Skills you'll gain: Business Psychology, Human Resources, Leadership and Management, Training, Business Analysis, Collaboration, Communication, Conflict Management, Critical Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Research and Design, Strategy and Operations
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Veterinary Science is the study of the physical, cognitive, behavioral, and other areas of health in animals. In addition to traditional domesticated animals, Veterinary Science can be applied to zoo animals, livestock, and wild animals.
Typically, the main goal of an education in Veterinary Science is to prevent and treat disease in animals. Other purposes that a Veterinary Science education can serve include animal care, obedience training, veterinary assisting, and animal law enforcement.
One of the most important reasons to learn Veterinary Science is the innovative ways it can enhance general understanding of healthcare, clinical research, food safety, and disease prevention—even in humans! Veterinary research has a rich history of contributions to both animal and human wellbeing.
Veterinary Science careers aren’t limited to the local vet’s office. There are professions directly related to the topic, such as Animal Nutritionist, Animal Physiotherapist, Veterinary Surgeon, and Veterinary Nurse, and there are roles where knowledge in Veterinary Science is highly useful. Those roles include Animal Technician, Ecologist, Environmental Consultant, Nature Conservation Officer, Research Scientist, Science Writer, Zookeeper, and others where the health and wellbeing of animals is the focus.
Online courses offered through Coursera cover a range of topics necessary for a Veterinary Science learner. Lectures, readings, videos, and other lessons provide information on animal care, animal anatomy, veterinary professional skills, veterinary clinical skills, and veterinary history.
Diving further into Veterinary Science from the animals’ perspectives, courses discuss animal behavior, animal welfare, and the issues faced by animals of all levels of domesticity. Entire courses on specific animals are available as well, including horses, cats, and dogs.
Though not necessary, experience with animals is very helpful if you're interested in studying the veterinary field. This could mean you've had pets in the past, worked on a farm, worked in a veterinary clinic, or volunteered with a rescue or animal shelter. This gives you a general idea of what it's like to work with animals and what sort of behaviors to expect. A background in science can also be helpful when studying in this field. Veterinary science studies may include topics like animal biology, anatomy, physiology, and various branches of medicine, like epidemiology, neurology, and immunology. Even some psychology experience could be helpful.
People who like animals and have a desire to help them are best suited for the veterinary field. You'll need to be compassionate towards animals who are sick or injured, as well as the animal owners who may be having a hard time handling a pet's situation. You'll need to be detail-oriented and a good problem solver. If an animal is suffering from an illness or injury you aren't familiar with, you'll need to take steps to figure it out. Those who work in the veterinary field should also be quick on their feet. Oftentimes, you'll encounter emergency care situations that require immediate attention with little time to think about what comes next.
The veterinary field could be the right fit for you if you've always enjoyed working with animals. Many people who work in veterinary roles have had a lifelong passion for helping animals in need, whether they were picking up stray dogs and cats on the side of the road or helping out on a relative's farm. Learning more about the veterinary field along with gaining some hands-on experience in a clinical setting, in an animal shelter, on a ranch, or on a farm is a great way to determine if you're interested in taking the next steps professionally.