Post docs, graduate students and lab technicians/lab managers face decisions on how to advance their careers. With many options available it can often be difficult to choose which path to take. Master’s students have the option to continue on to doctoral studies, to apply for a lab technician/lab manager position or to pursue some other vocation such as medical school. For PhD grads the path will often involve post-doctoral work or a research associate position. As long as they choose to remain in the academic tract the path will be very well-defined and clearly laid out for them. The university environment acts like a cocoon protecting and shielding its inhabitants from outside pressures. There are plenty of mentors available who have graduated through the ranks and are willing to be consulted regarding their opinions and advice.

Graduate students may also choose to leave the academic tract and make the jump into industry. For many, the thought of landing a higher-paying job with benefits and stock options at a biotech or life science company is a lofty goal that they would do anything to achieve. However, a journey down the road to industry can be much bumpier and more complicated than taking the academic route. First and foremost, there are not as many experienced scientists who are willing and available to offer free advice to students who have recently graduated.

Secondly, the job market itself is difficult to define, and knowing when to jump into the job pool is an important factor that can ultimately decide one’s success in gaining industrial employment.

Lab technicians/lab managers must peer into the future and determine whether horizontal moves within their current place of employment to gain more experience and skills balance out against a move to a new place of employment.

Over the next few weeks we will interview people from academia and industry including professors, deans, CEOs, Lab managers and HR recruiters to hear their opinion on questions that are often on the minds of many graduate students. What can I do to prepare myself for making the jump to industry? When is the best time to make the transition? Are there any programs available (for example co-op programs) that will increase my chances of success?

If YOU have already made the transition and have advice for our dear students, please share! If you are a graduate student and have questions that you’d like answered send them to us and we will include them in our interviews. Don’t be shy! This might be the perfect opportunity for you to get the answers you are looking for.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Canadian Biotechnologist to hear what the experts have to say and don’t forget to check back often!

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lavan  |  February 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Graduated as Chemical Laboratory Technician and Biotechnology Technologist – Industrial Microbiology…both college diplomas from Toronto, Canada. Am looking into job and/or volunteer opportunities. Kindly appreciate any input/consideration

  • 2. Chris  |  January 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I’m student of Industrial Biotechnology, and I take up nanoparticles now. I live in Poland and that’s why I’m writing. What are the chances of finding a job as a biotechnologist in Canada. After graduate I’m planning to go to Canada. Is this a good idea?
    I will be grateful for any answer.

  • 3. dalal gasmalseed mohmed  |  April 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I’m student of Medical Biotechnology.I Live in Sudan and it’s the reason for my writing, because the field of biotechnology which is very marginalized.I Want to complete my studies in this filed ,hoping to help me note that I love that the most prominent in this area ,promising that do my best to become scientist in this filed.hope to respond to my letter. thank you

  • 4. Olalekan  |  April 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I am an international graduate in Biology/Microbiology and also an undergraduate student in Biotech-Industrial Microbiology at Centennial College of Applied Art and Technology, Toronto. I wish to volunteer myself in order to contribute to the growth of the organization and to gain more experience. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • 5. Patricia Castellanos  |  July 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I just got a master’s degree from U of T in Medical Science. I’m really interested into transfer to industry. I would like to explore opportunities on sales. Looking forward to hearing from you

  • 6. cheryl  |  January 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Hi there,
    I just graduated with a Master of Biotechnology from Australia. I am currently looking for job opportunities in both academia and industry fields. Seeking to gain more work experience and exposure to Biotechnology field in Canada.

    What is the job market like in Canada for foreigners? Will it be difficult for foreigners to get a job in this field in Canada?

    Please advise! Thank you in advance!

  • 7. Basak Sahin  |  October 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Hi, I have recently graduated with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering (University of Alberta, Edmonton,AB), after my BSc. in Molecular biology and Genetics (METU, Turkey). I am currently looking for job opportunities in both academia and industry. I have been working with:
    drug delivery
    gene therapy
    I would like to have a position where I can do hands on research and use my knowledge and experience; however, I am unsure about how to find appropriate positions in Edmonton, where it seems there is nothing at all, even though I am positive about moving to Vancouver.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: