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The hottest jobs in science, and how to land them

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. As the life science industry has grown by leaps and bounds, so too have career opportunities. But the choices can be daunting. Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development, a new book published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (, provides an overview of careers in the life science industry, advice on tailoring a job search, and guidance on making the transition.

Academia generally does not prepare individuals for careers in industry, explains the author, Toby Freedman, Ph.D. This book aims to serve as a resource for making the transitiona transition that I myself have made.

Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development ( is designed for science students and graduates, active researchers, as well as those in medical, business, legal, high-tech, or engineering professions looking to transition into life science industry. Those already working in industry will find helpful information on how to take advantage of opportunities within their own companies and elsewhere. The book will also be a valuable tool for career guidance counselors, as they assist students in making wiser and more informed choices about a potential career in biotech or pharma.

In the first section of the book, Freedman lays the foundation for job seekers interested in the life science industry. She outlines the advantages and disadvantages of working for a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company, discusses personality characteristics needed to excel in industry, and offers advice for getting ones foot in the door. She provides plenty of practical advice: how to develop skills specifically for industry, how to network with the relevant people, how to research job opportunities, how to write a rsum specifically for industry, and how to successfully tackle a job interview.

The remainder of the book provides a systematic and comprehensive overview of more than 100 careers in industryeverything from discovery research to venture capital investment is covered in detail. To gain first-hand insight into these careers, Freedman interviewed more than 200 key industry executives, who offered explanations of their day-to-day roles and responsibilities, as well as advice on what it takes to be successful. The resulting descriptions that Freedman included in the book, therefore, represent a broad range of viewpoints and opinions.

Presented in an easy-to-scan format, each chapter covers a specific aspect of a biotechnology or pharmaceutical organization. Topics cover 20 vocational areas, including research and development, regulatory and medical affairs, sales and marketing, business development, information management, law, executive leadership, consulting, recruiting, and finance. Each chapter includes a discussion of job security, future trends, and potential career paths; specific educational requirements and personality characteristics needed to excel in a chosen profession; recommendations of books, magazines, and Web site resources; and issues to consider regarding salary and compensation.


Contact: Ingrid Benirschke
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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