Genetics careers can be very rewarding if you are fascinated DNA, mutation, cell growth, and the concepts of heredity. Information from a variety of science courses, such as biology, chemistry, and physics, is used in genetics careers. People interested in genetics careers should be aware, however, that almost all job opportunities require a graduate degree.
The majority of people who are interested in a career in genetics choose to be researchers. Genomic research, molecular genetics, ecological genetics, transmission genetics, population genetics, and quantitative genetics are just a few of the many areas in which genetic researchers can specialize. Hospitals, government agencies, universities, agricultural companies, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology companies all employ researchers. Those who work for universities may be required to teach as part of their job duties, though the specifics vary.
Careers in genetics can directly impact the quality of life for millions of people because genetic research has the potential to help us understand how to eliminate many serious illnesses. Genetic counselors are geneticists who offer advice and support to people who are dealing with inherited genetic disorders. This could include people who have already been diagnosed with a disease or couples who want to know the chances of having a child with a specific genetic disorder. Genetic counselors can come from a variety of educational backgrounds, including biology, nursing, psychology, public health, and social work. In addition to their roles as educators and patient advocates, some may conduct research.
Due to the phenomenal success of crime-solving television shows like Law & Order and CSI, forensics is becoming an increasingly popular area of specialization for people interested in careers in genetics. Working with DNA evidence to help build a case against a specific suspect or identifying unknown crime victims can both benefit from genetics training. If you’re looking for a job in this field in the United States, keep in mind that the FBI has certain requirements that you must be able to meet before you can work in an accredited DNA testing laboratory.
In some cases, a geneticist’s training can be used to pursue a career in administration. Managing a lab or supervising other researchers are examples of this. Technical writing for companies in the agricultural, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology fields may appeal to geneticists with strong communication skills. To supplement their income, some geneticists work as consultants for government agencies.