There are more opportunities available for microbiologists today than at any time in the history of the field. Although the microbiological advancements of the last two centuries have been profound, a great deal of biology remains to be discovered and described through study of the microbial world.
Microbiology can be used to push back the frontiers of biology, opening up new ways to harness the power of biology to improve human health and the environment. Microbiologists must participate in this effort.
Career opportunities for microbiologists abound in the wake of new technologies that have changed the face of biology.
Biotechnology, in particular, is intimately connected with microbiology and calls for the skills of microbiologists to execute the work that holds the potential to improve the quality of human life. Without a profound grasp of microbiology, much of biotechnology is not possible.
As a future pillar of the industrial base in the United States, biotechnology offers many chances for microbiologists to contribute in substantive ways to the future of the world.
Antibiotic discovery is also closely tied to the skills of microbiologists. The importance of this field cannot be overstated, since most individuals in developed countries have experienced first-hand the life-saving power of antibiotic therapies. However, the threat of microbial resistance to antibiotics looms large.
Scientific discoveries can be put into action more rapidly through greater collaborations between academia and industry. By cooperating to develop concepts and inquiries, microbiologists and industrial decision-makers can bring technologies to market or apply microbial solutions to persistent manufacturing problems. Efforts should be made to overcome regulatory and cultural obstacles that stand in the way of such collaborations.
Finally, increased emphasis on systems-level and quantitative research in microbiology has opened new doors for microbiologists working in interdisciplinary research teams or who have backgrounds in other disciplines.
Individuals with experience in physics, mathematics, engineering, or computer sciences are in high demand in microbiology today, and this will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
Note: This excerpt was taken from a report of American Academy of Microbiology.