Whether it’s working at a large animal veterinary practice in rural North Dakota, caring for dogs and cats at an emergency clinic, working in the lab of an animal biotechnology company or selling pharmaceuticals for an animal health company, NDSU’s Veterinary Technology bachelor of science degree program can prepare students for careers in many different animal-related areas.
“The need for veterinary technologists is at an all-time high,” says Stacey Ostby, co-director of NDSU’s Veterinary Technology Program. “We pride ourselves on providing real-world, hands-on learning opportunities for our students, knowing that the skills they develop in our program are essential to their future careers.”
Housed within the NDSU Department of Animal Sciences, the Veterinary Technology degree program is unique in that it is one of a few programs nationwide that offer a full four-year degree at the completion of the program.
The program prepares students to work in a variety of veterinary settings, including as a veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse and client educator.
“One of the neat features of our program is how we help our students tailor their degree to their interests,” says Ostby. “For example, NDSU’s Veterinary Technology program is one of the few in the country where students can minor in large-animal veterinary technology. This prepares students to work with cattle and horses and is ideal for someone wanting to return to a rural setting and work for a large-animal veterinary practice.”
Since 1979, the program has had full accreditation status from the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In addition, NDSU’s graduates have a 91% pass rate on the AVMA national licensing exam. After the completion of their coursework, students complete a half-semester externship at a veterinary clinic or zoo, where they apply the skills learned in the program to a real setting.
Kenna Solberg, a 2021 graduate, recently completed her externship at Bridger Veterinary Specialists in Bozeman, Mont. She already has accepted a full-time veterinary oncology technologist position there for the fall.
“Welcoming faculty, hands-on experience and a focus on developing individual skills were my favorite parts of the program,” says Solberg. “I know that the skills I gained while completing my degree helped me to get hired right away.”