to molecular functions and dysfunctions.
There are many fields such as physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology that are within the scope of human biology. In the science of anatomy, you will study the parts that make up the human body and how the human body works like a living organism.
In neurobiology (Nerve Biology), which is studied within human biology, the focus is on the nervous system. Usually, the focus is on the brain. It is aimed to develop treatments for neurological and psychological disorders. The principle is to learn about the least understood and the most complex structure of the human body.
Also in the field called genetics; The basic building blocks of life such as genes, proteins, and metabolism and the relationship between their functioning are examined. It works on the hereditary characteristics of living things.
It is a branch of biology that examines how life takes its present form. Evolutionary biology ranges from cellular-scale studies to the entire ecosystem. Although the basic principles of this field have been known for a long time, many fields still await new scientists for discoveries and theories.
Ulsan Institutes of Health (an agency in the US Department of Health) defines computational biology as: “Data analysis and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques; It is the development and application of biological, behavioral and social systems on their work.
This area has become an increasingly important area in recent years. Developing computer software for storing, recovering, organizing, analyzing biological data, and producing useful biological information; Similar to bioinformatics, which is an interdisciplinary branch, students who will also work in this field must be good at mathematics and computer science.
CAREER IN BIOLOGY
The career options you will gain as a biology graduate will largely depend on the level of qualifications you have earned. While the core skills you acquire in the undergraduate study can be sufficient in many industries, many of the most desired biology career areas require higher levels of academic study.
Biology graduates’ employment options are not limited to the science and health sectors. There are other options. Some of the areas you may consider choosing are listed below.
A research career in biology
Few subjects contribute well to a research career within academia or in a private research group or company. As a biology student, you will have developed a great scientific understanding combined with your detailed analytical skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail. All these features make you a research scientist or biologist; will make it very suitable for being a laboratory technician in industry, healthcare, or education.
As a researcher, you can find yourself developing a new drug, vaccine, or treatment; When researching the effect of biofuels on food supply, researching the interdependence of plants and animals, ensuring the reliability of the food we consume, preserving the biodiversity of our planet, predicting the effects of climate change, or doing something else.
Science communication career
Biology graduates with excellent communication skills and the ability to transmit scientific concepts to other people; They can find a suitable job for them in a wide variety of fields such as press spokesperson, journalist, anchorman, teacher, and policy campaigner.
Those who wish to pursue a career in science communication can work in government agencies and non-profit organizations to help raise awareness of scientific studies. They can work by organizing events in these areas, preparing market campaigns, or using training schemes. By combining your writing ability and scientific background, you can also write for various scientific journals and newspapers.
Although some fields in science communication require postgraduate qualifications, it may be helpful to obtain additional training for authorship or a training certificate for those entering the education sector.
Career in healthcare
Although it requires at least 4 years of postgraduate education, biology graduates can also transfer to the field of health. You can work in fields such as dentistry, veterinary sciences, health sciences, and nursing, as well as a career in auxiliary health services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, and diet counseling. Biology graduates can also choose to study to become general practitioners or specialist consultants.
A career in government-dependent official fields
There are also career options available for biology graduates within the government. Those who want to work in this field must have specialized scientific knowledge. The official career fields that biology graduates can do; An example is the field of a patent that helps to understand special-purpose scientific or technical features. Biology graduates may work in policy development and advisory services to advise government and other authorities or may want to work as a forensic scientist to provide scientific support to crime or industry.
Other career areas
Generally, graduates of biology departments will find that their skills and knowledge will provide a wide range of opportunities in both scientific and non-scientific fields. In science; Industries such as agriculture, biotechnology, ecology, genetics, neurobiology, horticulture, food sciences, marine biology, conservation, environment, and wildlife documentary projects seek to recruit biology graduates. Those who do not want to progress in the field of science can seek ways to apply their skills to areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, and sales.