Want free career or academic advice
from a professional?

Have an Answer?

1 Answer


Sue Merritt

Let me address the biotech side of this question, since "science" is such a broad term, it would be difficult to boil down. I have 18 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, though I am a computer scientist rather than a "scientist scientist".

Biotech careers are incredibly varied. If you like technology and see yourself contributing to science from behind a computer rather than in a lab, there are many ways to do so. You can be a computational chemist, a computational biologist, or a bioinformatician. These kinds of careers develop and apply computer tools to model chemical, biological and genetic processes. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies employ experts in these fields to help narrow down and hopefully identify potential medicines computationally, before testing them in laboratories (a much more expensive process).

The computational scientists I've worked with are experts in computers - comfortable developing their own algorithms. But they also have advanced degrees in biology, genetics/genomics, chemistry or physics. They love to apply technology to real-world biotech problems, and they are often a bridge between pure science and technology. They are seen as the computer experts to their scientific colleagues, and can advise technology colleagues (IT folks) on the scientific basis for the computation they are doing.

This is just one flavor of biotech career. You can also, of course, pursue the pure science route, get a bachelor's degree (or better yet, a masters or a Ph.D.) and work in a lab as a biologist, biochemist, chemist, geneticist, biophysicist and many other "ists". And let's not forget the mathematics route into biotech. Mathematicians can find careers in biotech as biostatisticians and clinical statisticians.

This is just a taste of the variety of biotech careers out there. I hope this helped a bit.

Answered 6 years ago

Sue Merritt