Non-research careers

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Non-research careers

Postby Joe » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:56 pm

I have recently completed my Ph.D. in Microbiology. I was planning to do a postdoc, but found myself completely unable to commit to a lab. I didn\'t enjoy the thought of many additional years spent doing bench work only to have very limited employment options. Therefore, I now feel that I would like to pursue a non-research based career. My question is in regard to how do I go about making this transition. Because of my scientific training, I have few general business qualification/skills. I would ultimately like to have a career that would allow me to utilize my scientific background. I\'m open to suggestions. Would anyone recommend that I get an MBA?

Non-research careers

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:24 pm


Many people find themselves in this transition, so you are not alone, and it is certainly nothing to be ashamed of (although some PI's will make you feel that way). Instead, I would say that you need to do a lot of research on websites such as Science's NextWave.

There are many articles on that AAAS site which talk about different career choices. In many of them, there are specific examples of people and the decisions they've made.

Whatever you do, don't jump into an MBA. Go out and get some work experience. Get employed. Then, consider getting an MBA after a few years of work and some feeling for what you want your future direction to be.

I think you are being a little gunshy because of your "lack of business qualifications/skills." This shouldn't matter, because most of your job market competition will be in the same boat. Look at jobs in the biotech industry, in positions like Quality Control, Manufacturing, Tech Support, Applications Scientist, etc. In the Pharma industry, there are jobs such as Medical Communications, Technical Writer, and a host of simliar operations jobs such as quality, etc.

Get back to us with specific questions about niches that you find of interest,

Dave Jensen, Moderator
CareerTrax Inc.
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
Posts: 7959
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Non-research careers

Postby Chris » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:58 pm

I did a similar thing. I would like to suggest several good books on the subject of non-research careers. These can be found at most public or university libraries.

Alternative Careers in Science by Cynthia Robbins-Roth

Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science
by Karen Young Kreeger

Career Renewal: Tools for Scientists and Technical Professionals -- by Stephen Rosen, Celia Paul

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: David Lathbury, Michael and 16 guests