Bees with a BA/BS in Biology – I need your advice (for my DH)!

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m a Bio MS (also from ivy league) and have about 4 yrs industry experience.

In my experience watching people get hired over the years, a BS will almost always get passed up for an MS if one is available even if the ad says a BS is ok (and trust me, they are available). If they are lucky enough to get hired, they will make substantially less. My MS has gotten me my jobs.

Also, if he wants the bigger companies opened up as an option instead of just a mid-sized company or startup, he will need a masters to rise up more than a level or two, if he gets hired at all.Mid-sized (like 300 employees or less) tend to be more liberal about favoring experience over education, which is nice. I also like that type of company structure better (more stable than a start up, but not as corporate as Novartis, Roche, BMS, etc).

Jersey is a great place to live if you want to be in Pharma. Know that if he is tied to this career path, it is highly likely that he will be asked to move between NJ/Boston/San Francisco/San Diego several times in his career. And that there aren’t many jobs outside of those locations (North Carolina is also an option).

Post # 4
Member
4656 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I’m in grad school now, bufor according to friends and colleagues in biotech – a MS in Bio will take you a lot further than a BS

Post # 5
Member
1836 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve got nothing for you, but I’m commenting to follow. I’m a BA in biology and have been working in academia for 4 years in DE and Philly! (small world, eh??)  I have no idea where to go from here…

Best of luck to your husband.

 

Post # 7
Member
306 posts
Helper bee

@LadyJDAG:  I think this is something that still happens, but rarely. My cousin works for a federal government agency and they are paying his way through graduate school. My boss, however, was not as successful in trying to get our state run job to chip in for his grad school. 

I think it can go both ways for a BS/MS. Since he has a few years of exerperience under his belt, he may be considered on par with someone with a masters degree. Especially if he has published as a result of his work. In my particular field, it is incredibly hard to break in without an MS, but once you’re there, you can often subsitute years of work experience for a degree. There’s not a lot you can do to make up for lack of a PhD. I have a friend who is a molecular biologist who works on cancer research and he has a BS. I was pretty amazed he was able to get as far as he did because that is something I associate with having an advanced degree, but it can be done. It’s getting your foot in the door that can be hard.

Post # 8
Member
81 posts
Worker bee

@LadyJDAG:  Tell him to try out pharmaceutical sales! In the states that might involve selling your soul, I’m not sure (I’m in Canada where meds are covered by the gov’t, so doctors don’t have to worry about prices, and they never get kickbacks) but it pays well if you can do it.

Post # 11
Member
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

If he does look into grad school he should look at bioinformatics. He has the same background as my FI (neuro/computer programming) and its a field that is becoming HUGE. So many jobs in bioinfomatics if you have the right skillset!

 

Post # 13
Member
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

He’s starting his MS in the fall. He wants to do a PhD eventually. No luck whatsoever with a BS, and he has one is Biology (neuro) and Computer Science from University of Michigan. Whoops, meant to reply:)

 

Post # 14
Member
306 posts
Helper bee

Seconding the bioinformatics. Also, sharing that at least in my subfield of biology, PhDs are often paid for in exchange for research and teaching, while most masters degrees are self funded. Some of his career path will depend on his goals. It sounds like hs is already involved in research, which is the reason a lot of us go to grad school in the first place.

As for how did I come by my job(s), I just graduated 6 months ago but have put in a lot of volunteer hours with all sorts of different organizations. That didn’t help really, because none of them have the budget for hiring anyone. One of my supervisors at an internship suggested I apply for a job with the state government, and my other job came as a result of a listing my undergrad advisor sent to me. If anyone is reading this, it has been to my great benefit to keep in touch with my college professors. They are well connected and people frequently contact them looking for talent.

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