How to take transferable skills out of the lab and into a job

Science has a new article on their careers site about developing skills during your education that can transfer into a career outside of academia.  Communication, leadership, and management skills are highly valued in industry and public sector jobs but tend to get minimal attention during the average graduate or post-doctoral program.

“The quality that is hardest to find in the science policy world is the ability to write clearly and quickly,” says John Marburger, Washington, D.C.-based science adviser to President George W. Bush. “Communicating technical material in technical journals does not give you the skills to communicate to nontechnical audiences,” he says.

The article suggests some resources, such as the National Postdoctoral Association, that students and postdocs can turn to for help in understanding and developing these skillsets.  Some of the suggestions in the article will be familiar to readers of this blog — joining Toastmasters or relevant campus clubs, for example.  The suggestion to take charge of a lab responsibility, like radiation safety, as a way of demonstrating leadership is also a good one.

You may have noticed that there’s been a bit of a gap in posting lately.  I’ve actually just started a new job myself, so things might be a little uneven until I get settled.  Thanks for your patience!

Posted: March 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Two key skill sets most biotech scientists lack — and why they don’t get paid more

About 250,000 scientists are employed by biotech firms in the United States today, and a career in commercial biotech is a goal for many PhDs, post-docs, and undergraduate science students.

Recently Fiona Murray, an associate professor from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, carried out a study of knowledge work in this sector that provides enlightening reading for those interested in a biotech career.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Preclinical R&D | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »