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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


Hi Samara, great question. One job where you could apply your love for genetics would be genetic counseling. Genetic counselors help families evaluate and understand risks of passing on medical conditions. They also help families or individuals with genetic disorders adapt to their conditions and make informed choices. Other jobs include pharmacology, plant breeding, or genetic research. I hope this helps and I wish you the best! Mireia R.

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Kay’s Answer

Yes! I graduated in 2017 with a degree in genetics, people often go a few different routes with is degree but as others have answered you have to do some self reflection on what you want/like.

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!

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Ken’s Answer

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:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
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 ##

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