Jobs In Biology Field?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Blender3d777, May 25, 2009.

  1. Blender3d777 Registered Member

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    I was just wondering about jobs in the biology field, If anyone could tell me just like the title and description, that would be great. Just trying to pick a college...
     
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  3. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    I too am feeling an interest in biology, but my guess is that the job market for it is not that big. (you may need to become a biologist who has some kind of specialty education)

    Unless biology is your hobby, then you're good to go.
     
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  5. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Many jobs in the biology sector seem to be advertised within the field and, to an extent, by word-of-mouth. For research positions there are also many jobs that are obtained through cold-calling.

    So you need to go looking beyond the standard sources for job applications (newspapers and general job listing websites). Look at the career/position sections of websites for university departments, biotech and pharma companies. Also have a look at the individual websites for labs that focus on your areas of interest.

    If it’s science teaching you’re interested in, then the teaching course you participate in will likely arrange for initial placements.


    The job market is quite large. There is a variety of jobs out there from teaching to laboratory support to research to management, both in the private sector and academia.


    It’s a professional field, so that’s a given.
     
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  7. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    To get a decent "interesting" job in biology you need a higher degree - a PhD is OK .... but preferably a Professorship with a few notable awards .. Nobel being one of the better ones

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    Curing a disease could also help

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    As a professional biologist I'm very happy with my life, I love my occupation, I mean, I love it

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    but, it's not an "easy-going" life, it's a lot of work life. many times 7d/wk for years on end.

    that's something to think about.
     
  8. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    A Professorship is an appointment (ie. a position title), not a degree.


    What scientist wouldn’t want a Nobel Prize?

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    But it certainly isn’t true to say that you need “notable awards” before you can have an interesting job in the biological sciences.


    For laboratory technicians who work standard regular hours and who don't have to answer to committees and funding agencies, it’s not that hard. For the research scientists who have ownership of the projects, it is a very hard career. Long hours, poor pay (in comparison to comparable industry positions) and little job security. Research scientists are in it for the love and passion they have for research, not for the money.
     
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    yeah, my post was a tad sacrastic .. on the fun side.

    I personally think it's a great life. Especially if you can get a permanent academic position teaching and doing research together. yes, its a hell of a lot of work and yeah 80K-100K is pretty crappy pay compared with industry. But, I love it

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    I would never be happy as a tech, but, some people are pretty happy. Although, I'd say that line of work isn't really any more secure than the guy getting the funding!
    I personally want to direct my own research if possible. or at least chose to say no if I don't want to do go in a certain direction. and for that I pay in time and stress, whereas the tech punches out at 5 and is off to home.

    different personalities I suppose.

    all and all, it's a good field and I think biology is going to grow as we get more and more service oriented bio companies. not to mention bio tech fuels or things like that...
     
  10. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    Actually there are jobs advertised, however relatively few are exclusively biological. Also relatively few are in R&D. Most are in sales, tech support, application development and product management. As a rule of thumb, many biotech jobs are also open to biochemists and other related degrees. Zoology and ethology for example, will have a harder time finding jobs.
    Pharma companies seldom have biologists in R&D, they mostly employ them in sales (in the latter of a pharmacy degree is preferred). An academic career is a tough choice. As already mentioned pay is not competitive, but even worse, the chances of eventually not getting a position is very high. After PhD, if you land an industry job, each year will count for you as work experience. In contrast a postdoc can count against you, if it is longer than 3-4 years and you did not manage to land a faculty position. Even then, there is a chance that you are at some point 40 (too old for getting into industry) but do struggle to find tenure. Just do the maths. How many PhDs does a prof produce during his lifetime? And if he retires precisely one position opens.
    Of course, passion is the main driving force to stay in academia, however one should take time every now and them to re-evaluate the situation (passion accounts for nothing if you are jobless...).
     
  11. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    Biology is an accessory knowledge. In my own view, chemistry is more valuable (degree wise) and encompasses most biological processes. If you really want to go for biology (from the words of a biology senior), then you should go into molecular biology. It is a rapidly expanding field and we are learning things through molecular biology all the time. You may have to move far away to find a job. Even when you find that job and you get hired the pay may just be enough to pay the bills, but experience is what counts! With experience you can advance. Trust me, there are plenty of entree level jobs [that are full-time & permanent] in biology.
     
  12. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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  13. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    I’m not sure that’s sound advice. Whilst there is overlap between chemistry and biology in the biochemistry field, I would recommend doing a biology degree if it’s specifically a biology job or biology higher degrees you’re interested in.


    Well, regardless of your area of biological interest, most biologists end up doing molecular biology as part of their research. It’s become a standard tool. Besides, biology research these days is a multidisciplinary effort. Little research is performed from a single direction as in days past. These days it is common for research projects to utilise combinations of biologists (molecular and otherwise), chemists, physicists, clinicians, statisticians, mathematicians, materials scientists and more.
     
  14. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    as a general degree choice, biology is a very good one.

    If you get a good degree from a good university any employer will know you have good maths, good english, good presentation and communication skills, practical skills, excellent analytical skills, and a decent level of IT literacy.
    Its one of those degrees that show you are very good allrounder.

    Bearing in mind that most people's career expectations and aspirations can change fairly drastically from when people start their degrees to when they finish them, its a very marketable degree to hold for a huge range of non-biology related careers from IT, to banking, general corporate management, and can even lead on into medicine of you're preprared to put in an extra 3-4 years on top.

    In short, if you enjoy biology and are interested in the subject, go ahead and study it at university, you wont find yourself particularly constrained in your career choices.
     
  15. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    In response and addition to what Hercules Rockefeller and synthesizer-patel have said, Blender3d777 you should know that a B.S. in biology becomes useless if you do not specialize appropriately. You can specialize in a variety of subjects (i.e. fishery science, botany, biotechnology, &c) through taking your elective courses, but as far as the general biology degree goes it is only a primer for you to get your masters and then your doctorate. Your best bet is to first get an associate's degree at a community college as it will prove to be more lucrative than a B.S. in biology. A lot of government jobs are calling for technologists so you may want to look into that.

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    I hope you have a free ride and some reliable fund sources because most likely you will not get your dream job in biology unless you have a flawless GPA accompanied by laboratory work experience and a peer reviewed article published (including funded research). Seriously, just because you have the bachelor's degree doesn't secure you a job. And if you do end up having a flawless GPA, then I suggest you move your interest into the medical field and go the pre-medical route; a great biologist makes for a great medical doctor (+ that's where the $ is afterall). As with any degree, unless you have a good GPA (>3.0), then you will not even be considered for a decent job. Take note that your advisor will not give you direct career advice, therefore the career center should be your best friend. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
     

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