Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nonacademic Careers for BioScientists

According to the National Postdoctoral Association and NSF, more PhDs will eventually pursue nonacademic careers.

Here is a list I have thought of and compiled of non-academic careers/areas pursued by bioscience graduate students and PDFs.

1. Management Consulting
2. Science Writing/Editing
3. Pharma Field or R & D Scientist / Sales
4. Biotech Field or Application Scientist / Sales
5. Patent Agent / Tech Transfer Officer / Patent Attorney
6. Science Communications
7. Government Research and Development
8. Research Administration (Federal, Provincial)
9. High School Teacher / Head of Science
10. Science Outreach Programs
11. Science / Medical Liaison
12. Science Policy (see first resource below)
13. Market Analyst (Consult biotech for Finance)
14. Intelligence Analyst (for the Government)
15. Grad Student/PDF Career Advisor (after some experience)
16. Science Translator (for foreign labs wanting to publish in English, recently saw an ad in LinkedIn)
17. Non-profit, Independent Science Research Foundations
18. Applications for Social Programs, Public Health Organizations
19. Environmental Policy and Research
20. Forensic Science
21. Research Projects for Biodefence
22. Think Tanks
23. Science Consultant for Entertainment Industry
24. Venture Capitalist (after years of experience in biotech)
25. Cosmetic Industry Scientist
26. Global Health Scientist
27. Medicinal Plant Research and Development

And more, suggested by other colleagues:
28. Market Research Consultant
29. Regulatory Affairs
30. Clinical Trial Management
31. Science Recruiter
32. Food Science
33. Nutrition and Food Supplement Industry

Read my "Career Transitions" and "Serving the World with Science" to help you achieve any one of these dream careers.

Also, you are an intelligent, problem-solving leader! You can make your own career that is not even a list. Add some creativity, your expertise and some passion - read "Living your Dream."

For those with children, join a new linkedin group "Parents with PhDs" to form peer mentor groups and keep focused on career development even during the hardest times of integrating family.

Here is my Science Careers Article
Here is the updated 2013 list.

Other resources:

Good luck!


  1. Nana,
    More information for those interested in pursuing careers in science writing:

  2. I would add to it self employed/enterpreneur. There is plenty smart people around:)

  3. Love the article and the name, Dr. Mama!

  4. Hello Lidia-verse,
    So true, that would be me!

  5. Nana,

    Thanks so much for this list. What about Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Trial Management as well?


  6. I have a list on my blog also, that might give some additional ideas. It's at .


  7. Don't forget Scientific Recruiters :) There are a handful of us PhD types who made THAT transition!


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