What careers are there involving genetics?
I am a high school senior wanting to pursue a career in biology, involving genetics, but I don't have a good idea to what careers are out there. Are there any good career opportunities out there for someone who is interested in genetics?
#medicine #genetics #career-advice #biology
There are many opportunities in the area of genetics. The most important thing is for you to find the one that fits your personality traits the best. Then, to confirm and/or narrow down your interest areas, contact and get to know people who are doing what you think that you might want to do so you can see what they do, where they do it, find out how you feel about what they are doing, and get their suggestions.
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:
Common post graduate routes:
1) Research, many of my former classmates went into research en route to a PhD program, others into industry for example in agriculture. This is likely the most commonly known area for employment after graduation.
2) Medical School, the vast majority of my class took this route.
3) Genetic Counselors, this combines a deep passion and understanding of genetics and interacting with patients. This does require additional schooling post graduation. (Masters degree and board certification)
4) Government, FDA, BARDA, HHS and other agencies are a non traditional route but something to be considered. These jobs often require more experience and are a little harder to find, these are civil servants and not political appointees.
5) Other, this is actually where I am, I have found that studying genetics gives you a leg up in terms of understanding detail, reading and interpreting research publications. With the addition in being a person that chose an area that is rapidly evolving such as genetics you have to work in a way that is nimble, and in an area with high regulatory scrutiny which is valuable in the medical device/pharmaceutical/biologics world.
This was a fantastic question and something I asked when I was graduating!