Is a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology useless?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by jnc1110, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    I'm a senior bio major with a lot of doubts right now. The job market looks very bleak, and once I graduate I will be in roughly $18,000 in debt. If I stop where I am now, I will be in $8,000 debt. Now, I love studying biology but passion without a job means nothing. I have a 3.0 GPA and no experience working in a lab. I have intentions of building a concentration in biotechnology & molecular biology, starting with my first graduate level course this fall. A masters degree in biotechnology would be ideal, but considering the debt I will be in I do not have the time to keep taking courses. So, should I stop where I am right now and get a mediocre job to pay back the $8,000 loans, or should I take the risk of going $18,000 for a speculated worthless degree? Give me some thoughts if you will. Good or bad, it will be appreciated.
     
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  3. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Bah, just go for it. It's all monopoly money. Your debt will be worthless in a few years(perhaps months). Consider yourself lucky you can actually use this phantom money to get educated. When the money and debt is meaningless you will still be all knowing in biology and...whatever that other stuff is. You'll just have to work for food like the rest of us.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2009
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  5. Algernon Registered Senior Member

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    Finish it. Your degree is not worthless, I thought that but I got lucky and landed a job in biotech. Average pay for a random BS degree grad in the biotech industry is about 40-55K... that's got to be a lot better than some random mediocre job. Besides, the bio industry will grow after the economy gets better, your loans will be worth nothing in the future anyways. 18K may seem like 5K with inflation lol.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The 19th century has been categorized as the Century of Chemistry and the 20th as the Century of Physics, because that's when both of those sciences matured and stabilized. Based upon the work now being done, it is predicted that this will be the Century of Biology. If that is true, I think your degree will be very valuable.

    Everyone graduates from college with an enormous debt and it never stifles their future. If all you owe is $18K that's a pittance compared to an M.D., and their prospects are arguably bleaker than yours.

    If you just want to aim for a high income, become a physical therapist or one of the many other professions that will serve the aging Baby Boomers. They have driven the American economy since rock'n'roll, hula hoops and motorcycles, and they're hardly going to stop now since they're the wealthiest generation in history.

    Perhaps it's still not too late to apprentice yourself to a plumber. It's a crucial occupation that isn't likely to be automated anytime soon. In any city too small to have a cabal of corporate executives, the plumber is one of the two or three most prosperous people.
     
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Jnc,

    Get into a lab as soon as you can. Volunteer, do whatever you have to do. Try and turn it into a paid position if you can. Things are not good for bio majors these days - they never were but now they're worse. No public service hires, parks laying everyone off, Monsanto cutting back. There are too many people and fewer spots than ever.

    Why, why, why, WHY do we continue to mindlessly churn out people in the expectation they're going to find posts? I dare a uni to come up with a hit rate on landed bio jobs for bio majors. If it's higher than 10%, they're liars.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2009
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I have a biotech degree, I found it effective.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That's kind of dubious, as an assumption. I've known a few people who found their college debt a serious burden - define "stifle"? Would it include working a job you hate for ten years, or postponing starting a family or buying a house?

    If he's going to apprentice to a plumber, now's the time - no sense in racking up another 10 grand in debt.
     
  11. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    When I graduated with a BS in biology, I worked as a chemist for delta faucet for a few months and then as an environmental scientist for the state. I kept the state job while my wife finished her education degree and then went back to get my doctor of Optometry degree. So while it's certainly possible to find a job with a BS, I'd say continue with your education. But do some research, try for a degree in a something where there's a real need for more people.
     
  12. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    Well, it would be nice to just volunteer for a lab and get some hands on experience, but to be honest I do not see any professors in their right mind offering me their time like that. I can take all the required labs my degree requires but it will not teach me how to work in a lab. I'm going to ask around for the hell of it.

    Intraspecific competitive exclusion principle enforcement; that's life. If I cannot land a job in biotech (or anywhere my degree can be used) within 2 months after graduating, I'll either move out of state and try something there or just enroll into the military. My family (and I) really hate the forced decisions I'll be having to make. Once again, that's life.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2009
  13. tuberculatious Banned Banned

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    Would starting to study biology at the ripe age of middle-aged man be a good career choice?
     
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    It depends whose biology you're studying.
     
  15. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    I know that to double major in bio and chem [at my university] all I would need to take is 6 additional classes: Inorganic Chemistry 1&2+ labs and Quantitative Analysis + lab (12 credit hours total). I would have to stay 1 more year in school and accept around $6k more in loans if I went through with it. Its a long shot, considering that my loan payments should be going out next year sometime, but I know I can do it if I survive (and thrive in) organic chemistry this fall.

    Would a B.S. in Chemistry increase my chances of landing a job in biology?
     
  16. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    Well, as already mentioned, jobs directly in the field of Bio are not that abundant. An academic career is a big risk, industrial positions are better. But even in the latter few are really in bio. Frankly, your degree matters less than the knowledge of what you can offer and whether it fits the position in question. Lab experience is often desired, though depending on what is open in a company you can do without. Try to get internships, though.
     
  17. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    You never know until you try it. But honestly, when you begin to age your brain functionality begins to deteriorate (probably due to telomerase depletion in brain cells)-- no offense. Its speculated that 22 years old is your peak of brain functionality. All years afterwards, your brain begins to lose it's "errection".
     
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Eh? Small words please. My telomeres are shredding.
     
  19. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Totally dependent on if you are involved in the field of Mnemonics. (Namely the ability to Artificially remember, catalogue or use third party sources.) Some could class it cheating the system to an extent, but it's really down to if you grew the Mnemonics yourself or not. (Yes, this isn't the sort of technology you'd just pick up at your nearest hardware store... sorry for now)
     
  20. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    Stryder, from what I know and have learned from the molecular biology involved with genetics, telomerase is an enzyme on the ends of chromosomes. As the chromosomes replicate over and over again, this enzyme begins to deplete. And from what I grew in Mnemoics, its related to aging. Is it simply the loss of neurons or are cells and the chromosomes totally irrelevant?

    I'll admit it. I am involved with the field of Mnemonics, and so are many of my professors. It certainly beats trying to go through all the trouble of using genome views at NCBI or doing a few BLAST searches. I guess I am just an ignoramus, but I blame the poor quality education that I received.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Compared to what?
     
  22. tuberculatious Banned Banned

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    being an accountant.
     
  23. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Mod note: More than 50% of this thread (to date) was off-topic chatting, so I have removed the inconsequential posts as they were distracting from the topic of discussion.
     

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