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Wildlife Veterinary or Wildlife Biology

Hello
I am in a conundrum, I do not know whether I should study veterinary medicine or biology. I know that for a future career I would like to be involved with wildlife and ecosystem as a conservationist and ecosystem rehabilitator but I do not know which degree will give me better opportunities to conduct fieldwork in endangered ecosystems.

If anyone has experience with wildlife veterinary medicine or wildlife biology please share your experiences.

Unfortunately I cannot afford to do both and so I must choose one.
Thank you
Original post by Dodecylsulphate
Hello
I am in a conundrum, I do not know whether I should study veterinary medicine or biology. I know that for a future career I would like to be involved with wildlife and ecosystem as a conservationist and ecosystem rehabilitator but I do not know which degree will give me better opportunities to conduct fieldwork in endangered ecosystems.

If anyone has experience with wildlife veterinary medicine or wildlife biology please share your experiences.

Unfortunately I cannot afford to do both and so I must choose one.
Thank you


Vetinary Medicine would be more relevant if you want to become a vet. Biology should allow you to go into either conservationism (although you might be able to get away without having to do a degree) or ecosystem rehabilitation (likely require a biology degree with an ecology specialism).
See the following:
https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-become-a-wildlife-rehabilitator
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/ecologist
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/ecologist
https://www.conservation-careers.com/how-to-become-an-ecologist/#What_are_ecologist_education_requirements
https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/nature-conservation-officer-job-description
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/countryside-officer
https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/rspb-job-vacancies/getting-your-dream-job/
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/nature-conservation-officer

The good news is should you wish to do a vetinary science degree, you are eligible to do a master's in conservationism or ecology without issues with a number of universities.. For example:
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/life-sciences/ecology-evolution-conservation/
https://www.glos.ac.uk/courses/course/aec-msc-applied-ecology/#entry-requirements
https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/postgraduate/msc-applied-ecology-and-conservation#course-entry-requirements
https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-taught/ecological-management-conservation-biology-msc/#entry
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/ecology-and-data-science-msc
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/environmental-policy/msc-conservation-science-practice/
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/courses/global-biodiversity-conservation-msc
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/msc-biodiversity-conservation-and-management

Do note a vetinary science degree is 5 years and is longer than a degree in ecology (3 years).
I have not worked in the field, so I cannot comment whether the advice above is good in practice. You may want a second opinion from people who work in the sector.
Original post by Dodecylsulphate
Hello
I am in a conundrum, I do not know whether I should study veterinary medicine or biology. I know that for a future career I would like to be involved with wildlife and ecosystem as a conservationist and ecosystem rehabilitator but I do not know which degree will give me better opportunities to conduct fieldwork in endangered ecosystems.

If anyone has experience with wildlife veterinary medicine or wildlife biology please share your experiences.

Unfortunately I cannot afford to do both and so I must choose one.
Thank you

If you wish to work with wildlife as a conservationist, you're probably better off doing your degree in biology/ecology/wildlife biology or something similar. My understanding is that this career is very competitive so you may need to get a Master's as well (and a lot of volunteer experience), although I'm not completely sure about that. There are forums online where you can get this information.

Only consider veterinary medicine if you wish to become a practising veterinary surgeon. There are opportunities for wildlife vets however this is not the typical role of a vet and therefore you might be disappointed if you were to end up working in small or farm animal practice, for example. Additionally, veterinary school does not teach much about wildlife at all and so you might struggle to complete such a long degree if treating animals was not your passion.

I hope this helps. :smile:
Thank you so much for your comment, I think you are absolutely right.
Thanks for your advice!
Original post by louisvbird
If you wish to work with wildlife as a conservationist, you're probably better off doing your degree in biology/ecology/wildlife biology or something similar. My understanding is that this career is very competitive so you may need to get a Master's as well (and a lot of volunteer experience), although I'm not completely sure about that. There are forums online where you can get this information.

Only consider veterinary medicine if you wish to become a practising veterinary surgeon. There are opportunities for wildlife vets however this is not the typical role of a vet and therefore you might be disappointed if you were to end up working in small or farm animal practice, for example. Additionally, veterinary school does not teach much about wildlife at all and so you might struggle to complete such a long degree if treating animals was not your passion.

I hope this helps. :smile:


This is good advice, thank you!

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