Your thoughts on Current Job Market

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Your thoughts on Current Job Market

Postby Bill Estes » Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:03 am

Does anyone have any comments about the current job market for those with science degrees? I am talking about the biotechnology/pharmaceutical arena, of course. I'm coming out shortly with a MS in Biotechnology and I'd love to get a reading on what the current scenario is. With all the political fighting right now, I'm curious if the "bad economy" has affected life sciences hiring? It seems to me that the economy isn't all that bad at all -- mostly just fodder for politicians.

Bill Estes

Your thoughts on Current Job Market

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:44 am


The job market in biotechnology and pharma is up significantly from last year and the previous. Personally, it doesn't feel "soft" any longer, but the strange thing about the life sciences is that each of the disciplines has its own hot and cold times. It could be hot now for process engineers and really poor for certain bench scientists. That's the problem with a specialist marketplace -- no one hires a generalist cell biologist any longer, they want one with "CHO cell experience in bioreactors of greater than 100 liters" (to quote a recent ad). So, your own view of the job market will depend upon what you are experienced with and whether or not it is in demand.

If you have a MS in Biotechnology, you may find that companies are a bit hesitant to interview/hire because they don't really understand that degree. You'll need to be very clear in your cover letter and resume as to the field you have worked in, and what your practical experience has included.

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Your thoughts on Current Job Market

Postby Jim Austin » Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:38 pm


Dave's answer was very good--certain very narrow skill sets are "hot" at different times. I will say that the word "on the street" is that 1. a very soft market has improved considerably, and 2. the M.S. category is one of the most active, which is to say that your masters degree (assuming it's in an appropriate discipline, narrowly defined) will help you find work more easily than a B.S. or Ph.D.

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