Job Market Context
Getting a PhD is always a very big achievement, more so if one has received that degree from a prestigious institution.
Many who are interested in pursuing a PhD do so mainly because of love for “science”. There is no better happiness but to see or find something novel during the course of various experiments that one undertakes during this journey.
Of course, out of 100 experiments maybe 90 would fail but that teaches us tremendous levels of perseverance and patience. What is not taught in most institutions is the career path that a budding scientist can take!
Recently, Genetic Engineering News published a list of what they believe will be the top 10 biotech jobs most in demand over the next decade.
For those looking for moving beyond the bench, starting their science career, or just looking for a change, the list proposes where the likeliest landing spots are located. I’ve provided a little taste of what such positions do, so that you can do an initial assessment on whether it might be of interest.
#10 – Epidemiologist
Once I was conferred my doctorate, you could have clocked my departure from academia with a stopwatch.
That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with academia; it’s just not my cup of joe. In considering the “why” of the career decisions I’ve made, I’ve come to the conclusion that culture and pay were my two biggest decision-making factors. So I’d like to touch on some of my experiences in the government, for-profit, non-profit sectors.
Just like the ocean waves, hiring is a process with peaks (fall and spring) and troughs (summer and winter). Certainly, some hiring occur during the troughs, but fewer than the peaks. During the slower periods, I advise people to actively set aside time to self-reflect. Consider what you want, need, and prefer in your next role, team, and company, so that you are focused and prepared to seize the right opportunity once hiring picks up.
If you browse job listings on the websites of pharmaceutical companies, it’ll soon become apparent that there are a slew of titles and abbreviations, which often differ between companies…it can get confusing! Sometimes, at Company X an ‘Associate’ scientist has more experience than a ‘Senior’ scientist. Who knew that a ‘Clinical Research Associate’ (CRA), which sounds like a role requiring a medical degree, actually describes a lab-based PhD scientist? Hmmm…
BioSpace describes itself as “the leading online community for industry news and careers for life science professionals…[providing] quality recruitment and job seeking opportunities for professionals in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The site offers “a multi-faceted venue for industry professionals with an online job board, daily biotech news feeds, and community features connect recruiters, job seekers, and life science professionals.”
One of the things about being a blogger is that sometimes your friends reveal articles you may have missed and deliberately ask you to comment. That just happened to me. On a lovely Saturday, my cell phone told me that friend X had mentioned me in a post. In fact, he said he wanted me to comment on an article which discussed the least stressful jobs of 2013. The article can be found here.