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Biotech business career or PT school?

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Biotech business career or PT school?

Postby EPG » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:45 pm

I am a recent graduate with a Bachelor's in Exercise Physiology and was accepted to the M.S. in Biotechnology program at Johns Hopkins.

I am VERY on the fence about whether to pursue a career in biotech/pharma through this Johns Hopkins route or whether to pursue a DPT and become a physical therapist.

From a different forum that I saw on the internet, some people said that this degree from Johns Hopkins may not be the best for someone trying to get their foot in the industry, but better for someone who is already in the field and looking to further their education or make the transition from the research laboratory side of things to the business side.

Also, people are speculating that the degree may be useless and somewhat of a scam since it is offered fully online, does not require GRE, accepts just about everyone, etc.

I know it is ultimately my decision, but I would really appreciate any insight and advice regarding either field.
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Re: Biotech business career or PT school?

Postby PG » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:51 pm

The career paths that you get from your two options are very different so I think that the first step for you is to decide what you actually want to do and not how you should get there. If you make the decision that you want to study biotechnology you can start thinking about different career paths in that area and how you can reach your goals.

Regarding the specific program. If almost any other school than Johns Hopkins had been giving the onine training that you are talking about I would have put the value of that training to very close to nothing. Everything online, no real restrictions on the number of people who can attend (as long as they pay) etc doesnt signal good value. Johns Hopkins is a well known Medical University which may change this value but our US posters will probably be better at giving advice on how much impact that would actually have.

Looking at the webpage of the program it seems that some of the courses are actually on site rather than online and contains for example laboratory training. This increases the value of the program but it is again difficult to say how much especially if you chose to do Everything online. I assume they have restrictions on the number of people who can attend the on site trainings.

The program also seems to have different paths, one of which is a more business oriented path that as you say often have a higher value once you already have experience from the field. This is similar to advice given in this forum about people aiming for a MBA.

Most people joining industry after attending a biotech program does that in some type of laboratory position which requires laboratory training and without Reading all the details it looks like that would also be possible within this program.
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Re: Biotech business career or PT school?

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:58 pm

Hello EPG -- First off, thank you for allowing me to change your username because we definitely do not use "chat room" style names on this professional discussion forum. This is noted on the front page in the instructions for new posters. Welcome to the discussion!

Let me contrast these two opportunities -- and I wholeheartedly agree with our long-term poster and contributor, PG, who really hit the nail on the head when he said you need to look down the road and see which career track feels best to you (because the are indeed so different).

I would avoid an "MS in Biotechnology" if you can, because most of those programs are cash-cow's for the Universities that run them, and they don't really align you well with the job market. You learn very little that will get you an immediate admittance to biotech companies. I would ask any such program for their stats on the number of people placed, where they went, what kinds of jobs they are in, and so on. Biotechnology is a big, big word and it means so many different kinds of careers and businesses. Perhaps there's another program with more focus on one field. I'd take an MS in Microbiology, for example, over an "MS in Biotechnology." The focus allows you to actually go out and get a job in that niche.

Physical Therapy is a hot field right now. Plenty of gainful employment. . . If you go to one of the best schools, like Northern Arizona University for example, you'll get employed without much of a fuss. Searching for a job in biotech is much harder. So, I think the key is for you to figure out exactly what job you'd like to be in five years down the road and back up from there.

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