Career Opportunities in the Biological Sciences

The current market for MS-level scientists is excellent. In the MS program in cell biology and biotechnology, we will prepare you with the educational and technical skills to fill mid- and upper-level technical positions in the private and governmental sectors, as well as instructor positions in the academic sector.

PhD graduates will have a strong set of career skills & allow entry into industry, academic and governmental and related positions.

As a graduate of the program you will also have the background and training necessary to pursue advanced training in cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, or medicine.

Career Outlook

The pharmaceutical industry is shifting from a synthetic chemistry approach to a cellular and molecular biology approach based on targeted drug design. There is a large and diverse market for those trained in manipulating cells and their products in technical and research environments. This market is fueled by:

  • The technological and scientific needs of the Human Genome Project.
  • Genetic engineering for the production of new medicinal products.
  • The changing nature of the fermentation industry.
  • Increased appreciation of genetic system malfunction as the origin of disease.
  • Calls for interdisciplinary approaches by government, industry and professional discipline organizations.

Increased Demand for Master's-Level Scientists

Qualified master's graduates are in demand in the biopharmaceutical industry. Many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are seeking job candidates who have an MS in cell biology, biochemistry, or biology. Many pharmaceutical, biochemical, biotechnology, and bioengineering companies in the region and nationally have listed MS-level positions with experience in cell biology and/or biotechnology within the last year.

Science magazine, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, frequently lists MS positions for those with a background in cellular and molecular biology research at academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories. The potential for obtaining challenging and rewarding positions with the MS degree is better than it has ever been and shows every indication of continuing to grow.

As companies try to maintain costs in a competitive global market, many jobs that would have been reserved for PhD-level scientists are now being filled with master's-level scientists. Scientists with an MS degree often have more flexibility in their ability to change projects and priorities and function well in a team-organized research group, usually headed by a senior research scientist.

The MS degree will allow you to balance the need of educational training beyond the BS degree while not investing as large an amount of time and cost as would be required by a Ph.D. program. Additionally, if you are interested in research at the highest level, the MS provides the requisite training and background to pursue the advanced PhD degree.

PhD Careers

There is an increasing need for highly-qualified and highly skilled doctoral researchers, supervisors, team or division leaders, and a variety of other managerial or supervisory roles. An emphasis on research success skills (presentation, grant-writing) and an interdisciplinary approach will provide an advantage to the PhD graduate seeking employment.

Career Services

From career counseling, to helping you develop networks with other alumni, to helping you make contacts in the pharmaceutical industry, we can help you advance and develop your career. For information and assistance, contact our Office of Career Services at (215) 596-8735.

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