For any career in biomedical research, a strong foundation in the life and physical sciences and math in high school is important. While some jobs in research require only a high school diploma, others need specific training, certification, or a college degree, and still others require education beyond the four-year college degree. It is important that you take advantage of all the classes your school offers in these areas.
Whether you plan on a career right out of high school or a career that requires a degree, make sure you have good grades, a strong grounding in the sciences and math, and good writing and communication skills. If attending college, talk with your high school guidance counselor to make sure you take all the required classes for entrance into an accredited college or university. College is competitive and can be expensive; getting good grades will increase your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice and of receiving scholarships.
Once you are in college, always work with your academic advisor to plan your course load to not only satisfy all graduation requirements, but to also gain exposure to the sciences relating to biomedical research. Knowing more about each field of science can better help you choose the specific area for your future career!
Many in biomedical research have gone onto graduate school after college and obtained advanced degrees. If you want to pursue a career that requires graduate school or a professional degree, keep in mind there are individualized requirements for specific college courses and entrance exams for graduate, medical, or veterinary school. Work with your academic advisor to ensure you are adequately prepared!
Not all careers in biomedical research require a degree. Some careers in research require certification or specialized training instead of, or in addition to, college or graduate school. The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) has both technician and management certification programs for those desiring to work caring for animals in the research field. For more information, visit their web site at www.aalas.org.