Zoology is one of the most diverse of all natural sciences, including entomology, botany, ichthyology, microbiology, ecology and a virtual dictionary of related streams. Zoology is one of the meeting places of all life sciences, directly related to biology in countless ways.
Qualifications for zoology begin in high school with a range of related studies, mostly in biological fields but occasionally with some specialty subjects where available. Academic qualifications follow the biological qualifications process to a point, then branch into areas of specialization. There are countless possible academic streams and electives, and it is absolutely essential for students to clearly map out their academic paths in advance.
The career dynamics of zoology are extraordinarily complex. Although basic areas of employment, qualifications and types of work look quite straightforward, in terms of career progression these factors also relate directly to career options and opportunities.
Diversification and specialization can create career complexities, and specialization really can be described as a major commitment in zoology careers. Some areas of zoological studies are well outside the mainstream of academic paths and research. Many zoologists are in effect freelancers, needing grants to cover their work and expenses. Mainstream zoology careers are far more straightforward, but can be highly competitive, with limited numbers of places available.
That said, career development and zoologists can be very effectively directed by competent people. Publications, media products, consultancies, and other applications of zoology with commercial potential can do a lot to improve the resources available for zoologists to carry out their work. Many zoologists receive considerable public support in this way, notably in the area of conservation, and the zoology studies effectively become self funding.
Zoology has been made a very high profile science by the efforts of people like Sir David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell, and a host of others. Media outlets like National Geographic and the Discovery Channel have popularized zoology to a great extent and done much to raise the major environmental issues of the times. Zoologists are by definition dedicated people, and their work is conducted much of a personal as a professional basis. A career in zoology means a lot of hard work, but this can truly be said to be a career like no other.