Giving up on research. What next?
October 29, 2011 1:48 PM Subscribe
Recent bioscience graduate is unsure what to do with his life. Science writing a possibility. Suggestions?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I recently graduated with a top Biochemistry degree from a good UK university.
I'm currently doing getting some unpaid experience in an academic lab but I've already got a fair amount of experience now (including a summer stint in a lab abroad) and I'm realising that it's not for me. The work is pretty dull, and in between database curation I do a few PCRs. I'm not enjoying that lab environment, and all my experience considered, I'm planning on abandoning any plans of going into research.
I'm deeply interested in science, but maybe not in actually doing it. It's too slow-paced and solitary a life. I care about science, but I want to work with a team to solve interesting problems, and I want to create. I've not found those needs satisfied from the experience I've had of research labs.
Science writing is something of a forte of mine, and I have experience with writing for science blogs and with my alma mater's student paper, so I have something of a portfolio. I plan on getting experience in scientific publishing, and hopefully in science journalism, but are these avenues dead-ends? Most high-up science publishing jobs seem to demand specific PhDs (something I'm not interested in getting), and for all I know science journalism is a dying industry. Is there limited room for career development in this field?
I'm struggling to find direction and to know what routes are open to me, let alone which ones I might want to take. A recent diagnosis of depression is making it hard for me to think clearly about this. As I see it, my next steps are to apply for positions with London-based science publishing houses (and there are jobs going) and find my feet in that world.
tl;dr: It is too early to write off a career in research? Am I barking up the wrong tree by wanting to pursue science publishing/writing? What other sectors should a recent bioscience grad be looking at? A friend, for example, said it recently occurred to him that I should start coding. I'm taking that advice seriously and plan on learning to code part-time, but those are the sorts of suggestions I need—careers advice from out-of-left-field; quirky occupations I wouldn't normally think of but would appeal to an analytical, somewhat-creative mind and a need to be working on a team project.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous because of details about mental illness and my current employer.