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  1. #1
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    Career advice. Help please!

    I really need help! I'm currently on my 1st year of my master's degree on Marine Biology at the University of Padua (Italy), but for our 2nd semester we need to choose our carrer path between biodiversity or aquaculture. We can also choose to do a mix between the 2.

    I really like both paths but I don't know if a combination of both is good for my curriculum... What do you think?

  2. #2
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    You must have a vague idea of the kind of work you'd like to do at the end of it? Most people on here are recreational divers and won't be able to help in either direction. Have a good think about the kind of job you'd like to end up with and whether either path is going to limit you. From here, aquaculture sounds like the one with a career at the end of it, though the industry is changing quite a lot and may be very different when you graduate. Biodiversity sounds more useful for an academic or conservation path, but jobs in those sectors are very hard to come by.
    Last edited by Divemouse; 04-12-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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  3. #3
    Bananas! Chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuFA View Post
    biodiversity or aquaculture. We can also choose to do a mix between the 2.
    I've always thought of them as mutually exclusive, as one destroys the other.
    Every day's a school day

    As I'm unlikely to still be diving in 20 years, quite greedy, and morally unscrupulous, I'd go for the aquaculture and make some .
    If I was young, and still idealistic, and wanted to be able to dive and still see something in 20 years, it would be biodiversity (which I'd regret later when I was skint).
    Last edited by Chimp; 04-12-2019 at 05:26 PM.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    How difficult it is to decide on something in the future, who knows how things will be. I was recently talking to someone who has children of 8 and 9. She was saying how it is difficult to budget for things her girls like but she does not want to stifle their interests as she does not know what they may eventually choose as a career. One problem that I can see is that, when they reach employment age, there may be job opportunities that don't even exist now. When I was looking at careers, silicon chips had not been invented and personal computers and communication devices were non existent.
    To call a friend, I used to go to the corner of the street with a pocket full of coins and hope the big red box was not occupied!
    I am sorry, but I can be of no help to the OP, I just wish them good luck.
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  5. #5
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    The only advice I can give is to do what you enjoy and are more passionate about. I did marine biology at university and made all my choices of subjects on that basis. Something that I think is important, is that what you do at university doesn't tie you down to one path for the rest of your life. A lot of my friends at uni and I were at a bit of a loss after finishing, in terms of finding work and trying to work out what to do next. Since leaving uni I've worked in two completely different areas (one being somewhat related to my degree) and loved every second of it. This is not meant to come across as doom and gloom! If you have a path ready when you finish your studies, great. If you don't it is far from the end of the world and in my experience, there is plenty of room for people that have a strong passion for something and enjoy what they do!

  6. #6
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimp View Post
    I've always thought of them as mutually exclusive, as one destroys the other.
    Every day's a school day

    As I'm unlikely to still be diving in 20 years, quite greedy, and morally unscrupulous, I'd go for the aquaculture and make some .
    If I was young, and still idealistic, and wanted to be able to dive and still see something in 20 years, it would be biodiversity (which I'd regret later when I was skint).
    Fish farming will be the only source of fish for food in 20 years time as the oceans will be worthless, acidic and totally screwed. There might be local sources of fish, but by and large the commercial fishing industry as it exists now will be gone. Industrial fishing will be for jellyfish as they will be the principal pelagic life.

    I's hard to say if there will still be the concern over marine conservation, whether coral reseeding and other activities will be important. They should be but by then the financial crisis will be at it's peak in Europe as the population becomes 25-30% retired. (France on strike this week over retirement age).

    Geoengineering is really the only hope for mankind to continue to exist in anything like the numbers we are at now. The oceans have a very critical role in that and are a major sink for CO2 and heat. The priority is to encourage planktonic life that captures CO2 and then traps that carbon on the sea bed. This is a natural process and we, as a species, must figure out how to exploit it to overcome the stupidity of the last 50 years of greed and selfishness. Removing predatory cnidaria that consume the CO2 trapping plankton is perhaps going to be needed - jellyfish for example.

    Personally I don't see anything in an undergraduate course that will look at these realities. So to the OP - do whichever interests you most. Me, I would stick to the science not the farming. But farming fish is certainly the only way they will enter the human food chain in the future. Indeed there might be so much microplastic and mercury in the sea that fish are deemed toxic waste by 2040, as some marine mammals already are.

    If we (humans) are to survive and live in any significant numbers we need marine biologists, so LuFA I wish you well and every success.

  7. #7
    Bananas! Chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Fish farming will be the only source of fish for food in 20 years time as the oceans will be worthless, acidic and totally screwed. There might be local sources of fish, but by and large the commercial fishing industry as it exists now will be gone. Industrial fishing will be for jellyfish as they will be the principal pelagic life.

    I's hard to say if there will still be the concern over marine conservation, whether coral reseeding and other activities will be important. They should be but by then the financial crisis will be at it's peak in Europe as the population becomes 25-30% retired. (France on strike this week over retirement age).

    Geoengineering is really the only hope for mankind to continue to exist in anything like the numbers we are at now. The oceans have a very critical role in that and are a major sink for CO2 and heat. The priority is to encourage planktonic life that captures CO2 and then traps that carbon on the sea bed. This is a natural process and we, as a species, must figure out how to exploit it to overcome the stupidity of the last 50 years of greed and selfishness. Removing predatory cnidaria that consume the CO2 trapping plankton is perhaps going to be needed - jellyfish for example.

    Personally I don't see anything in an undergraduate course that will look at these realities. So to the OP - do whichever interests you most. Me, I would stick to the science not the farming. But farming fish is certainly the only way they will enter the human food chain in the future. Indeed there might be so much microplastic and mercury in the sea that fish are deemed toxic waste by 2040, as some marine mammals already are.

    If we (humans) are to survive and live in any significant numbers we need marine biologists, so LuFA I wish you well and every success.
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  8. #8
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    Hi LuFA,
    I work in the Marine Science sector and faced a similar choice as an undergrad! As some of the others have said, aquaculture is a booming industry and only looks to increase in available job opportunities. Biodiversity as a "career path" is a bit more abstract and general which might give you more freedom later. Ultimately at the end of your undergraduate degree you're unlikely to be stuck working in either sector wishing you could break into the other, even with a masters and PhD, there is some scope to move around, albeit less. I will say that the practicalities of working in aquaculture involves substantial amounts of quantitative modelling these days so if you enjoy coding and physics it could be for you (that's not say there aren't ecological roles in the industry too!).
    With biodiversity, you're likely to find yourself looking at doing at MSc afterwards when you've identified what area of conservation you like, as I'm sorry to say it can be a difficult industry to crack with a BSc, with many companies looking to take advantage of enthusiastic undergrads to work for pennies. Either path will end up showing you what area of science you are really interested in!


 

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