The field of genetics is rapidly growing. There is a wide variety of careers that involve the use of genetics, ranging from careers in academic research and health care facilities to careers in law, journalism, computer science, public health and many more.
A brochure outlining the diverse career opportunities for someone with a degree in genetics.
Video Interviews with Different Professionals in Genetics (hosted by www.youtube.com)
Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health, and social work.
Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to families who have members with genetic disorders or who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.
The genetic counseling profession is rapidly expanding and diversifying. Heightened public awareness, coupled with scientific advances in adult disorders and reproductive technologies, have increased the demand for genetic counselors in clinical, teaching, administrative, commercial, private practice and consulting environments. This trend is expected to continue well into the 21st century ...and beyond.
Medical geneticists, also known as clinical geneticists, are physicians who complete a residency in medical genetics. Medical geneticists diagnose, manage and treat patients with genetic diseases. To do this, they evaluate individual and family medical histories, do physical examinations, determine appropriate genetic testing, and interpret clinical and laboratory information.
Many medical geneticists work in academic settings and are involved in teaching and research as well as seeing patients in clinic. Others work in private practice or in health care policy. With the expanding knowledge about the human genome, medical geneticists are expected to lead the integration of this information into health care.
Clinical laboratory geneticists can hold either MD, DO or PhD degrees. These individuals oversee and work in laboratories that perform diagnostic genetic tests. These may be in the areas of cytogenetics, biochemical genetics or molecular genetics, and they may be testing for inherited or acquired genetic alterations. Clinical laboratory geneticists develop and implement new tests, provide ongoing quality assurance of routine tests, interpret test results and communicate these results to healthcare providers. Training involves an additional fellowship following the completion of a PhD degree or a medical genetics residency.
American Society of Human Genetics: Information about careers in Human Genetics
National Society of Genetic Counselors: Information about a career in Genetic Counseling
University of Wisconsin-Madison's Masters Program in Genetic Counseling: Information about Wisconsin's program in Genetic Counseling
University of Wisconsin-Madison's PhD Program in Genetics: Information about Wisconsin's PhD program in Genetics