Skills you'll gain: Probability & Statistics, Bioinformatics, Data Analysis, Business Analysis, General Statistics, Statistical Analysis, Algorithms, Computer Programming, Software Engineering, Statistical Tests, Theoretical Computer Science
Mixed · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Probability & Statistics, Biostatistics, Databases, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Correlation And Dependence, Estimation, Experiment, Research and Design, Exploratory Data Analysis, Probability Distribution
Intermediate · Course · 1-3 Months
Molecular Biology is the study of life at the molecular level. It deals with how the various systems of the cell interact with each other—such as those between DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis—and how these interactions are regulated. Biology and Chemistry overlap with Molecular Biology, particularly in the areas of Genetics and Biochemistry. Researchers use techniques and ideas from these fields in their Molecular Biology studies.
Many diseases start at the molecular level. Successful learners who want a career in Molecular Biology can help to prevent these diseases by developing new vaccines, more effective medicines, plants with improved qualities, and many more biological and biomedical uses.
Learners who study Molecular Biology extensively can gain valuable skills and knowledge on biological processes that occur at the cellular level. This can make them candidates for roles such as Clinical Research Assistant, Laboratory Technician, Sales in Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceutical Scientist, Physician Assistant, Research Coordinator, Research Scientist, Science Writer, Teacher or Professor, Toxicologist, and of course, Molecular Biologist.
Molecular Biology courses offered through Coursera provide learners with information on cancer causes and treatments; an overview of genome sequences that reveal disease predispositions; the opportunity to debate about evolution; hands-on Python programming challenges; and other ways to explore practical applications of Molecular Biology studies.
A scientific background can be helpful before learning about molecular biology. This could include working in a lab, doing academic research, teaching at the high school or postsecondary levels, science journalism, or science writing. Working in public health or in a health care setting, like a hospital, clinic, doctor's office, or pharmacy, may also be helpful. Previous academic experience can also be helpful, such as earning a degree or taking classes in bioengineering, biology, and other biosciences. If you attended medical school, dental school, or pharmacy school, you may have a better understanding of microbiology when you start learning it. A background and good understanding of advanced math concepts can also be helpful.
Because those who work in microbiology can work in many different settings—ranging from laboratories to hospitals to government agencies—the type of person suited to work in the field may vary. However, all people who have roles in the field of microbiology must be scientific thinkers with good analytical skills. You must also enjoy and be good at research and willing to research and learn for the duration of your career, as advancements and new discoveries are made each year. You must be organized and logical as well as a good observer and problem solver who can think on your feet. Finally, you'll need good interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written.
If you have a passion for science, particularly biology and the smallest cells that make up and lead to biological activity, learning molecular biology may be right for you. You may be interested in working as a scientist, coming up with new diagnoses, treatments, and therapies for diseases, or you may be interested in becoming a medical professional and looking for a foundation on which to begin your career. Learning about microbiology can lead to careers in government, education, public health, and private industry. Wages for all of these careers vary, but they are usually competitive, and the need for more science-minded employees in the future is great.