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How to Land a Job in Biotechnology

Biotechnology was a stumbling field during the economic crash and the recession, but it is starting to bounce back making this a good time to get involved. It can be contentious field-depending on what area you work in-and you may have to do as much talking as researching, but it can also be rewarding, particularly if you want to work in the health and medical field, but you don’t want to be a doctor or nurse. If you like working in research, working with cutting edge innovations, and you want to help people, then biotechnology may be right for you, but what will it take to actually land a job in this competitive field?

The Right Education

No matter what aspect of biotech you want to work in-marketing or research and development, it starts with getting a good education. Many colleges do offer at least an associate’s degree in biotech which will let you break into pharmaceutical companies. You may want to go even farther with a Bachelor’s in biotech, a PhD (for research and development in particular) and branch into areas like biology, communication and marketing. You’ll also end up taking a lot of mathematics and science courses so make sure you have an aptitude for these things before you start. Your education will branch a little depending on what in particular you want to do-for example if you want to work in pharmacy sales, you’ll want greater emphasis on marketing and communication studies.

Networking

Every job nowadays demands a certain level of networking and biotech is no different. You can do this through doing internships (you can do them while in school) which gives you a leg-up over strangers applying for jobs, participating in job fairs and events, and getting to know others in the industry who can help you get in faster. Even simply remaining persistent in seeking a job can help you to stay in the forefront of HR’s minds when looking for workers.

Biotechnology is also a comparatively tight field; people tend to know each other, so once you get that first job and start putting yourself out there, other opportunities become more readily available, so keep pushing!

Be Able to Move from Research Mode to Business Mode

Biotechnology is very much about bringing research into the real world, taking an idea from its beginning to its practical applications in the world. This means that the successful biotechs will be able to take an idea and run with it, from getting it up and running to selling it to the public. If you want to work in biotech, it’s very important to understand both the research and development end of things and the marketing and communications end so that you can do your job and be good at it. This can be challenging for many people as it’s hard to shift from pure mental to pure people based, but it’s very rewarding too. Just make sure you’re willing to fully immerse yourself in both sides so that you can be useful to both ends!

Biotechnology is an exciting field for many people; the ability to advance technology and the world we have using biology is interesting, if controversial in many cases. But if you have a thick skin, the ability to research and market and you enjoy always learning, this could be the field for you and your dream job could be waiting. Good luck!