Science careers

Pfizer has pledged to donate up to $10,000 to the cause of science education, through Donorschoose.org, but only if enough of you, dear readers go to Big Think: Think Science Now and vote for your favorite video. If you're not familiar with Pfizer, they're a pretty well-known drug company. You probably read about one of their products every time you delete messages from your e-mail in-box. You don't even have to watch the videos, just vote. I strongly ... Read more
A little over ten years ago, Dr. Elaine Johnson obtained funding from the National Science Foundation to start Bio-Link, an Advanced Technology Education center, focused on biotechnology. Since that time, Dr. Johnson has become a national leader in biotech education, enlisting the country's top educators and industry captains to ensure that community college students receive a quality education and the best preparation possible for entering the workforce. In this radio interview from Tech Nation, Dr. Johnson talks with Dr. Moira Gunn about the ... Read more
For aspiring technicians, who live in the right parts of the country, biotech jobs are out there and waiting. But what if you don't want to be a technician? Or what if you're in graduate school, in a post-doc, or have a Ph.D. and simply want to do something else? Where do you begin? How do you know what sorts of positions are going to be a good match for your skills and talents? Is the outlook really as bleak as it may seem? First, the prelude. Most of what I'm ... Read more
"Why won't biotech companies hire people with Ph.D.s to be technicians?" "I already have a Ph.D., how do I find a job?" These were some of the questions that commenters left after my earlier posts (here, here and here) on biotechnology workforce shortages. Unfortunately, ... Read more
Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing Where do all the flowers gone? Long time ago Where do all the flowers gone? Young girls picked them everyone, When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? -Pete Seeger Where do graduate students and post-docs go when they decide it's time to leave the pipeline? And, if they're thinking about going, how do they find a path into something new? These questions are especially timely given all the current NIH funding issues. It's odd, too, that we probably have the data, that is, I think we can count the number of people ... Read more
In part I, I wrote about the shortage of technicians in the biotechnology industry and the general awareness that this problem is getting worse. This part will address the challenge of getting more students into programs that will prepare them for jobs in the biotech field. I've also been asked to write a bit more about finding jobs in companies, that post will be a bit later. Before proceeding, there are two points that need a bit of discussion. The first point is the whether there's a ... Read more
Workforce shortages are a growing problem in the biotech industry. Communities are concerned that a lack of trained workers will either keep companies away or cause companies to move. If companies do have to move, it's likely those jobs might be lost forever, never to return. According to Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor, now a professor at UC-Berkeley, biotech companies that can't hire in the U.S. will recruit foreign workers or open research centers overseas (Luke Timmerman, Seattle PI). ... Read more

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