Learn more about the benefits of pursuing studies in Microbiology from Jason Walker, B.S., M.S., one of EDUKAN’s Online Instructors #College #Careers

In this instructor spotlight, we ask Jason Walker, B.S., M.S., an online Microbiology Program instructor for EDUKAN about pursuing a degree in this field. 

We asked Jason Walker about his background, how he started teaching and what he likes about being a Science instructor at EDUKAN. Here’s what he shared with us.

What is your degree in?

 I have an MS in Biology and an MS in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

When did you start teaching?

There was an opening for an online microbiology instructor and I jumped at the opportunity!  I had taught online biology and physical science for many years before coming to EDUKAN, but my time with this organization has been amazing!

Have you always been an instructor or have you worked in this field? 

“I have taught high school- and college-level biology since 1999.  I have also served as a national educational consultant for grades 6-12 since 2011.”

As it is being offered online, what tips do you have for students so they can be successful and complete their degree program?

• Start early in the week on your assignments in case you have questions.

• If you have questions, please make sure that you ask early enough for the instructor to have time to work through any issue/question with you before any applicable due dates.

• Create a weekly schedule for both your assignments and your everyday “life” activities.  Budget you time to where you are guaranteed to have time to complete assignments.  I would suggest doing this at the beginning of every week so that you are not scrambling around on the due date trying to get your assignments completed. You will not be able to put forth your best effort and will not be able to show the professor the true level of content and skill-based knowledge that you have in regards to the learning objectives for the week.”

Who is the ideal student for this major? What personality traits have you seen biology majors have in common? 

“To be successful in biology you need to be curious about life and dedicated to learning about life.”

What career options would you have with a bachelor’s degree in biology?

The ideal student for this major is someone who is critical thinker, and willing to think “outside the box.”  The student also would benefit from being someone with a close attention to detail as microbiological work requires precision and accuracy. 

What is the demand for jobs or available career options in this field?

Career options include the food and beverage industry, health care (nursing, physician assistant, pharmacologist, doctor, etc.), laboratory scientist, and research science.

How can you succeed in this field? What growth paths are available?

To be successful in this field you will need to be able to think critically and analytically.  You will need to stay current on your skill-based knowledge as well as advances in microbiology and biology as a whole.”

Where are the majority of jobs in this field located? What is the average salary for a new graduate who has a degree in biology?

Microbiological positions are located throughout the country and throughout the world, i.e. not necessarily located in one general area. 

On average, a microbiologist will make somewhere between $45,000 to $90,000.”

How do you gain “employable” experience for this industry? What can you do as a student to have a resume that is of interest to a prospective employer?

The key is to gain as much experience as you can, which will make your education all the more worthwhile..” 

What trends do you see happening in this field over the next 5 years?

This field is not growing very quick, but it is growing.  We will always need the expertise of biologists.” 

We want to thank Jason Walker, B.S., M.S. for his time in sharing his insight with pursuing a degree in Microbiology and being an instructor for EDUKAN. 

Explore our other Undergraduate Degree or Online Certification Programs

EDUKAN is a partnership of six community colleges that have come together to offer you more class options and degree programs. You can go to class online and on campus with us at Barton Community College, in Great Bend; Colby Community College, in Colby; Dodge City Community College, in Dodge City; Garden City Community College, in Garden City; Pratt Community College, in Pratt; and Seward County Community College, in Liberal.

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