biotech scares me

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by furcalchick, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #1
    i think i know what my main problem was for in looking for a job. i'm a recently graduated biology degree holder of bachelors, and i was worried about getting a job because of partially moral conflicts. i don't really trust the biotech industry at all now, and i'm not a fan of pharma and the such. i would be more interested in organic and natural medicine and nutrition and the such.

    now here's the problem: my degree is in biotech. how can i get a job writing for an holistic medicine company or diet/nutirtion company without more school? (i just got out). any other suggestions in what to look for?
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #2
    Well, at least you can be glad they didn't give you a degree in English, because then, I would question that institution's credentials :p (sorry- I couldn't help myself).

    Yeah- getting a degree in something specialized like biotech can narrow your paths and possibly get you into a job that you don't really like. I graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology about 3 years ago, and to be honest, I had no idea what to do with it. The industry is simply not for me. I'm too laid-back, and rather lazy.

    There are options out there. You can certainly teach, but that involves little pay and a ton of patience. You can also go to Grad school, and perhaps find a degree and program that interest you. UW (Seattle) and Arizona State have some of the top-notch nanotech programs out there, and if technology interests you, it's really the way of the future. There's a number of people that I know that have also gone on to either Med School, or even Law. Just figure out what you want to do, where you see yourself in say 10 years, and what you need to do to get there.
     
  3. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #3
    First the stupid question: why did you do a degree in biotech if you have moral conflicts with it?

    With a bachelors in bio you can't do much more than entry level menial tasks.
    Unless you already have an extensive research and publishing background.

    You are in the States where nutrition companies are bigge rliars than the pharma techs - you have a pretty good chance getting a job with then IF you are already known for your writing.
    These companies also like when people have fancy sounding degree titles so it makes them sound like they really know what they are talking about. So a PhD from University of Pheonix or other online degrees might be worth more than a legitimate B.Sc...
     
  4. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #4
    my diploma says bachelors' in biology, so it's more of a general biology degree instead of a super concentrated biotech degree.

    what happened was that i found out about how much me and biotech did not mix. the work load wasn't for me, as i'm a bit laid back and casual, and not really into constant high stress. and i found out most biotech now is in mega-corprates, and i'm not really into working with corporations. and during college, i changed my stance about drugs into the standard over drug policy and now opposed to many drugs made by biotech companies, as i think they are money-grabs and just sicken the people more. the medical industry isn't really too much where i want to go. i want to do an honest job that i want to feel ethically sound instead of being rich and selling my soul.
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
  6. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #6
    i wasn't really looking too much in a career in biology though. i was partially pressured into going biotech by professors (and actually wanted me to become a phd, which i decided not to because of the high stress and work environment involved). i was young and stupid, but i like to learn about biology. but a career in it isn't for me apparently.

    and i don't really have much of a record of anything. right now, i feel like a total loser and a failure.
     
  7. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #7
    I know someone who is in a very similar situation in the UK. (except he's deaf and is halfway through a PhD in marine biology).

    He's got severe moral doubts about the direction he's taking, and he doesn't like any of the companies that hire people with PhDs in his field.

    May I suggest you open your mind a little bit. Your biology degree and preference for ethical working with people lets you into anything that involves interacting with the public yet is connected with living things. e.g. park ranger, wildlife advisor, zoo support worker / tour guide, aquarium worker, beach officer, farms support worker, ecology worker, organic farm pest control, organic farm advisor, the list is never-ending.
     
  8. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #8
    i heard those jobs are mostly 8 bucks an hour. i need a livable wage...(this is how my prof got me wrangled into biotech).

    i was interested in biotech, but after finding out about the soft underbelly of the industry (selling a drug dependent culture, making people more sick instead of healing them, etc), i couldn't be in that industry with a clear conscience.
     
  9. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    How about finding out for yourself whether you can make a living rather than relying on third or fourth hand information from other people? It took me about ten seconds of googling to find, for example, the starting pay for park rangers in the U.S.
     
  10. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #10
    I wouldn't be so quick to write off all of biotech. I can understand if you don't want to use fetal tissue to grow a third arm to improve the crop yield of genetically modified corn that is then fed to bionic cows to form a giant cow army to take over Canada, but not *all* of the industry is focused on this singular effort.

    If you are at all intrigued by biotech then what you need to do is find a biotech job/company that suits you.

    The organic industry is BOOMING right now. There are probably good opportunities there if you look for them.

    Alternately, heed the earlier advice and join the Park Rangers....I know I think about it some days!
     
  11. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #11
    i'm not just talking about stem cells, i'm also talking about pharmaceuticals as well. i just don't feel right when i'm trying to promote some drug as a quick fix (it's more of a personal thing for me).

    and i'm not really interested in biotech too much. i think the whole industry is corrupt (at least for me) and i can do other things besides that for a career. i just need to finger on it. and also, i can't take lab jobs. stems to several incidents in college.

    and what's this organics industry?
     
  12. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #12
    The industry surrounding the organic production of food and other products.

    I got the impression that you were leaning towards an "we've manipulated too many damn things in the world stance." The organic food industry agrees and is trying to get the food industry to shift back toward healthily produced, quality food. Your interest in biology might help you here. It is a growing industry, so a living wage is likely. Just sounded like something that might be partially in-line with your training and also aligned with your personal philsophy.
     
  13. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #13
    Why so anti Pharma? I'm asking because from my stand point - Chemical Engineering student, I am looking to get a job next years, after I complete my masters and the pharma industry is something that I am looking at getting into. I just wondered what your problems where with it.
     
  14. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #14
    i think my stance with the industry would be similar to those of holistic health in that the industry is a big part pumping drugs that don't actually cure anything (not all drugs, but many), and these same drugs will just make you sicker. the other problem is that right now, america is promoting a popping pill culture which i don't like. also, the industry promotes that only drugs cure and nothing else and a few other things. i'm sure there is noble areas in biotech, but alot of it is gray for me and i just can't enter it.
     
  15. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #15
    In fact there are many drugs that do not cure the diseases they treat. See cancer drugs...for most of them, all we can do at this point is extend the person's life for a few months in many cases.

    Yes, biotech and pharma are businesses...they try to make money. It serves the shareholders, management and employees directly for them to do so. It also generates capital for development of further drugs.

    If the science backs up a treatment, doctors, patients, and drug companies will support it.

    Yes, there is some over-prescription of drugs...pharmaceutical sales are definitely under scrutiny. But the drug industries have done an awful lot of good over the years.
     
  16. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #16
    That is why I did not go into law. My degree was Poly Sci, with all intentions of going to law school. However, two close friends, both attorneys, talked me out of it. They explained I would hate law. They were right, and over the years I have been thankful for their advice. Yet, today I wish I was a new law school grad and could dedicate my time working to regain American freedoms. So, it is not always a cut and dry situation. You seem to have figured things out pretty well. Perhaps, you will find a way to use your skills in a way that gives you great job satisfaction, and builds the foundation for a more lucrative career later?
     
  17. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #17
    You have heard of the FDA, right?

    Am I the only person here who instantly thinks about Seinfeld when some mentions marine biology...?
     
  18. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #18
    The FDA has a lot issues. They have been allowing drugs to be rushed through clinical trials in recent years...great when the drug works out, but not so great when it doesn't.

    They also need to take a stand on the craziness in pharmaceutical marketing. I was just at my university's med school graduation a few weeks ago and the dean made several admonitions to the newly-minted doctors to not cave in to the marketing madness. The irony was two-fold: 1) He's been stalling about implementing policies at the university to curb the marketing, and 2) He's the former head of the FDA...he had ample opportunity to stand up to it, but he chose not to. He can conveniently talk the talk, but when it comes to action, he's still in the pockets of industry.
     
  19. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #19
    Well, I was going to say that if you do really hold these convictions, perhaps a law degree would be useful. I can understand your sentiments v. well. I used to do training in the largest pharmaceutical companies. Whereas many of the ground staff and ground level researchers may share your sentiments (especially after they've been there a few years), people in senior positions have reduced all humanity to a profit and loss sheet.. scary stuff. The world needs lawyers with your kind of background, for sure! (even though I am loathe to admit the world needs lawyers!)
     
  20. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #20
    i'm glad to see that you guys know my problem with biotech is right now, and why i can't go into it with a clear conscience. i don't want the only thing to become about $$$, and possibly why i couldn't go to law school either.

    i think this is what they call the quarter life crisis. it's probably new because of all the crossroads you have to take now.
     
  21. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #21
    this is what i'm talking about

    http://www.sciencejobs.com/insider/article.action?article.id=insider168&focusId=uk

    apparently, it looks like now that biotech is mostly about making new drugs, and as i stated already here, i'm not a big fan of the whole "drugs are the only way to treat and cure any condition" culture, where we can become dependent on drugs to live, and those drugs can just lead to more drugs. i also think sometimes that the drug companies don't really want to cure disease since they will be out of business, but that's another story. you get it by now, i don't like the culture drug companies promote, so i can't really get into biotech now without ethically throwing away everything.

    i'm going to read what color is my parachute again and see what i can dig up in what i can do and how i can break into something else besides the slimy drug induced world of biotech.
     
  22. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #22
    some ideas finally

    i have some more ideas of possibly what i can do that do not touch the biotech area.

    1. work at the georgia aquarium
    2. work for an ad agency, hopefully where i can have collaboration of ad projects in the company
    3. screenwriting maybe (turner is in atlanta, so it's not too farfetched)
    4. technical writing for a textbook publishing company for science text

    any ideas about other careers with writing (not interested in news-writing or media writing though) that are ethically sound are welcomed. right now i'm limiting my options to the atlanta area, but i could spread out to the west coast later or if worse gets to worse.
     
  23. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    i work in biotech (cancer research). of course i disagree with you moral objections but i as well can see that biotechs are as bad or as good as any other company.

    if you object to the drug culture i would try to go into the following fields:

    biotechs that work in fields where there is no therapy at all. it's always better to pay for expensive drugs than to suffer or die.

    biotechs that are in diagnostics. if you can detect cancer early enough it's curable by surgery and puts people like me out of business. cheap early diagnostics of cancer is sort of a holy gral and saves millions of people and keeps them free from drugs/chemotherapy

    biotechs that are not in biomedical. culturing bacteria that degrade oil films on the oceans or degrade PCP's in landfills are certainly a good thing (that could be naturally occuring bacteria, nothing gen modified!)

    you could "switch sides" and work for companies/government institutions that do safety monitoring to keep biotechs/pharmas from screwing up

    non profit organizations that monitor envirometal impact of the industry on nature and humans

    i think if you have your moral convictions you should think outside the box. then you can bring your ethics and your education together and do something meaningful.
     
  24. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #24
    i'm also very bad in labs. i mean horrible that i had to be banned several times from labs. if i were to break in this field at all, it would be from outside the lab.

    and about paying for expensive drugs instead...if the drugs will just make you suffer a low quality of life afterwards, some prefer for a quick death instead...so it's not always better.

    i'm starting to think me and science aren't meant for each other. and also because my friends all have jobs in their high school passion areas and i don't, i feel like a total failure. i'm really depressed about all this job searching business and i think i need to leave florida before i can be happy again.
     
  25. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    you're certainly not a failure just because you take your profession seriously. i have two friends having a PhD who left biotech. one is now a commercial pilot and happy, the other is becoming a chiropracter and she is also happy. in any case your education will broaden your skills and experience and help you in whatever career you do. take a vacation, don't feel guilty about the vacation and don't think too much and develop a feeling of what you want.
     

Share This Page