By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff
Pursuing an associate degree in Biology from Texas State Technical College can lead to a number of career possibilities in a field that is growing rapidly.
TSTC Biology program chair Paul Leonard said that with advances and more opportunities in technology moving into the Rio Grande Valley and the state, such as Space X and oil and gas companies, the demand for biologists will increase.
“Opportunities in the field are already there, but there are more coming and we are creating the skilled workforce needed for the industry,” said Leonard.
Leonard goes on to explain what skills biology students learn, to prepare them for the workforce and the types of career opportunities available to them.
What is the length of the program?
The program is five semesters long.
After a student graduates from Biology, they will receive an associate degree and will be able to gain entry-level employment or transfer to another TSTC program such as Surgical Technology, Dental Hygiene and the Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse transition program.
What skills do students learn in Biology?
A student in Biology will obtain skills in a wide array of areas such as general biology, botany, zoology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. They will also learn the soft skills needed for cataloging and indexing information and research. Ultimately, they will graduate from the program as critical thinkers who can figure out the whats and whys of experiments and studies.
What types of technologies are used to learn these skills?
Students in the Biology program have access to virtual-based labs for electronic measuring and comparisons, and hands-on labs that will allow them to gain skills in dissection; plant, respiratory and sensory testing; and organ comparisons.
How do these skills prepare a student for the workforce?
The work and testing conducted in the classroom and labs is industry-standard and what will be done out in the field. The information collection and analysis process is also what they will see when they enter the workforce.
What types of positions can a graduate from this program obtain?
Graduates from the Biology program can find entry-level positions as biological technicians, biological scientists, microbiologists, forensic science technicians, laboratory animal caretakers, and can even find government jobs in public water works or parks and wildlife.