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Animal Science

With the variety of careers offered, it is overwhelming and difficult for a high school senior to decide which path to choose. One of the key factors that contribute to this intense
decision is the choice of a major. Many believe that in order to find an occupation in a specific
work field, they must succeed in just one major. If a student was interested in working in the education system (a teacher, counselor, advisor) they must choose education as their major.
However that is not the case, for there are other majors that can help you land a job in that work
field. Majoring in the fields of psychology, biology, and even literature are majors that can assist
you to find a career in the education system. The same goes for those interested in a career that
doesn’t correspond to their major, because you do not need to choose a profession that is directly
linked to your major. A major can divides out into many different fields, so there are numerous
jobs a person can choose from just one degree. An example of a major that will prepare students
for a variety of career opportunities is animal science. Earning this degree will prepare students
in an assortment of areas, such as animal breeding, food and fiber production, nutrition,
animal agribusiness, animal behavior and welfare, and biotechnology.

Animal science is the study of the biology of animals which are under the control of
mankind. Before it was just the study of animal husbandry; but now it ranges from livestock to
house pets to certain exotic species. This branch of biology is not only concerned with the
science and business of producing domestic livestock species, but it also applies certain
principles of biological, physical, and social sciences to the problems associated with
livestock production and management. By studying these animals, we are learning more than just
the anatomy of these creatures, we are studying one of the nation’s largest industries, the food
commerce. A scientist in this field is not only just concerned with foods of animal origin (meat,
dairy foods, and eggs), but also about the care, nutrition and welfare of the animals. They are not
only discovering which breeds of pig produce the best meat but are also creating the best nutrition
plan suitable for them too. In many of the schools, they allow for certain emphasis in the animal
science program. Depending on the school, they offer either species specific or career specific
emphasis. Species specific emphasis allow students to gain career opportunities in the
dairy, beef, swine, sheep management, poultry production, or the horse industry. Career specific
permits those to focus more on a career, for example pre-veterinary medicine studies,
livestock business and marketing, animal welfare and behavior, animal nutrition/reproduction, or
genetics.

The animal science curriculum is very hands on, letting the students work with animals
on campus farms to gain valuable experience. Not only that, but it gives undergraduates a strong
science background. For those interested in learning where our food comes from and the care
about the animals, there are many schools that offer a bachelor degree in animal science. Cornell
University, University of California, Davis, California State University, Fresno, and The Ohio
State University are some universities that offer this major. However, there are also many
community colleges that offer this program, for those concerned to see if the degree is right for
them or those looking to save some money. In order to prepare for the major, it is strongly
advised for high school students to take science and math courses. Some of the courses that the
Universities recommend, if offered at their high school, are advance placement biology, advancement placement chemistry, calculus, and statistic. If students do not take one of the recommended courses, they run the risk of not understanding the universities lecture since the majority of these classes expect students to have a familiarity with science and math. In order for a student to attain a passing grade, it is advised to take one or more of the classes.

After a student successfully graduates and readies themselves to attend their college, it is recommended that the student meet with their major advisor as soon as possible, to develop a four year plan. With the four year plan, students will not only identify what classes they need to take, but also will have sense of direction and know where to put their focus. As mentioned before, the major requires students to take science and math courses. For example, at the University of California, Davis, in order for a student to declare as an animal science major, they must take the following preparatory courses. The courses required are animal science, biological science, plant science, mathematics, and chemistry. After students fulfill these requirements, they will be able to go into depth of the subject matter and choose an area of specialization (equine, aquatic animals, avian science, etc.)