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How to Break into Alternative Careers

How to Break into Alternative Science Careers

A question and topic of conversation recently. We have seen and responded to questions on social media about how to break into MSL careers. More recently the Biomedical Science community is more comfortable talking about engaging in alternative careers. Consequently, there are nationally more meetups and symposia about alterative career engagement. We are excited about this and developed our firm because we have years of experience teaching graduate students and postdocs how to understand about careers other than at the bench.

Interestingly, our science career research suggests that biomedical scientists have been entering alternative careers post-PhD for over 20 years, it’s just not well known. However, were are happy to learn what people have done and strive to relate that information to you through our career prep courses.

What we think and why
As a Houston based firm, we recognize the opportunities beyond the bench. Houston will soon see the opening of HX and TMC3 which will extend current research efforts. So we envision more career opportunities in science business, tech transfer, science writing, commercialization support, and patent law. We believe entering into an alternative career should be purposeful and strategy is required for success. Our courses give you the skills required, networks to engage in, and maps of what has successfully worked so you can incorporate good practices in your science career development. Our courses start each month and work with your schedule. You can take our courses while you are in the lab, in the evening, or weekend. We want you to have successful experiments while training and simultaneously consider where your career is progressing. If you have already attended a career symposium and decided what career you are interested in, then we are your next step.

What we offer
Take our career field specific courses to make your CV competitive and highlight field specific skills you have acquired in your training as well as how to quickly get skills to boost recognition of your CV by institutional recruiters. We offer courses that prepare graduate students, postdocs, and even faculty leaving the bench to enter alternative careers. Our courses are like prep courses. We teach you which specific skills are critical and you select relevant experiences you already have. We differentiate skills necessary for each alternative career and tell you how and where to meet people in that field to ask questions and build networks so you can gain references and learn to use the language of the field. We educate you on the specific opportunities to engage in to break into alternative careers and transform your CV in the process. Our goal is to get your CV into a competitive state to promote your recruitment in your field of interest. By the end of the course you should have a much different CV that is attractive to employers. What makes you unique are the experiences you are able to highlight as examples. You pick the career you want and we tell you how experiences can be congruent.

Managing your Biomedical Career

Coming soon is our course entitled Managing your Biomedical Career. Managing your career progress, productivity, and presence will keep you on track. Just taking an afternoon to identify where you are and where you are trying to get to, helps you prioritize your career building efforts. In addition our first workbook will be attached to the course so you have a hard copy of the essentials of managing your biomedical career while you do experiments.

Building Your Biomedical Career

Our first book will be released to describe career moves and potential ways to navigate from undergraduate to faculty positions. We highlight cases and how the decisions impacted the academic career path. The goal of this book is too be a resource for those who want to stay in academia and face many decisions thorough out the process. One decision is academia or industry or other. All careers will have their demands and skills needed so the type of environment one desires to work in is a critical deciding factor.

What to Expect
When you engage you meet people to answer your questions about your field of interest. You should develop new references to add to your scientific references. If you are planning to enter a new field, new references support and compliment your interests. When you take our career prep courses expect to identify what alternative and transferrable skills you have as well as identify the ones you need. Expect to know where you need to be spending your time learning about the field and where you can apply to opportunities at all levels of training. You will be equipped with where to join to meet new mentors and potential references and get information first on career opportunities.

Our career mapping comes from studying how previous biomedical scientists have ventured into new career areas. We also give you a resource to map your own career development and share it with your mentors and advisors for input. Who you ultimately get to be your career specific resource can make a difference in your application. For example if you connect with a director at Microsoft, ask questions, have them provide input on how your career profile currently looks, then ask them for a reference letter, you will be highly competitive in the recruitment process. Interestingly, we have seen a PhD in genetics transition to a Microsoft Engineer. We are fascinated at career transitions and want to help you also transition.
Leave a comment for courses you want to see that are not posted yet. We will be adding career prep courses in science business, teaching, policy, administration and more.

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September 17, 2018


Biomed Careers is a science career education consulting firm which imparts knowledge and skills to millions of biomedical professionals worldwide.

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