Virologist Careers and Jobs

There are many complex jobs one can seek but of all the careers and professions, it is no secret that careers in virology are among the most complex. This is a very deep and specialized field and that is why those seeking virologist careers must have a strong background in a variety of disciplines in order to work in the profession.

So, what exactly does the field of virology entail? As the name implies, this is a field that deals with the study of viruses. As such, careers in virology take on a very special importance because of the havoc viruses can unleash on the world when they are left unchecked. The unfortunate spread of the AIDS/HIV virus is a common example of the ravages a virus can yield. There are many other viruses that currently pose severe heath risks to people and virologists invest a great deal of time studying these diseases hoping to find solutions to the problems they cause. Probably the most invigorating aspect any one looking into careers in this profession could examine would be the fact that many previously fatal viruses have been cured thanks to the work of skilled virologists that used their jobs as a platform for discovering the solutions to the condition.

In general, the way these viruses were treated was born in the lab. To a great extent, virologist jobs are rooted in the performance of a great deal of research. It is through an extensive amount of research that the medicines and the vaccines required to treat viruses are developed. The process of research can take many, many years. Unfortunately, a great deal of the research can lead to a dead end since there is a great deal of navigating into the unknown when performing experimental research. However, failed experiments are not entirely a bad thing since they eventually open the door to discovering what is needed to arrive at the proper conclusion as to what vaccines and medicines do actually work.

Those interested in such jobs certainly will wonder how to become a virologist. The path to this type of career always starts with the particulars of the formal education required to become a virologist. Clearly, this is a profession that requires quite a bit of education. Specifically, a four year Bachelor of Science degree in either immunology or microbiology is going to be required on the bare minimum level. Those that wish to take their career to the higher levels of the profession will most definitely need an advanced degree such as a master’s or a PhD. Of course, those wishing to become a medical virologist will need to have completed medical school in addition to having a formal background in the study of virology. If this seems like a significant amount of education that needs to be required then it is once again important to defer to the fact that a great deal of formal knowledge on the subject is required in order to handle the tasks of the job.

As with most careers, one of the best ways to launch into a profession is through an internship. While some may not be all that fond of starting their jobs out on a volunteer basis, the fact remains that these jobs can prove helpful in terms of their ability to lay the foundation for developing basic on the job skills while also procuring contacts that could prove helpful in the future for networking.

Generally, the first jobs that one would enter in would be research and laboratory assistants or lab technicians. These provide a decent wage while further opening doors for advancement in the profession. And, while a strong educational background is necessary for success in this field, experience also counts a great deal. Such experience is added to the resume and presents a strong background in application for higher level positions along of lines of senior researchers or instructors. Those that would wish to teach on the university level will need additional education and experience in order to transition into these particular fields. While it may take a great deal of work to develop the education and experience in the field, the rewards will certainly make the effort worth it. Few jobs will be as rewarding as careers in virology.

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