Not an academic anymore

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Not an academic anymore

Postby Pappeh » Fri May 26, 2017 4:31 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm a few months away from getting my MS in Biology in Utah and have decided to make a big career shift. I had planned on going into academia (lecturing at a university or teaching at community college) and my coursework and thesis was geared towards that. I study metacommunities but have focused a lot of that work on streams and wetlands.

I've decided now that the road to getting into an academic job is not one that I want to go down. However, I now need something that can attest to my professional skills in another area. Are there any professional certifications out there for ecologists/wildlife biologists/freshwater biologists that I could pursue? Or does anyone have any suggestions for careers based on my skillset?

I have considered going into clinical laboratory science, but that means going out for another degree. I wouldn't mind doing that if I needed to, but I feel like I should be able to get something out of this master's degree.
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Re: Not an academic anymore

Postby Ana » Sat May 27, 2017 10:45 am

Hi Pappeh,

If you don't know what career to select, I wouldn't use your current skill set or degree as a starting point.

First as yourself what is more important for you personally when it comes to your future career: do you want passion or do you want convenience?

If you want passion then think about what type of job you will be happy doing, which one will give you meaning, what type of contribution you want to leave behind. Then map your way from your current MS in Biology to there.

If you want convenience, for example staying in Utah because you want to remain close to family and raise your own family, then you need to consider what types of jobs are in demand that could use an MS in Biology. There might be some specific industry there in high demand and that would be a very smart move in order to secure your convenient future life.

Once you know what drives you, passion or convenience/stability, and what that career roughly looks like, then you can start talking to people currently in that field and ask them if you would need additional certifications or training. Without knowing where you want to get into there is no possible answer to your questions.

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Re: Not an academic anymore

Postby D.X. » Mon May 29, 2017 9:31 am

HI Peppeh,

Based on what you said about Wildlife Biology and Environmental/Wetland Sciences have you considered looking to Uncle Sam?

Since you're in Utah i guess you're American. Go to the Website and look for Jobs under US Fisherys and Wildlife Service - you may find a variety of civil Service Jobs (provide you're willing to relocate) - maybe some civil Service Jobs that has a civil Service equaling the competition a bit. I don't hink you Need additional Training. See what other departments are there, see what the US Department of the Interior may have. Keep an open mind there are so many agencies out there, i.e NOAA etc. etc.

State Level, stop by your local Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Parks and even more local check out County Level Parks and Recreation, many have Nature Preserves that may require conservancy sciences activities.

While at DEC, check out Law Enforcement, you can be a Environment Cop. Federal Level you have US Park Service Rangers. Civil Service exam needed here I think, so again equaling the playing field.

As for Lab stuff, you Need to be certified Medical Technologist by the ASCP to get the MT (ASCP) credentials.

Good luck


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