How to transition from the public to private sector?
December 2, 2015 10:17 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend has been working for the city of New York as an epidemiologist for about 15 years, and she's starting to wonder what the private sector might offer her, but she's not sure where to start. Where could she look to find out what kind of companies might be looking for people with her skills and experience?
posted by o2b to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Epidemiology is all about statistics, right? What about data science jobs in the tech industry?
posted by the_blizz at 11:19 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

She may want to start with her colleagues/fellow PhD trainees. Where are they at now and how do those companies bring on at her desired level? Her professional publications/news aggregators, esp web based ones, may have position openings as sidebars or at the bottom of the front page or a devoted section; Nature has a site specific to this function. University training departments may have leads as well. Large conferences may have job boards as well as speakers from industry. She could contact a recruitment firm, etc. etc..
posted by beaning at 12:10 PM on December 2, 2015

To keep the career in the same sphere, my first thought is (big) pharma -- should be feasible in the NYC area. Think drug safety, pharmacovigilance, pharmacoepidemiology, statistical programming, and just plain ol' data reporting.

In a similar bent, consider contract research organizations. CROs have needs for biostatisticians, data managers, programmers, project directors. We have a bunch of them in our medium-sized metropolitan area, so I am guessing there are many around NYC. I have also found that some of these jobs can be worked remotely.

It might help to know what her day-to-day skills and experiences are. I have found that "epidemiology" can describe a fairly wide spectrum of approaches and contains a number of sub-fields.
posted by mean square error at 12:10 PM on December 2, 2015

Yep. Lots of epidemiologists in pharma.
posted by Sublimity at 4:51 PM on December 2, 2015

There's a ton of pharma just over the bridge or through the tunnel in New Jersey as well. The commute is pretty doable, especially if you're used to commuting within NYC (which in my experience takes forever).
posted by sockermom at 8:44 PM on December 2, 2015

Data are data. Somebody with good data skills can work with any type of data, really.

An epi has more health training but also does a lot more rough data cleaning. Boning up on more rigorous statistics can be helpful.

Focusing on what coding/analysis languages your girlfriend knows, and searching for jobs via that skill, could help show you what's available.

And, adding some data visualization skills can really open things up, professionally.
posted by entropone at 6:47 AM on December 3, 2015

Datapoint: background in epi here, work in pharma.

Pharma. Look at larger more established companies versus startups, a very large proportion are located Morris county, NJ actually.

Feel free to MeMail.
posted by floweredfish at 2:59 PM on December 3, 2015

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