Prospective cytotechnologists must have shown a positive aptitude for the sciences in high school. High SAT scores in science, English, and math will be beneficial when applying for entrance to colleges. A positive history of honors classes will also be beneficial.
Cytotechnologists must be able to focus on a small sample for long periods of time. Attention to detail is essential. They work with remarkably little supervision and must be able to organize and monitor their workday. They need exceptional vision, whether natural or corrected, in order to pick out minor differences in cells. They must also be comfortable working with complex machinery and interacting with other laboratory team members. The ability to follow written directions is another key personality trait.
The entry-level requirement for this field is a bachelor’s degree in cell biology. This program prepares graduates to work in the laboratory, to use various equipment, and to understand scientific processes and cell anatomy. Upon graduation, the student is prepared to begin working in the field. Additional training will be received on the job.
Cytotechnologists can also earn a master's and doctorate degree. 2010 studies in North America identified that 50% of technologist hold a bachelor’s degree and 45% have a masters. The remaining 5% hold doctorate degrees.
There are numerous colleges around the globe that offer bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in cell biology. This is the degree cytotechnologists must have. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland has a world-renowned biology department. They offer both BS and MS degrees in molecular and cell biology. Students do their clinical rotations at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Duke University in North Carolina is another college that has students from around the globe seeking their education in cellular biology there. They offer BS, MS, and Doctorate programs. Their biology department has a variety of degree focuses including Cellular and Molecular Biology. Students emerge ready to take on the responsibilities of a cytotechnologist.
The University of Queensland offers a BS in Molecular Cell Biology and has a strong international reputation. The course curriculum is comparable to those in other nations. The University of York and the Kingston University in the U.K. also have reputable programs that have established themselves as leading universities in the biological sciences.