We share this earth with a variety of micro organisms which are omnipresent and greatly assist and affect our existence. Microbiology is the study of such microscopic organisms like eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Viruses, though not strictly classed as living organisms, are also studied. Generally microbiology is the study of life and organisms unseen by the naked eye. It includes sub-disciplines like virology, mycology, parasitology, bacteriology etc. Our existence, health, food, agriculture and even industrial development are very much dependent on microbes. Unknowingly, man has made use of micro-organism since prehistoric times, mostly in the production of food and drinks, such as leavening of bread, souring of milk and making of wine and beer etc. Microbes can make you ill, but they are also the source of the antibiotics that can cure you. They are also involved in recycling of nutrients by degradation of dead animals and plants, releasing components that can be used again.
Microorganisms also play a central role in recombination DNA technology and act as the agents for genetic modification.A student who has completed 12th standard in science stream can apply for B.Sc course. Institutes select candidates on the basis of merit. Certain institutes and universities also offer M.Sc in microbiology. Biologists can further specialize in the study of micro-organisms in the fields of their interest such as bacteriology; study of bacteria, mycology; study of fungi and virology ; study of viruses. Microbiologist may also specialize as general microbiologists, marine microbiologists, industrial microbiologists, agricultural microbiologists and medical microbiologists. Microbiology like any other research related science field requires utmost dedication apart from having scientific and analytical temper, interest in research, observant attitude, diligence, ability to work in team of professionals, good communication skills and hard work. Good mathematical and computational skills are of added advantage.
Research and development laboratories of government and private hospitals, research organizations, pharmaceutical, food, beverage and chemical industries provide employment to microbiologists. Projections for the next 20 years suggest that there will be a demand for trained microbiologists to fill position in all aspects of microbiology. A variety of special programs will create opportunities for women, members of under-represented groups and those with disabilities. According to survey a candidate who is working in educational sector can earn 21000$-46000$ annually. Remuneration in industrial sector is 21000$-66000$ annually and in public sector it is 23000$-565000$ annually. Earnings depend upon one’s educational qualifications.