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Thread: education advice

  1. #1 education advice 
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    So long story short I am fascinates by origins sciences, evolution, molecular processes that dictate life and what needs to happen to build new structures/proteins / etc etc. I am just finishing my gen eds associate degree and will begin my bachelors in biochemistry next year. I desperately wanted to study molecular biology but there is no way I could move and there are no universities within realistic driving distance that offer it.I'm wondering then, how different are these fields really? I am not sure what I even what to do specifically yet but I would love to study evolution in some way. I suppose the likely choice would then be something that worked with molecular processes? If I did end up with a ba in biochem how difficult is it then to acquire a ba in molecular biology ? Im assuming it would just be another 2 years minus the classes I took for biochem that overlap with molecular bio? I guess overall I'm just kind of confused. Are there instances in which a biochemist may work with genes/epigenetic information at all or evolutionary processes? Not really sure what to do. How respected is someone say in biochemistry who has a ba but not a masters or PhD? Are they even looked at in scientific literature ? Ideally I think I would have a ba in biochem and then start working towards a PhD in molecular biology. This could be 10 years before I finish though and I'm really not sure what to do. Maybe just pursue a PhD in biochem. Ah sorry I'm just rambling . anyone have any thoughts or advice?Apologies in advance for typos, using a phone


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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    By BA (Bachelor of Arts) I am assuming you mean BS (Bachelor of Science). If travel restricts you from attending classes and moving is out of the question, I would recommend looking into some sort of online degree.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Biochemistry and molecular biology are actually related scientific disciplines, although the biochemistry focuses more on the relationship between proteins and their function/structure, whilst molecular biology studies the relationship between proteins and genes. In other words, if biological evolution and epigenetics are your main interests, biochemistry is not exactly the recommended field. Yet, it is due to the close link between these two fields, that acquiring a B.S. in molecular biology should not be a problem.

    Next, it is not the norm to look down on someone because (s)he has not studied long enough to acquire a M.S.
    In biochemistry (and in practically all other scientific disciplines), being a good scientist is far more valuable than the number of degrees.

    I hope this helps.


    PS: I have skipped the part about you not being able to follow molecular biology, because this was already addressed by member pyoko and I have nothing to add to his answer.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Talk to a college guidance counselor at any good college to see what they can do to help you out, good luck.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Making antisense Jon Moulton's Avatar
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    Biochem is an excellent background for molecular biology; though the fields focus on different processes, all these processes are required for life to function and understanding both perspectives will make you a stronger scientist. I am a molecular biologist, my wife is a biochemist. Studying advanced degrees can open doors to different areas of work, but tackle one step at a time; don't assume that because you can't reach a graduate school now, that situation won't change once you finish up your undergraduate studies. You likely will work on a BS Biochem, though the BA is an option if you would like to study a language as well; I finished a BS Biology and a BA Chemistry before grad school (and the chemistry background has been a tremendous help in the biotechnology industry).
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Moulton View Post
    You likely will work on a BS Biochem, though the BA is an option if you would like to study a language as well; I finished a BS Biology and a BA Chemistry before grad school (and the chemistry background has been a tremendous help in the biotechnology industry).

    Is there a difference between acquiring a B.A. and a B.S. when one is talking about the scientific courses that are thought?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  8. #7  
    Making antisense Jon Moulton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Moulton View Post
    You likely will work on a BS Biochem, though the BA is an option if you would like to study a language as well; I finished a BS Biology and a BA Chemistry before grad school (and the chemistry background has been a tremendous help in the biotechnology industry).

    Is there a difference between acquiring a B.A. and a B.S. when one is talking about the scientific courses that are thought?
    Yes, at least at my university the general requirements are more science-oriented for the BS and more language/social_science oriented for the BA. There is no difference in the core in-major courses needed either way. If you are going to do one Bachelor's degree and go in in sciences, the BS is the better choice as it shows that your out-of-major credits were more science-oriented. I wanted more breadth and had the funding, so I took the time to do both; there was still a lot of cross-over in the general degree requirements (there's no avoiding Writing 101). The two years of Mandarin were fascinating and led to a life-ling interest in Asian cultures. I fly for China tomorrow morning
    Last edited by Jon Moulton; December 6th, 2013 at 01:13 PM. Reason: OCD
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