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Any Biologists/Chemists here? (That means you Doctors/dentists/pharmacists) - Page 3

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post
Are you pretty much SOL for jobs with anything less than an advanced degree in Chemistry?

There are generally plenty of jobs for BS and MS chemists. The situation is a little tougher in the current economy. The issue is really what type of work you want to do, and how far you can advance. There's a pretty hard glass ceiling many places, you will not be allowed to lead a project without a PhD.
post #32 of 60
Michio Kaku will be on Letterman tonight, for those of you who are into physics.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwyhajlo View Post
Pharmacy is great. There's usually work to be had, especially if you're willing to relocate to relatively rural communities. There's two main routes that most people take after finishing pharmacy school: community (the corner pharmacy) or hospital. They both have their advantages, but I like hospital.
My gf is doing retail. She would switch to hospital immediately if she wouldn't have to take a 30k pay cut. She's basically running a cash register for 6 figures and dealing with assholes all day long. My heart goes out to anyone working with the public for minimum wage.
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post
My gf is doing retail. She would switch to hospital immediately if she wouldn't have to take a 30k pay cut. She's basically running a cash register for 6 figures and dealing with assholes all day long. My heart goes out to anyone working with the public for minimum wage.

Wow, a $30k difference? Hospital pharmacists usually get paid less here too, but it's not that big of a difference. If you don't mind me asking, where does she work?
post #35 of 60
To the OP,

If you are trying to figure out what to do with your undergraduate science degree (that is the vibe I'm getting off your post), then I would highly recommend that you shadow or volunteer in different settings and see what is involved. I am an academic physician and my day is divided between seeing patients, doing procedures, teaching students/residents/fellows/other physicians, and doing clinical trials. It is a very long road to get this point, but if you enjoy the type of work, you don't really notice the long hours quite as much. For me, the intensive schooling in med school, the long hours of residency, the pressure of fellowship, and the responsibilities of my current job were always off-set by some sense of satisfaction. Mind you, if you had described my current work day to me when I was 20 years old, I would have recoiled in terror and never would have ended up doing what I am currently doing. But I always seemed to find ample opportunity at every step in my education to get out and satisfy my needs as a young male (ala every topic in the dumb threads section of this forum) and still get where I am today. And as you age and (hopefully) mature, your interests and priorities change, and it becomes a little bit more comfortable settling into a different very different role. Like I said, what I am doing now would have seemed very daunting to me as a 20 year old, but now it is very intellectually and professionally satisfying.

I suspect that if you asked the lawyers or business people on this forum, they would probably tell you something very similar. You change as you get older (take it from me, a true free spirit), so don't be intimidated by the seemingly long hours or long path to your professional goal. If you like the job, it won't really feel like work. Or something like that....
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by fareau View Post
To the OP,

If you are trying to figure out what to do with your undergraduate science degree (that is the vibe I'm getting off your post), then I would highly recommend that you shadow or volunteer in different settings and see what is involved. I am an academic physician and my day is divided between seeing patients, doing procedures, teaching students/residents/fellows/other physicians, and doing clinical trials. It is a very long road to get this point, but if you enjoy the type of work, you don't really notice the long hours quite as much. For me, the intensive schooling in med school, the long hours of residency, the pressure of fellowship, and the responsibilities of my current job were always off-set by some sense of satisfaction. Mind you, if you had described my current work day to me when I was 20 years old, I would have recoiled in terror and never would have ended up doing what I am currently doing. But I always seemed to find ample opportunity at every step in my education to get out and satisfy my needs as a young male (ala every topic in the dumb threads section of this forum) and still get where I am today. And as you age and (hopefully) mature, your interests and priorities change, and it becomes a little bit more comfortable settling into a different very different role. Like I said, what I am doing now would have seemed very daunting to me as a 20 year old, but now it is very intellectually and professionally satisfying.

I suspect that if you asked the lawyers or business people on this forum, they would probably tell you something very similar. You change as you get older (take it from me, a true free spirit), so don't be intimidated by the seemingly long hours or long path to your professional goal. If you like the job, it won't really feel like work. Or something like that....

What kind of medicine do you practice? Out of interest, what made you choose that over other fields you may have been first interested in.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
There are generally plenty of jobs for BS and MS chemists. The situation is a little tougher in the current economy. The issue is really what type of work you want to do, and how far you can advance. There's a pretty hard glass ceiling many places, you will not be allowed to lead a project without a PhD.

Could one hit the $50k mark with a BS?
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post
Could one hit the $50k mark with a BS?

Certainly, although I don't know quite how common it is.

The real issue, for someone interested in science, is what you'll actually be doing on the job. You don't get a lot of freedom as a BS worker most places. Forget about leading projects, no matter how good you are.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwyhajlo View Post
Wow, a $30k difference? Hospital pharmacists usually get paid less here too, but it's not that big of a difference. If you don't mind me asking, where does she work?

Target, perhaps that's where the difference comes from. I believe that Target pays a little more than most other retailers.
post #40 of 60
Well it looks like my degree will be entirely for show then. If nothing else chemistry is nifty to know.
post #41 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post
Well it looks like my degree will be entirely for show then. If nothing else chemistry is nifty to know.

Generally they'll let you run machines, prepare samples, that kind of thing.

The problem with a BS chem is that you really don't have a lot of useful skills. Decent amount of book knowledge, but even there, not usually enough in any one area to be all that useful. If you did research, you'll be better off.

I was shocked when I got to grad school just how little I actually knew (and I did research in undergrad). It took a couple years before I could really dive in and do serious research. I'm an experimental physical chemist though, there's a big learning curve for all the highly specialized and often home-built stuff we use.

Once I became an adequate researcher, I had to train a number of brand new grad students. Very few were at all useful right out of undergrad, only a few elite ones were even up for doing real work after a year.

Not trying to dump on you, I was a BS chemist at one point. It's just sort of the nature of the beast.
post #42 of 60
No hate at all. I really appreciate knowing this. As much as I love chemistry, there's not a chance that I could do another 4 years of school. 2 years I could hang for biochem, but a PhD isn't for me. A few more questions if you don't mind: -Do have a general idea of how much competency counts for when it comes to BS chem jobs? I'm a quick learner, consistently kick ass in (and enjoy) chem lab, and am highly motivated when it comes to working. I love working. As long as I'm busy doing something productive that produces tangible results and doesn't involve accounting, I'm quite happy. Overtime, difficult tasks , etc. all serve as motivation. I realize that I would never be leading jobs, but is it realistic to expect tangible benefits if I bust ass? Is there even a way to bust doing lab work? -Do they care about your GPA if you've got the degree when it comes to getting a job? -Would work in chemistry make me look good for grad school like lab work does? I've been burned out on school for the last 4 years, but figure that I may take an interest in advancing my chemistry career if I decide that it's what I want to do with my life and have had a bit of a break from the classroom. -Can you get the same job with a BA in chem? Can I get any chem related job with a BA? It's 8 less calculus + calc labs and recitations, which are responsible for almost half of my resentment toward school. It also means that I get to take biochem and lit courses, which don't fit in to my schedule now. -Does everything that you said about grad school for chem apply for bio? I have a friend who's a double major spanish/BA bio with a 3.7 and guaranteed research work this summer and an opening for next semester, but has no fucking clue what she wants to do with it. She's thinking about med school or grad school but at this point has zero direction and doesn't really want to be a doctor. She thought that she wanted to be a biological anthropologist for a while, but decided that it wasn't for her. Any thoughts there? Would taking a break between graduation and applying for grad school hurt her chances of getting in?
post #43 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post
No hate at all. I really appreciate knowing this. As much as I love chemistry, there's not a chance that I could do another 4 years of school. 2 years I could hang for biochem, but a PhD isn't for me.


There's a lot in there, I'll hit most of it.

First: science graduate programs are a little different. You shouldn't really think of it as "four more years of school." I had to take six classes in grad school. Not six a semester, six total (I actually took ten, but didn't need to) You'll spend 99% of your time in lab. Classes are viewed as an annoying hoop you have to jump through. So is teaching, for that matter.

On the day to day level, it's basically like having a job. It's a strange and often unpleasant type of job, but you are much more a "worker" than a "student." If you're just sick of "school," you may love graduate work. You get to do a lot of really neat science and play with cool toys, without the concern of the bottom line.

I am not trying to sell you on getting a PhD, just giving a bit of perspective on the process.

Quote:
A few more questions if you don't mind:
-Do have a general idea of how much competency counts for when it comes to BS chem jobs? I'm a quick learner, consistently kick ass in (and enjoy) chem lab, and am highly motivated when it comes to working. I love working. As long as I'm busy doing something productive that produces tangible results and doesn't involve accounting, I'm quite happy. Overtime, difficult tasks , etc. all serve as motivation. I realize that I would never be leading jobs, but is it realistic to expect tangible benefits if I bust ass? Is there even a way to bust doing lab work?
Honestly I really have no first hand experience with this. I haven't actually worked in an environment where they have any BS workers, oddly enough. Grad school, teaching, and soon a government lab where everybody is a postdoc or higher.

I imagine it's like anything else, people who care, are highly skilled, and work hard will get rewarded. You'd likely get the less mundane work, get raises, etc.

Quote:
-Do they care about your GPA if you've got the degree when it comes to getting a job?
No idea. They'd likely overlook a lot if you have research experience. I got into grad school and into a very good lab because I had several publications (not first author) coming out of undergrad, despite a mediocre GPA.

And yes, you can absolutely bust ass doing lab work. Many graduate students will work 12+ hour days on a regular basis. Your opportunities to do that would be lower in a BS industry job I'd imagine, but I'm sure it comes up.

Quote:
-Would work in chemistry make me look good for grad school like lab work does? I've been burned out on school for the last 4 years, but figure that I may take an interest in advancing my chemistry career if I decide that it's what I want to do with my life and have had a bit of a break from the classroom.
It's a mixed bag, and depends on what kind of lab you'd be looking at. Labs that have a preference for pushing the academic track will actually hold it against you. They want people that are 100% dedicated to research. The fact that you have more real world experience is outweighed by the fact that you haven't demonstrated total commitment. Other labs will simply appreciate your additional skills. For admission purposes, it'll help if you find a lab that likes your skills, and can't hurt you otherwise.

I know some people that spent time in industry and are now working on PhD's. Most of them quit. A few made it through. Then again, most people in general quit before finishing.

Quote:

-Can you get the same job with a BA in chem? Can I get any chem related job with a BA? It's 8 less calculus + calc labs and recitations, which are responsible for almost half of my resentment toward school. It also means that I get to take biochem and lit courses, which don't fit in to my schedule now.
I've never seen stats on BA chem jobs, but I doubt they'd care much. I'm a physical chemist and honestly I don't use calculus much at all. There is probably a slight bias towards BS over BA, but I don't know how significant it would be. If you're on the biochem end of things, I imagine the concern would be lower.

Quote:


-Does everything that you said about grad school for chem apply for bio? I have a friend who's a double major spanish/BA bio with a 3.7 and guaranteed research work this summer and an opening for next semester, but has no fucking clue what she wants to do with it. She's thinking about med school or grad school but at this point has zero direction and doesn't really want to be a doctor. She thought that she wanted to be a biological anthropologist for a while, but decided that it wasn't for her. Any thoughts there? Would taking a break between graduation and applying for grad school hurt her chances of getting in?
Don't know so much about the attitudes in bio. I would really hesitate to advise grad school for someone that isn't passionate about research. As said in another thread, you should really be trying to decide exactly what facet of your existing research passion you want to pursue, not trying to figure out "wtf do I like about bio (chem/etc) anyway?"
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleCozy View Post
I'm going to dentist school this fall, will be some tough years but well worth it! Will probably move to the UK due to the high wages for dentists there, work for a few year, move back to Sweden and raise up the kids! Will perhaps go into private practice later in life.
i'm starting dschool this fall as well. are you going to school in the states? on another note, i'm finally realizing the financial commitment i'm about to make...nyu=70k/year in tuition(living expenses not included)x4 years=FML
post #45 of 60
If you truly love science and basic science research, then you should probably consider a Ph.D. rather than pursuing a degree in healthcare. Most M.D.'s who thought they wanted to stay in academics leave for private practice (even the M.D./Ph.D.'s). Keep in mind that if you go after the M.D., it is not only the 4 years in med school, but 3-8 years of post-med school training for residency/fellowship, for a total of 7-12 years before you are done (assuming you didn't do a 2nd degree).

By that point, most M.D.'s I know feel that they went through so much training that it isn't worth giving up for a path in research. In most academic centers, you are required to be 80/20 for a tenure pathway. On top of that, if you are more interested in the research than in patient care, you leave yourself handicapped even with 80% of time to research, since you are competing with Ph.D.'s with more research training who can also devote 100% of their time to grant procurement. Further, even though the gap is closing salary wise between private practice and major academic centers because of Medicare slashes in reimbursement, there is still a substantial difference. Unless you have wealthy parents or a lot of money saved up, you will likely finish med school with a massive debt that needs to be paid off, making that extra money even more appealing.
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