Online Paleontology Programs Are Becoming More Popular
Palaeontology: Studying fossils ranging in age from any number of thousand years to several billion years, followed by a reconstruction of the history of life on earth from early forms of life through to the Palaeolithic. More and more this study field is becoming an important part of historical biology, by explaining possible aspects of the evolution of life, and by investigating changes that shaped the earth as we know it today. It is a potentially exciting career with a lot of fascinating aspects, so it will be useful to know how to go about becoming a Palaeontologist.
Online Paleontology Programs Require Patience and Imagination
To create a thriving career opportunity, first consideration should be given to the patience and diligence required to continue working on tedious projects. The exciting exhibits that we see in natural history museums belie the decades of hard work that feed into the knowledge that creates each exhibit. One needs to have imagination, persistence, and a rigorous understanding of scientific method, and one needs to look into further studies towards a degree that has been accredited for the study field.
Applicants to Online Paleontology Programs Should Understand That the Word Can be Tedious
Those people that have had the privilege of working on a ‘dinosaur’ field site know that this is difficult work that can become very tedious. Each inch or quarter inch of substrate is recorded and analyzed in meticulous fashion. Such a dig could take years to complete, rather than days or weeks, but those that have successfully hunted for dinosaurs confirm that it is worth every moment when they achieve success. One forgets the years of discomfort in the form of dust, heat, cold and wind when a new discovery is made, such as a new species, or a new fact about a species. Boredom and frustration are forgotten in the face of an exciting find.
Online Paleontology Programs Highlight Geology and Biology
The training required by palaeontologists includes unique expertise in Geology and Biology, coupled with a graduate or post-graduate degree (e.g. Masters, PhD) to allow entry into the employment market. Popular jobs include being the Curator of a Museum, teaching at lower or professorial level, becoming a researcher, or a field worker. However, most Colleges and Universities in the U.S. do not offer a degree in Palaeontology, but rather offer it as a minor subject in the disciplines of Geology, Biology and Earth science.
Online Paleontology Programs Offer Flexibility in Education
Some people find it impractical to attend full-time lectures, and for some even part-time classes are not possible. Course work and/or an on-line degree through online paleontology programs is a good solution in such cases. This allows classes to happen without having to travel long distances, it may be generally cheaper, and it does not need the physical presence of the student at lectures. However, most courses in Botany and Geology include a laboratory-based practical component that cannot be done via distance education, which means that purely on-line courses in this field are rare. A few “online paleontology” programs do exist, with on-line Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Botany offered at: Ohlone College, MUST University, Grand Canyon University and University of Nebraska Kearny.
Paleontology is Not As Seen on TV
Palaeontology, as practiced with painstaking patience in the real world, is not the career that everyone dreams of. It does, however, offer a rewarding and exciting career option to those that wish to learn more about early life on earth, up to millions of years ago. It is now possible to master this field by taking online degrees in Biology and Geology that are seen as the basis of online paleontology programs, and starting the journey of dinosaur discovery.
Disclaimer: Some people caution against on-line degrees of this kind. Grand Canyon University, for example, is said to be a poor choice since the Biology degrees specialize in health and medical care, not Palaeontology, while Geology is only covered in an introductory one-semester class. Such on-line degrees may be cheaper and more convenient, but they are generally not accepted as sufficient preparation for study at the graduate level. For Master of Science or PhD programs in science one needs to have a full under-graduate course with real laboratory experience and online paleontology programs do not offer this.