“The laws of genetics apply even if you refuse to learn them.” - Allison Plowden

One of the biggest mysteries of life is the process by which traits from a parent are transferred to an offspring. The scientists who’re involved in trying to decode this process are called ‘Geneticists’. Geneticists research and study the process of trait inheritance from a parent to a child. Their research includes studying about molecular structure, genes and changes in population.

Geneticists are now able to carry out a detailed research that gives them accurate results. This has been possible only due to the recent advancements in the field of Information Technology. It is a career that involves a lot of laboratory work and is required in the fields of medicine, forensics, law, agriculture and archeology.

What do Geneticists do?

Geneticists are scientists that study the inheritance of skills and defects and try to unveil the secrets of life. They work in laboratories and study the molecular structures of living organisms with the help of microscopes and other advanced technological equipments.

The main job of a Geneticist is to study the science of genetics, heredity and variation in organisms. Geneticists research about genes, come up with theories and write research papers to explain and share these theories with other Geneticists.

Geneticists perform experiments on samples of molecular structures of living organisms. They use these experiments to prove their theories as well as analyze and interpret results.

Another one of the main jobs of a Geneticist is to evaluate, diagnose and manage patients who suffer from hereditary diseases and defects. These can be psychological or physical. Geneticists are required in this field because they understand the causes that might have led to the hereditary defect.

Geneticists often research and study about diseases and their origins. They attempt to find out the reasons behind the origin of a disease. They also try to find out ways through which they can stop that disease from spreading.

A very important task that Geneticists have to perform is to apply for monetary grants. As Genetics based research is expensive, it needs to be funded through organizations that help researchers. These can be in the form of research or private companies and even educational institutions.

Geneticists often help archeologists and geologists study extinct living organisms. They examine fossils and try to find out how the species lived and survived. They also attempt to explore the reasons that led to the species becoming extinct.

How to become a Geneticist?

If you want to become a Geneticist, study Biology, Chemistry and Math at school. Once you complete your schooling, a Bachelor’s in Biology or Science proves very beneficial.

Once you’ve completed your graduation, you would preferably do a Master’s in the field of genetics. But sometimes even a Master’s degree is not enough. A PhD in Genetics may be required.

Geneticists are hired in various fields and industries such as Forensics, Medicine, Agriculture and Law. Different industries offer different perks and opportunities depending upon the nature of the work.

Some people assist a Geneticist as a lab technician after their Graduation. This route gives you valuable experience and exposure in the field of Genetics.

Geneticists spend most of their lives in laboratories. Therefore, it is important to have adequate knowledge about basic lab skills in order to become a Geneticist. These can be acquired by working or assisting as a Lab Technician.

Geneticists attend seminars and conferences, and publish their research work in journals. This way, they stay in touch with the rest of the Genetics community and keep themselves informed about the potential of their research.

What are the skills required to become a Geneticist?

Geneticists are highly skilled individuals that spend their time researching and conducting experiments in laboratories. Therefore, it is important for any Geneticist to possess basic lab skills and a desire to maintain safety above all costs. Geneticists are required to be patient and persistent. It takes them years to come up with a theory and then prove it through experiments. Geneticists should be determined and hard working as they’re required to work for long hours in a controlled environment. It is imperative for any Geneticist to possess an eye for detail as he/she is required to work in massive detail and missing out on one small piece of information can alter the results of the experiment. Geneticists need to have good communicational skills as they’re required to write grant letters as well as give lectures in seminars and conferences. Most importantly, a Geneticist should have the ability to think and reason logically and mathematically.

Is this the right career for me?

A Geneticist spends most of his life working in laboratories experimenting, researching and studying. Geneticists have to research for years before they can make a significant contribution. It is an adventurous career that involves unraveling the mysteries of life. Geneticists normally work for long hours and at odd times.

So if you’re interested in unveiling life’s mysteries through science, and if you’re ready to work for long hours without any visible progress and if you’d like being associated with academics for the rest of your life, then this might just be the perfect career for you.



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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.