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Biochemistry B.Sc grad and in need of career advice

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Biochemistry B.Sc grad and in need of career advice

Postby Martin11 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:26 am

Hi,

I am due to graduate with a B.Sc in Biochemistry from McMaster university (Ontario,Canada) in 2 months, and I find myself at a cross roads in terms of what to do next.

My ultimate aim is to work in a relevant industrial sector and not really in academia. But, I have heard that to get at any of the serious jobs, you need an M.Sc or a Ph.D, and this is where the confusion starts for me: The issue is that I am much older (by 3 years) then the rest of my cohort due to circumstances entirely out of my control, and by the time I finish a Ph.D, I will be 30-31 years of age with no job experience.

Another option that I am thinking of is getting a job now. But my fear here is that by the time I rake up enough experience, I will lose touch with the referees at University who for now are willing to write reference letters for me as part of my application to graduate school. I also have 1 publication under my belt and I am afraid this will all amount to little if I am out of university for too long. Then there is the whole issue of getting a job. One of my friends has been searching for a job for 1.5 years and another for 6 months, and both tell me the job market is terrible. So again, this adds to my confusion.

A third option I have been considering is getting a post-grad diploma in biotechnology. This involves doing a three year program, at the end of which I would be 28 years of age, with roughly a year's worth of co-op placement experience at different companies behind me. Again, my fear here is that I might have the experience and maybe even a job, but then my option for an M.Sc or a Ph.D would be cut off. Would this be the case ? If so, would this mean I would be stuck in a certain position without the chance to move up the ladder ?

So, long story short, if anyone could suggest a good course of action or has had a similar experience, I would appreciate any insight you could offer. Also, if there are any suggestions anyone might have, or if anyone wants to make any corrections to what I said, please feel free to do so.

Martin
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Postby Martin11 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:28 pm

Anyone ????
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Re: Biochemistry B.Sc grad and in need of career advice

Postby jonmoulton » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:11 pm

Don't go for the Ph.D. for the money -- you can make more in the business side of biotech without the advanced degree. However, if you want to do interesting work and land in key positions in projects, do go for the Ph.D.

Given what you have said about concern for your age, I wouldn't suggest doing the postbacc work. However, your concern about age may be misplaced as many older and returning students enter Ph.D. programs. The tough part about working before returning is that you can become rapidly addicted to a real income. If you want to pursue the Ph.D., do it while you are accustomed to poverty.
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