Other life sciences disciplines that are experiencing greater-than-normal demand include regulatory affairs and quality control and assurance. However, it is important to point out that both of these career options require specialized training and, likely, some hands-on work experience. A good way to enter the regulatory affairs and quality control fields with minimal additional formal training is to land an internship at a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company or at the FDA. More and more companies and government agencies are beginning to offer internship opportunities to qualified individuals. Unfortunately, many of these internships are not well publicized or widely advertised. Consequently, you will have to do a little work to find them!
In conclusion, there is no question that traditional job opportunities for doctoral-trained life scientists are fewer in number and that they continue to disappear at alarming rates. Despite this troubling trend, most life sciences graduate programs steadfastly refuse to change or adjust their training programs to enable their graduates and postdoctoral fellows to compete for non-traditional life sciences job opportunities. Unless systemic changes are implemented at the graduate training level, it is likely that doctoral life scientists who receive traditional training will continue to face long-term unemployment well into the 21st century.
Clifford S. Mintz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer, blogger and speaker at career fairs and professional meetings.