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Career Services:
What Can I Do With This Major?
Additional Resources: PDF Version     Additional Links Animal Science

What can I do with this degree?
ANIMAL SCIENCE

AREA
FARM RANGE PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
Livestock Production
     Beef and Dairy Cattle, Swine, Poultry, Sheep, Horses
Livestock Feed
     Production, Development, Quality Control, Distribution/Marketing
Meat and Dairy Foods
     Production, Development, Quality Control, Distribution/Marketing

EMPLOYERS
Farm and ranch operations
Feed companies and operations
Meat and dairy processors
Processing plants
Inspection services
Extension services
Government agencies including:
     U.S. Department of Agriculture
     Food and Drug Administration

STRATEGIES
Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals. Gain work experience in area of interest through internships, summer jobs or part-time work. Minor in business if interested in management or self-employment. Participate in related clubs and competition teams. Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work.

AREA
AGRIBUSINESS
Sales
     Livestock
     Feed
     Pharmaceuticals
     Agriculture Chemicals
     Livestock Supplies
     Equipment: Farm and Feedlot
Management
Marketing
Public Relations
Customer Service

EMPLOYERS
Agribusinesses: livestock and feed
Pharmaceutical companies
Equipment and supply companies
Food and meat processing companies
Animal health firms
Breed organizations
Food distributors
Financial institutions
Livestock publications
Professional associations, e.g. National Cattlemen's Beef Association

STRATEGIES
Obtain relevant experience through internships. Earn a minor in business. Must be highly motivated and well organized. Proven leadership abilities are desirable. Join related student organizations and seek leadership roles. Develop a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Practice excellent communication skills, written and oral. Develop computer skills especially with spreadsheet, presentation and database software. Learn to work well both on a team and individually. Join related clubs and become active with competition teams.

AREA
EDUCATION
Teaching
Non-classroom Education
Extension

EMPLOYERS
Schools (elementary, secondary and post-secondary)
Extension services
Agricultural agencies
Agricultural communications and media firms
Agribusinesses
Government agencies

STRATEGIES
Obtain teacher certification for elementary and secondary school positions. Secure masters or doctoral degree for post-secondary teaching or other advanced positions. Exercise strong interpersonal skills. Practice excellent written and verbal communications skills. Gain related experience through volunteer positions, summer jobs, or internships. Learn to work well with all types of people. Seek leadership roles in student organizations. Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work. Be prepared to live in rural communities for extension positions.

AREA
VETERINARY MEDICINE
Areas of Specialization
     Small Animal Care
     Large Animal Care
     Food Safety
     Preventative Medicine
     Surgery
     Public Health
     Laboratory Animal Medicine
     Research
     Inspection

EMPLOYERS
Group or private practice
Federal government including:
     Department of Agriculture
     Department of Health and Human Services
State and local government
Colleges of veterinarian medicine
Medical schools
Research laboratories
Animal food companies
Inspection services
Pharmaceutical companies
Zoos
Wildlife sanctuaries

STRATEGIES
Research veterinary programs, take pre-vet courses to meet veterinary school requirements, and prepare for application process. Maintain an excellent grade point average. Gain experience through volunteer positions, part-time jobs, or summer work. Consider working as a Veterinary Technician. Secure strong recommendations from professors. Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals. Exercise close attention to detail. Practice strong interpersonal skills. Gain extensive laboratory and research experience for research positions. Obtain internships at zoos or other wildlife sanctuaries. Become active in pre-vet and other related clubs.

AREA
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Research
Product and Process Development
Genetics and Animal Breeding
Animal Nutrition/Health/Disease Control
Animal Behavior, Training and Caretaking

EMPLOYERS
Government and corporate laboratories
Colleges and universities
Livestock producers
Zoos
Wildlife sanctuaries

STRATEGIES
Advanced degrees are often required in these positions. Earn post-graduate certification through the Animal Certification Technician Board. Gain extensive laboratory and research experience by working in faculty laboratories through special problems courses, as a student employee, or through other departmental programs. Supplement curriculum with additional science courses in relevant areas (e.g. genetics, animal behavior, microbiology) Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals. Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work. Gain work experience in area of interest through internships, co-ops, or summer or part-time work.

AREA
QUALITY CONTROL
Livestock Feed Inspection
Harvest Operation Inspection
Meat and Dairy Inspection

EMPLOYERS
Government Agencies including:
     Food and Drug Administration
     U.S. Department of Agriculture
Inspection services
Farm and ranch operations

STRATEGIES
Develop physical stamina, outdoor skills and comfort being in close proximity with large and small animals. Become familiar with federal job application procedure for government work. Gain work experience in area of interest through internships, summer jobs, or part-time work. Join student organizations and seek leadership roles. Participate in competition teams. Practice strong interpersonal skills. Exercise close attention to detail.

GENERAL INFORMATION
As an undergraduate, seek laboratory experiences such as research projects, volunteering with professors, summer jobs, or internships.

Participate in research programs and internships sponsored by government organizations and private corporations.

Consider a certificate program or specialized master's program to qualify for research technician positions.

Earn master's degree for greater variety and autonomy on the job. Earn a Ph.D. to work on high-level research projects, to direct research programs, to enter high levels of administration, and to teach at four-year post-secondary institutions. Postdoctoral fellowships may also be required.

Learn to work independently and as part of a team.

Combine an undergraduate degree with a degree in law, business, education, communication and information science, or other discipline to expand career opportunities.

Consider earning an MBA after gaining work experience to reach the highest levels of agribusiness management.

The animal sciences are good preparation for a career in healthcare such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, and veterinary science, but professional degrees and licenses are also necessary to practice in these fields. Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.

Join professional associations and community organizations and read related journals to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.

Actively participate in student organizations, competition teams, research laboratories, and other related activities.

Secure strong relationships and personal recommendations from professors and/or employers.

Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. The federal government is the largest employer of scientists.

Gain experience with grant writing and fundraising techniques. Often research must be funded in this manner.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2006)
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