I need a better job! What's an introvert with a B.S. to do??
May 16, 2014 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Here's my situation: I graduated with a bachelor's in biology, and have had a series of jobs I liked, involving wildlife rehabilitation and working at a zoo... but I've moved and these jobs are hard to come by in my current location, AND, none of these jobs make any money. So what career field can I transition into that could help me take advantage of the fact that I already have a bachelor's degree?

I am not opposed to taking classes or doing a 2 year program in order to be qualified for a good job. However, I am an extreme introvert, so things like customer service, nursing, dental hygenist are not a good option for me. I don't think I could do grad school without years of studying for the math portion of the GRE either.... I have done the veterinary hopital scene and I am not interested in being a DVM or CVT. While working with animals has been my only real passion, I'm starting to think that I just need a job that makes decent money so that I can help support a family, which, in the grand scheme of things, is what I really want most.

Does anyone have ideas for a job that:

* Pays well
* Doesn't work with the public directly

I would welcome ideas on 2 year programs, certificate programs, etc.

???? Please help.
posted by biograd08 to Work & Money (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What salary would you deem as "pays well?" Where do you live?
posted by grouse at 2:21 PM on May 16, 2014

Being a lab tech might be an option. It will inevitably involve working with others, but it involves less people-interaction than you'd deal with in customer service or healthcare. If you have any lab experience from your undergrad degree and can get a recommendation from your supervisor there, that could help you land a job. Nature Jobs could be a good place to start. Another way to search for jobs with your qualifications is to scour university job board / career development websites. Best of luck!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2014

Response by poster: Ideally 50,000+ would be pays well
I am in Madison, Wisconsin
posted by biograd08 at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2014

Dropped out of biology and became a security architect. Starting salaries are not great (40-50k), but a) there's 0 unemployment in my field, and b) once you get some experience, 100k is very realistic.

TL;DR: Learn to be a hacker.
posted by bfranklin at 2:31 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Learn to code, do bioinformatics.
posted by bensherman at 2:57 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Since you're in Madison, perhaps there are possibilities at Epic? I've heard good things about them, although I'm not sure how much interpersonal interaction will be involved.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 3:01 PM on May 16, 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook has a list of occupations with median pay $55,000 to $74,999. You can filter it by entry-level education required. Many of those requiring a bachelor's degree really require a bachelor's degree in a related field, but those requiring less might be accessible to you.
posted by grouse at 3:05 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Learn to code, do bioinformatics.

Almost every bioinformatics job posting I've seen has required a Ph.D.

Getting a job as an RA might be your best bet if you're not willing to take on a customer-facing role (sales, product managment, field applications, etc.), but RA jobs are currently in short supply. There's been a lot of consolidation in the field as large pharmas swallow up smaller pharmas/biotechs, and robotics has eliminated a ton of more entry-level positions. Many positions that used to only require a B.S. are now being filled by Ph.Ds.

Boston's job market is probably the best right now, followed by the Bay Area, then NJ and Research Triangle, then San Diego. WI doesn't have a ton of employers outside of academia, unfortunately. There's a list of many companies in the BioMidwest here on Biospace.com. May be helpful.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 3:30 PM on May 16, 2014

I make 55k (not including gov level benefits) as an econ RA, I have a masters (but still young, early 20s) and my more precocious coworkers have come straight from undergrad. Find some biologists in a gov dept or private sector firm who could use a code monkey.

These days you need to add basic level code to any base skill.


Each one without code is useless in 2014 when it comes to getting hired in a field job. Of course I'm not 1/8th as good at coding as a proper computer scientist, but I don't need to be. I just use matlab/R/Stata to work with lots of data and fit models for my bosses.

While Big Data sounds annoying, there is a creeping level of truth below it. Increasingly work is data driven, and without data manipulation skills you risk being passed over. The good news is that as long as you learn a little and show interest, you should be able to learn on the job if you're otherwise a catch.
posted by jjmoney at 3:59 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

How about a forensic criminalist? You are using your science and helping to nab bad guys. I worked in the court system, and it felt good to be helping people through these terrible times in life.

posted by PJSibling at 7:17 PM on May 16, 2014

How about municipal water management (sewage treatment, recycling, water resources, etc.). You could get a Master's degree at UW-Madison. I'm not in that field but I know someone who is and it seems like a stable field (cities always need to manage water) and a job you could do anywhere (because every city needs to manage water) and your degree in biology would be a good foundation. I presume most positions in that field don't work directly with the public. It seems like an interesting field in that it combines science and engineering. And with global climate change it may get even more interesting in the future.
posted by Dansaman at 9:25 PM on May 16, 2014

Become a software engineer. The job market is great and a lot of the work is good for introverts.

There are degrees in computer science that are geared toward people who already have bachelor's degrees - I'm not sure where you are but UBC has an excellent one in Canada.
posted by ripley_ at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2014

Promega is headquartered in Madison, and they post R&D job listings all the time on LinkedIn.
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:59 AM on May 17, 2014

Response by poster: UGH.... I don't want to do anything with software- I'm really not a computer person.

And I don't know any form of coding. I would be willing to learn, but without a good idea of what I want to do.....

I've applied at Epic, but have actually heard terrible things about them since.
posted by biograd08 at 8:20 AM on May 17, 2014

« Older Non-Christian student attending a deeply Christian...   |   Apple 'buyer's remorse' clarification for in-store... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.