Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

What Can You Do With a Zoology Degree?

4 minute read

Understanding Zoology

Before we dive into the myriad career options, let's establish a foundation. Zoology is the branch of biology that focuses on the study of animals. It encompasses a broad spectrum of topics, from the microscopic world of invertebrates to the majestic realms of large mammals. A zoology degree provides a comprehensive understanding of animal behavior, physiology, ecology, and evolution, laying the groundwork for various professional pursuits. The field offers many opportunities for those passionate about understanding and preserving the animal kingdom. For example: 

  • Zoologist

  • Wildlife Biologist

  • Marine Biologist

  • Conservation Scientist

  • Ecologist

  • Zookeeper

  • Animal Behaviorist

  • Environmental Scientist

  • Park Naturalist

  • Research Scientist in Animal Physiology

  • Aquatic Biologist

  • Herpetologist (Study of Reptiles and Amphibians)

  • Ornithologist (Study of Birds)

  • Mammalogist (Study of Mammals)

  • Entomologist (Study of Insects)

  • Animal Nutritionist

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Zoology Career Paths

Wildlife Biology and Conservation 

One of the most compelling paths for individuals with a zoology degree is wildlife conservation. Conservationists play a pivotal role in safeguarding biodiversity, working to protect endangered animal species and their habitats. Whether it's conducting field research, implementing conservation programs, or advocating for sustainable practices, a zoology degree provides the knowledge and skills needed to contribute meaningfully to the preservation of our planet's rich wildlife populations.

Zookeeping and Animal Care

For those who find joy in close encounters with animals, a zoology degree opens doors to a career in zookeeping and animal care. Zookeepers play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of captive animals, managing their environments, and implementing enrichment programs. With a deep understanding of animal behavior and biology, zoologists can contribute to the physical and mental health of creatures in captivity, fostering a connection between people and the natural world.

Research and Academia

A passion for discovery and a desire to unravel the intricacies of the animal kingdom lead many zoology graduates into the realm of research and academia. From studying the migration patterns of birds to delving into the molecular genetics of marine life, zoologists engage in groundbreaking research that contributes to our understanding of the natural world. Teaching at universities, publishing scientific papers, and mentoring future scientists are all part of the rewarding journey for the zoology major who chooses the academic path.

Environmental Consultancy

In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, zoologists can make a significant impact by working in environmental consultancy. Collaborating with industries to assess the ecological impact of their operations, zoologists help develop strategies for responsible and sustainable practices. This intersection of science and industry allows individuals with a zoology degree to be advocates for both environmental conservation and responsible economic development.

Wildlife Rehabilitation: Healing and Releasing

Wildlife rehabilitators work with injured or orphaned animals, providing medical care and rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into their natural habitats. This hands-on approach allows zoologists to directly contribute to the well-being of individual animals while also addressing broader conservation issues related to habitat loss and human-animal conflicts.

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Veterinary Science: Caring for Animal Health

Veterinarians play a crucial role in ensuring the health and well-being of both domestic and wild animals. Zoologists with a veterinary focus may find themselves working in clinics, wildlife rehabilitation centers, or even contributing to global efforts to control and prevent diseases that affect animal welfare.

Fisheries and Aquaculture

The aquatic realm holds its own set of mysteries, and zoologists specializing in fisheries and aquaculture contribute to the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems. From studying fish behavior and population dynamics to developing aquaculture practices, these professionals play a vital role in ensuring the health of aquatic environments and the responsible cultivation of aquatic resources.

How Can You Explore More Career Paths Before College?

Through Polygence, middle and high school students can work with research mentors to learn about the variety of avenues they can choose to take with a degree in Zoology. There is a myriad of mentors with various skills to choose from. 

If you’re not sure which area of specialization might be most interesting, you could try the Polygence Pathfinders Career Discovery program! This program is designed to help students explore career paths they are interested in. Program participants meet 1-on-1 with three expert mentors to receive personalized advice and guidance.

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Final Thoughts 

A zoology degree is not just a path of study; it's a key to a world of opportunities that span the realms of animal science, wildlife conservation, nature education, and beyond. Whether your passion lies in the dense forests of biodiversity hotspots, the depths of the oceans, or the heart of urban environments, a zoology degree equips you with the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact on the world and its diverse inhabitants. So, if you've ever wondered, "What can I do with a zoology degree?"—the answer is as vast and varied as the animal kingdom itself.