3 answers

What degree is more helpful between biochemistry, molecular biology, or microbiology?

Asked Dallas, Texas

I am a currently biochemistry student and I am very indecisive in my career path. I want to ultimately research and help in the process of creating medicines and treatments to disorders, but I also want to study genetics and cancer stem research. So, I have decided to either undertake a minor or double major in molecular biology or microbiology. Correct me on this if I am wrong, but I researched that with a biochemistry degree one can utilize it to help make medicine or find treatments to diseases and disorders. Meanwhile, a molecular biology degree can be utilized to study disorders and bacterial diseases. So, which degree would be more helpful towards a job field as described? My college only provides molecular biology, biochemistry, biology and a minor in microbiology
#biology #medical #biochemistry #science #molecular-biology #microbiology #genetics #diseases

3 answers

Ransi’s Answer

Updated

Molecular biology and biochemistry would support careers in drug development. Since medicine is more focused on biologic treatments (like antibodies and gene therapy), studying molecular biology may leave you better prepared for work in biopharmaceuticals compared to biochemistry and microbiology.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

The route that you take relates directly to how you personality traits match with others in an area of specialty.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Vicky’s Answer

Updated Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I agree with both Ken and Ransi.


Both biochemistry and molecular biology are core components in drug development with a fair bit over overlap. Don't forget that whatever you major in will just be a foundation and you will be continuing to learn throughout your entire career!


That being said, what you are most passionate/enjoy the most will be more important since research and academia is tough.

Vicky recommends the following next steps:

  • Decide what you enjoy more fundamentally
  • Talk to people in drug development - ask your parents' friends, family or just contact people on LinkedIn who are in the job you want to strive for and ask them for a few minutes to talk about how they got there.
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