Careers

BSc Biochemistry + lab experience = no entry level job?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 18th, 2015 5:17 pm
Tags:
None
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
7397 posts
558 upvotes
kasianman wrote:
Nov 30th, 2011 1:59 pm
How does someone have "entitlement problem" for wanting to dismiss a lab job paying $21K (minimum wage) with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry?

$21K is ridiculously low and insulting.

Well, it's not insulting to everyone. Some people might want it.
[OP]
Member
Aug 19, 2011
204 posts
22 upvotes
Pota85 - thanks for your input, really appreciated. It is really frustrating to complete a degree in something you enjoy, spend thousands of dollars for post-secondary education (which everyone throughout your life including the government tells you is neccessary), graduate with more debt than salary your being offered..only to find out that you might have to switch career cause u can't even land a job. Times are tough these days :(

Syne - ye tell me bout it! I'm not going to bust my ass off to make less than minimum wage. Funny thing is, during the interview they were demanding that I will have to work overtime and if i was fine with it, which i was....until they told me the salary. Btw the company is called Impopharma. Let em have it syne! From my knowledge, they interviewed over 20 people and many of them were recent graduates like myself. It's very discouraging to see people being taken advantage of. Also, during the interview i was informed that after my 3 month probation period i would get a pay increase of $300-500....is that supposed to entice me :facepalm:

Mefromparadise - Hmm maybe we were interviewed for the same position. However, in the case we were..I did have similar experiences. I went to the interview about 10 mins early. Was put in a room with the other 5 people who were also being interviewed. I then thought it was going to end up being a group interview. I was so wrong. Some of them had been apparently waiting for 30 minutes because the manager couldn't find a room to hold the interview in and had to wait till a room cleared out. After that we were called in one by one. 45min-1hr later i was called in. Manager asked me why i wanted to work in pharmaceuticals, asked what the health regulatory body was for Canada, and told me about the job and salary and conditions. All in all, I waited over 1hr for a 5 min interview. WASTE OF MY LIFE!
[OP]
Member
Aug 19, 2011
204 posts
22 upvotes
kmarcie - thanks for the info. Your experience seems like there's no future in this industry :( . Or at least if you don't get into one of the big pharm companies. I'll try to get in contact with hospitals and see what they offer. But from what I know most of their lab positions require that you have MLT license, which is another 3 years of schooling. Also, I did apply for lab positions at universities, however, I think in that case I am competing with MSc students with far better credentials compared to me.

kitty - thank the stars you haven't graduated within the last couple years cuase job prospects SUCK! (in the science field at least) and doing MSc or PhD is def not an option for me because I am not interested in wasting more time to end up in the same predicament. Think my best option right now is to look at other careers. Thanks for your input!
Member
Jun 5, 2010
280 posts
17 upvotes
Here are a few rules regarding these type of degrees. Unless you are willing to go into a Masters/PhD program, professional programs (medicine, dentistry, Pharmacy, medical radiation sciences, etc), NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO NEAR THEM!!!!!!

Stay clear of any Biology, life science, biochemistry, chemistry, zoology, etc degrees!!!

You will have sleepless nights memorizing and understanding complex systems only to graduate with no prospects. NOT WORTH IT!!! ANY KIDS READING THIS, UNDERSTAND, NOT WORTH IT!!!!!

Take it from someone who has a degree in one of those and couldn't even find a minimal wage job. I eventually continued my education and got a job right out of school making 3x more than what the OP was offered.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
2465 posts
331 upvotes
Toronto
gulmoh wrote:
Nov 30th, 2011 10:30 pm
Here are a few rules regarding these type of degrees. Unless you are willing to go into a Masters/PhD program, professional programs (medicine, dentistry, Pharmacy, medical radiation sciences, etc), NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO NEAR THEM!!!!!!

Stay clear of any Biology, life science, biochemistry, chemistry, zoology, etc degrees!!!

You will have sleepless nights memorizing and understanding complex systems only to graduate with no prospects. NOT WORTH IT!!! ANY KIDS READING THIS, UNDERSTAND, NOT WORTH IT!!!!!

Take it from someone who has a degree in one of those and couldn't even find a minimal wage job. I eventually continued my education and got a job right out of school making 3x more than what the OP was offered.

+1
[OP]
Member
Aug 19, 2011
204 posts
22 upvotes
to both gulmoch and repooch..what did you guys end up continuing your studies in? I have heard that even MSc students are in similar situations
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2008
135 posts
4 upvotes
manogah wrote:
Dec 1st, 2011 12:34 am
to both gulmoch and repooch..what did you guys end up continuing your studies in? I have heard that even MSc students are in similar situations

Truly this thread disgusts me, as a BSc I always thought we were worth more then this...

To answer your question MSc actually get it tougher imo, I hear so many stories of MScs being unemployed because they are too qualified. Someone here said to stay away from science, I would say they're right. It is insane how many science undergrads can not obtain decent employment.

As an aside, I dropped out of a BSc co-op program simply for the fact that I could not easily find meaningful employment for my first co-op term (and I tried!), after consulting with several masters level students the majority told me that they would do things differently if they had to do it over again. A telling sign. I immediately switched to business after I finished university. Just went straight to admin work in an office. I was low balled at 14.00 dollars an hour and I was outraged but after hearing this I guess I should've considered myself lucky... I continued on to obtain a CMA and now work in finance as a financial analyst.

I loved / love science, I find the material is intellectually stimulating and enjoy understanding more about the world. However that doesn't put food on the table or pay for a mortgage.

Good luck to you all, I feel for you.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 13, 2005
6773 posts
270 upvotes
Ottawa
gulmoh wrote:
Nov 30th, 2011 10:30 pm
Here are a few rules regarding these type of degrees. Unless you are willing to go into a Masters/PhD program, professional programs (medicine, dentistry, Pharmacy, medical radiation sciences, etc), NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO NEAR THEM!!!!!!

Stay clear of any Biology, life science, biochemistry, chemistry, zoology, etc degrees!!!

You will have sleepless nights memorizing and understanding complex systems only to graduate with no prospects. NOT WORTH IT!!! ANY KIDS READING THIS, UNDERSTAND, NOT WORTH IT!!!!!

Take it from someone who has a degree in one of those and couldn't even find a minimal wage job. I eventually continued my education and got a job right out of school making 3x more than what the OP was offered.
Creepy how I agree with you on this. I always discourage kids to go and get a BSc with dreams of getting into med. Most will not get into med then stuck with a very useless degree.
Quitco wrote:
Dec 1st, 2011 1:27 am
Truly this thread disgusts me, as a BSc I always thought we were worth more then this...

To answer your question MSc actually get it tougher imo, I hear so many stories of MScs being unemployed because they are too qualified. Someone here said to stay away from science, I would say they're right. It is insane how many science undergrads can not obtain decent employment.

As an aside, I dropped out of a BSc co-op program simply for the fact that I could not easily find meaningful employment for my first co-op term (and I tried!), after consulting with several masters level students the majority told me that they would do things differently if they had to do it over again. A telling sign. I immediately switched to business after I finished university. Just went straight to admin work in an office. I was low balled at 14.00 dollars an hour and I was outraged but after hearing this I guess I should've considered myself lucky... I continued on to obtain a CMA and now work in finance as a financial analyst.

I loved / love science, I find the material is intellectually stimulating and enjoy understanding more about the world. However that doesn't put food on the table or pay for a mortgage.

Good luck to you all, I feel for you.
haha guess we did the same thing. I switched gears and will get my CMA soon too. Accounting sure pays a heck lot more than a BSc will.

On the flip side, OP have you consider say an accounting designation? If you took basic accounting courses and pass the Accelerated Program you can get a CMA too. It's the easier of 3 accounting designations to get for us science grads. I know accounting is getting saturated but don't undercut your own skills you've picked up while getting your BSc. We're damn good at analazing and pulling insane hours too (well I am :) )! Labs + tutorials + lectures = many additional hours a business grad never had to endure on top of the course workload.

EDIT: got a few friends that have their PhD's in chem and having issues finding a job so...another advice is don't get too specialized in your field or it REALLY sucks too.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
3127 posts
265 upvotes
Toronto
Quite simply, the supply of science graduates at all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD) exceeds demand for them in the workplace.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
12869 posts
1103 upvotes
e-mail sent


xxxx@impopharma.com, xxxx@impopharma.com
Good morning,

It has come to my attention that a recent job opening posted for your company is offering a minimum wage ($21,000yr full-time) salary position with the expectation of overtime. Unless I was misinformed, the qualifications wanted are a university degree.

Speaking as someone who is over $50,000 in student debt after obtaining a B.Sc. and a 3yr College diploma, I just want to say it's sad and sickening to see postings like this. Not only are students plagued by opportunistic employers in the form of unpaid internships, but when they do find a paying job, often we find employers trying to skirt minimum wage laws by offering a "salary" such as yours. It would be funny if it wasn't so heartbreaking. That is the absolute lowest salary that can be offered in the province of Ontario by law. Just understand that if you do fill this position, assuming 2 weeks vacation (after all, why give more than the minimum, right?), you cannot require your worker to put in less than 40.97 hours of work in a week.

It's unfortunate that companies need constant oversight to ensure that they are following Ontario labour laws. I sometimes fear that nobody is holding their feet to the fire.

Have a good day,
Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Jr. Member
Jun 27, 2007
152 posts
8 upvotes
Brampton
I empathsize with the OP, it's very hard coming out of undergrad and realizing that prospects aren't too good, especially without connections. Personally, I didn't know this and felt that I wasn't prepared for this shock, even starting from high school. However, there are many jobs in the sciences to be had if you look in the right areas.

University Lab Tech positions pay at least 30K in my experience, it's a good palce to talk while gaining experience. Talk to Professors/PIs directly about these positions, I'm sure you know a few.

1-year college postgraduate programs can be very helpful (like you mentioned in QA). Some colleges have co-op placements at pharma companies which really opens the door for employment. Many employers will simply keep you after a co-op placement, as they've already spent the time to train you and have a need. Not only are BScs taking these program but also MScs and PhDs. You can make over 50K easily with your first job.
[OP]
Member
Aug 19, 2011
204 posts
22 upvotes
pursuing CMA is an option, however, i wonder how many years it will take for this field to become saturated considering the amount of CMA ads I've seen on the TTC subways lol.
1-year college postgraduate programs can be very helpful (like you mentioned in QA). Some colleges have co-op placements at pharma companies which really opens the door for employment. Many employers will simply keep you after a co-op placement, as they've already spent the time to train you and have a need. Not only are BScs taking these program but also MScs and PhDs. You can make over 50K easily with your first job.
this seems like my best bet for now. 1 year program and u get some credentials and hands-on/work experience. But i guess we all just have to ride the wave out and hope for the best. Good luck to all the others in the same situation as me
Member
Jan 27, 2010
440 posts
47 upvotes
Don't feel too bad, I've got a BSc in chem eng with a whack of experience from summer jobs and a lengthy internship, and I've been searching for 11 months with no offers. The job market is just really terrible right now.

Also, for people screaming "Entitlement!" because OP didn't take the minimum-wage job: I earned over 30k as a research assistant before I even graduated. The salary at that job is considerably less than the stipend given to many grad students in science programs, for roughly the same type of work and no certification at the end.

My advice is for the time being, either go take some college post-grad courses, or find some part-time work in an unrelated field. Tons of restaurants do extra hiring for the holidays, and it's definitely a boost to at least have some income and something productive to do during the day.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
12844 posts
571 upvotes
The OP has lab experience, correct?

So you should know your Fisher, Mandel, VWR sales, support and service reps by first name...into Genetics, what about Illumina, Life, Roche. Actually, every piece of equipment, every reagents, every chemical is a contact in to a company. You could easily have 20 contacts....in a Clinical Lab maybe 50.

You also have to remember that your career path is like a jungle gym...not a ladder. A friend of mine is a great example: Biochem/Genetics degree, Customer Service, Technical Support, Technical Project Manager, Customer Service Manager Chemical, National Sales Manager.
Newbie
Oct 28, 2009
1 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto
Hi manogah,

I'd like to share my experience with you. I graduated from university with an honours BSc. degree in Biology in 2006. Like you, I was having a hard time finding a job and even considered going to Nursing or Accounting. I was applying to jobs for 4 months, until I found a position for a Regulatory Affairs Specialist position at a Clinical Research site for an investigator. That was the pivotal point in my career as it opened my horizon to regulatory affairs (RA) and the pharmaceutical industry. I worked at the research site for a year, and then decided I wanted to pursue a post-grad degree in RA. I quit my job, applied to the Humber college RA program and got accepted. The program was 8 months, and then got a one year paid internship position at a large pharmaceutical company. After that, I got hired permanently full-time. I'm currently working at the same company and love the work that I'm doing.

My advice: if you're open to QA/QC or RA, definitely apply to Seneca College or Humber College. These post-grad programs are great because they have an internship component. At least that is a foot in the door into the company.

Hope this helps. Don't give up - I've been there and know how you feel
× < >

Top