Academic careers are intellectually rewarding, and traditionally parasitologists have played an important role in the education of university students. One reason for the success of parasitologists in the academic community is the fact that parasitologists are among the most broadly trained of all biologists. Because examples of parasites can be found throughout the plant and animal kingdom, most parasitologists have a good working knowledge of biological diversity.
Often, parasitologists serve as instructors of invertebrate zoology in many biology departments because most parasites and vectors belong to invertebrate taxa. Furthermore, because parasitologists study interactions of parasites and their vertebrate hosts, they are often well educated in vertebrate anatomy, physiology, and immunology. A knowledge of parasite life cycles requires parasitologists to be experienced in a variety of methods in order to understand how parasites are transmitted among hosts and how parasites are distributed within ecosystems.
A university position offers an individual a challenging and rewarding career that combines both teaching and research. Research opportunities allow faculty to ask creative and imaginative questions, and design studies to answer these questions. Teaching has many rewards, including the satisfaction of seeing young people exposed to new knowledge and watching these students apply that knowledge to their own scientific curiosity.