I have a biology major and do not know what to do next

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I have a biology major and do not know what to do next

Postby RFZ » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:58 pm

Hi, I graduated last year from a bachelors degree in interdisciplinary sciences with some focus on biology (mainly getting all the req for pharma) but I did not continue to pharma since I realized (albeit a bit late) the job market is over saturated. The counseling at my college is almost nonexistent so I basically graduated with a degree with almost no focus and little research/ extracurricular. I started to look for jobs while I decided what to do next but I have had no luck at all. Right now I am really frustrated and I would practically take anything. I wanted to get into a masters program in BioE, as it seems to be the only viable option (job outlook wise). Thing is, I dont meet the req (calculus 2 and 3) for this program, and I dont have the money to get these classes. One option that came up is going to grad school into biotech masters and then transitioning into BioE, but im unsure as to the viability, and I do not want to finish a degree to stay at the same spot I am now. So please, any advice? Are any of these fields worth getting into as for job prospects preferably not research oriented?
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Re: I have a biology major and do not know what to do next

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:36 am

Welcome to the forum, RFZ. We're happy to be able to help. I'll wait for our large audience here to review this and offer suggestions, but I want to caution you first off. It appears that you are looking at two degrees which might just spin you down the rabbit hole.

BioEngineering -- that's a medical device career choice, primarily. Try and get a job in the biotech or pharma, or life sciences area with that degree and you'll be forever explaining the tie-in. I think you need to figure out the job you want to be in, and then back up the thinking from there. Find out what the people do in that job you are interested in, what their degree was in, and so on. If you truly want to work in the medical device area, there may be others here who can provide some thoughts on what this degree can do for you. Over 30 years, I've worked broadly in the life sciences, the biotech, agriculture, pharmaceutical and other industries and have never seen a bioengineering person placed -- but hey, that's just my experience.

The really big caution comes if you are considering the "professional" Biotech Masters degree. Those are cash cows for the universities that host them -- it's expensive, and it may not do that much for you.

What is it you want to do? That's the question!

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Re: I have a biology major and do not know what to do next

Postby Rich Lemert » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:36 pm

To echo what Dave said, it looks like what you're doing right now is bouncing around different areas hoping one of them sticks. You need to perform a deep analysis of yourself to figure out what you like to do so you can target your job search.

At one point you were apparently interested in pharma. Why? What did you want to do there? Opportunities there may be limited, but that doesn't mean this is the only field where your needs could be satisfied. Figure out what your needs are, and we can help you determine what fields are appropriate.
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Re: I have a biology major and do not know what to do next

Postby Dave Walker » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:22 pm

To add to all the good points, I recommend as a second step to talk to people in your fields of interest. It can be very beneficial to hear how a job works, what the hours are like, the career paths available, and so on. If you are bouncing between fields, it's likely you are looking at things with a distant (internet search only?) method.

Talking really brings it home. We call these "informational interviews." For some more information, this is a good article: ... -interview
"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
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