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What can I do right out of HS?

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What can I do right out of HS?

Postby ACM » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:18 pm

To those in biology and lab work,

I read in a career education book that one may be able to obtain a position as a laboratory assistant/tech directly having graduated from high-school. I have taken into consideration that this publication was twelve years old, but is this at all true? If so, were do I start?
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby PG » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:15 am

This is probably different by location but around here (northern europe) this would probably be difficult to acheive without either a very good contact inside the company or some form of more advanced training.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby ACM » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:55 pm

If anyone is employed for or is knowledgeable in bio labs and their employment of non-degrees I would greatly appreciate some answers here.

As a bit of a background, I'm currently a Junior in HS and am pursuing a career in biomedical research. I'm working hard in retail saving every penny for a masters (maybe PhD if I have the time and money) and would love to get some early lab experience and maybe some better pay after high-school. Like I said, I read in a book that lab tech/assistant positions are available to some after having graduated. Perhaps anyone knows of some other ways to gain lab experience and work in a more related field while saving for college.

Please take into consideration I am located in northern Alabama/Southern Tennessee. Thank you, PG, for your input, it helped me remember to state my location.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby J.B. » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:37 am

You will not find employment in a lab with a high school degree. Scientists at all levels, from Bachelor's to PhD, are in huge surplus right now and many are having a hard time finding work. Your background will not be competitive with people on the market right now. At best, you might get the chance to volunteer or shadow for a short period of time in a lab. There are some areas of clinical science that only require an AA, but this is still above and beyond high school education.

FYI, PhD programs in the sciences do not cost money, they pay you to go to school. Master's are typically not offered this luxury, although there are ways around this. More importantly, you should be planning for your Bachelor's degree first before you look into Master's and PhD programs. Very few people pick a major in high school and actually end up getting that degree; most change their major along the way, often in a drastically different direction. I've seen many liberal arts and business majors spawned from the first quarter of organic chemistry.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby MSR » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:39 am

I second the previous statement that you should be focused on getting a Bachelor's degree for now. If you decide to go further in your education, finances may not be a factor due to fellowships.

Please take into consideration I am located in northern Alabama/Southern Tennessee.


Due to your location, there actually is a specific opportunity available. The Hudson Alpha Institute in Huntsville offers internships that I believe are open to high school students. You should check out this opportunity on their website.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby David Taylor » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:01 am

I agree all around. At this point, it would be a great idea for you to shoot for a summer internship at a research institution. Some high school-level students enter formal programs, but most that I've seen enter labs do so through a personal/family contact or perseverance in outreach.

Once you get your feet wet in the lab, you'll have a better understanding of both the career and the lab culture/hierarchy. If you decide to enter an undergrad science program, a number of careers will open to you (not just bench research). In this day and age, I think you should absolutely push for your Bachelor's. Otherwise, you will limit your career options greatly.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby ACM » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Thank's guys for your input, its exactly what I'm here for! It gives me something to think on; I'll definitely be asking more questions.
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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:13 pm

Don't forget, it's entirely possible to take some Community College courses even while you are in HS. My son did this, and was able to move into his area of interest MUCH quicker than if he had simply left it to his HS course work.

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Re: What can I do right out of HS?

Postby ACM » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:21 pm

About the community college classes while in HS. Thanks for the input, I'm currently working on the funds, but not sure if I'll get in before senior year is over. :(
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