Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms and their structures, functions, uses, and modes of existence. One common example of Microbiology is bacteria and their effects on biological systems, such as the resistance they develop to antibiotics and other clinical interventions.
Microbiology is critical to understanding the role microorganisms play in our everyday lives. Knowing how they cause disease affecting humans, plants, and animals enables Microbiologists to explore solutions for the maintenance and modification of agriculture, healthcare, and medicine.
According to collegegrad.com, more Microbiologists will be needed over the next 10 years to contribute to basic research, solve problems in industrial production processes, and monitor environmental conditions to ensure public health and safety. But jobs in Microbiology don’t end with Microbiologists—learners can find opportunities as Lab Supervisors, Bacteriologists, Mycologists, Parasitologists, Public Health Specialists, Virologists, Teachers and Professors, and other related roles.
Courses offered through Coursera cover the critical uses of Microbiology. Learners can explore what antibiotics and antimicrobials are, what they do, where they come from, and how they act on bacterial cells. The theories and methods of antimicrobial resistance are covered, including testing, detection, and analysis. These lessons enable successful course takers to understand resistance concepts and apply genomic analysis tools, including Whole Genome Sequencing (WSG) data with selected online tools such as Resfinder.
Any type of scientific background can be helpful before learning microbiology. You may have worked in a lab, at a research institution, or at a university. High school or college coursework in closely related subjects can be helpful too. This might include biology, biochemistry, cell biology, or any other type of biological science. This could also include physiology, virology, microbial physiology, chemistry, and physics. Coursework in math and statistics can be beneficial as well. Even a background in computer science can help prepare you to study microbiology. Depending on the context in which you want to learn microbiology, a background in fields like public health, agriculture, environmental studies, veterinary science, biosafety, and quality control may all help prepare you to learn about microbiology.
An interest in science is definitely necessary for anyone who wants a role that uses microbiology. You'll also need to be a person who is analytical, curious, and detail-oriented. Written and verbal communication skills are a must, as are good interpersonal skills, as you'll often find yourself working with a team in this field. Those who enter the microbiology field must be good at math, and you'll need strong computer skills too, so you can use scientific and medical software required for the job.
Learning microbiology is right for you if you have a curiosity about the changing world and a passion for understanding the microscopic organisms within it and how they impact humans, animals, and the environment. The field is very research-oriented, and many who enter it spend their time working in a lab, conducting experiments, and examining organisms that aren't visible to the naked eye. Learning microbiology can help prepare you for a career as a scientist or researcher, or it may even help prepare you for the medical field. If you want to work in an environment such as a hospital, lab, university, or environmental organization, you may consider a foundation that includes learning microbiology.
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