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Typically, a person hoping to become a poultry scientist should begin by acquiring training through formal college education and should supplement this with relevant work experience. Some careers in poultry science mostly involve work in industry, and a certain amount of business training or experience may be helpful for applicants considering this type of work. Other careers focus primarily on teaching or academic research and typically require mostly academic preparation.
The first step for anyone wishing to become a poultry scientist should be a college degree from a school with a strong program in the field. Large land-grant universities typically have strong programs in the field, as these schools were often originally designed to provide training and education to foster the growth of industry and agriculture. Acceptance to programs in poultry science typically requires good preparation and grades during high school, and courses in biology or practical work in the field may be especially helpful in securing a place in these programs.
During the course of work on an undergraduate degree, a candidate planning to go on to become a poultry scientist should focus on work within the discipline. Internships and similar varieties of practical work experience are often available and can bolster a resume substantially as well as providing useful industry or academic connections. Most schools offering coursework in this field also provide excellent advising services to guide students. Poultry scientist training at this level is often divided into different tracks for students aiming to work in industry and academia.
After the completion of an undergraduate degree, a graduate wishing to become a poultry scientist working in industry will generally begin the process of searching for employment. Private firms hire a large number of poultry scientists and typically provide some additional training as needed. Smaller niche-market enterprises specializing in raising poultry in accordance with free range or organic standards also offer employment opportunities for poultry scientists.
To become a poultry scientist working in academia or research, a student will need to move on to a graduate degree. Graduate programs typically demand good grades. Practical experience in the field can also be helpful in securing a spot in a graduate program. During the course of work in a graduate program, students should establish a network of professional connections and working relationships. This network, combined with solid research work and strong academic performance, will make it easier to become a poultry scientist working as a researcher or professor.