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I feel lost about my future with Biology study!

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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I feel lost about my future with Biology study!

Postby biologyny » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:42 pm

Hello, everyone!
I think most registered users on this forum is from the USA.
I am a postgraduate student in my first year(2 year Master's degree) in China. My major is so called Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. My research focus is on cancer cells and ROS(reactive oxygen species). For
the Degree, I have to publish at least one SCI paper in the 2-year period which is the regulation of my university. So I am working hard all day and even night in the lab.

However, when there is some "idle time", I can not stop myself to think about my future, am I really prepared for taking scientific research as my career? You know, when a young man finally has to get out of the tower of ivory, finacial problems would come to him. What can a scientist do to maintain his life and family?

I am not familiar with the environment in the US. So I will appreciate it that someone can tell me what is the ideal career for a research student in Biology? Is Industry a better choice than academic institutions from the aspect of revenue?

My primary picture is like this: Firstly get the Master Degree in CHina, but it can hardly guarantee finding a good job in China,especially in Biological field. I like America very much,and I am preparing for the GRE and TOEFL. I wanna pursue my PH.D. study in America, but I want to learn more practical things, like Bioengineering/Biotechnology. I think it is the best choice for me to ensure a good salary in the future. Can anyone give me some good advices about which area of Biology study and research is advantageous for ensuring a good job and satisfactory salaries?

I near get lost these days in being afraid about my future. I just wanna make a good living and a lot of money. Does Biology fit me? Do I have to quit basic research and turn to practical research in industry? Or what about the idea to completely quit Biology by learning another Master Degree in finance or accounting(challenging)?
:(
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Postby canalon » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:11 pm

Honestly if you wanna o for the money, I am really not sure that the PhD route is the best way to go (I have one...) Not to say that you do not earn a living, but it is not the best way to do so. Besides the long year as graduate students will definitely not be rich (in terms of money, not necessarily in terms of social life).

You are more likely to land a good job in industry with a MSCc, and make more money. Then you might want to start a PhD as permanent formation if you need it to climb the corporate ladder.

If you are not interested in science for the thrill of it, avoid the PhD, it will be a waste of time. On the other hand, if you feel the desire to go on with science, do it. You might not get rich, but you will have a more than decent salary (stability in position is also hard) to live with a family, and the richness of doing one of those jobs where everyday is different and full of surprises. This is a luxury that money can seldom buuy.
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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Postby Locus » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:34 pm

It is seems to me that industry is more stable position than institute but it is less intresting - but, if you not think about sience, industry in fact is more preferable. I think (but I am not from USA)
biologyny - by the way, what is level now of chinas biological sience?
Evolution will arrange everything
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:24 pm

Yep, master's the way to go...
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
~Niebuhr
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