How do you get an entry level job with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology?
So I graduated a little over a month ago with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a Chemistry minor. I was a 7 year undergrad because I had always been part time (for financial reasons) and I had switched majors 3 years in. I was a Political Science major and Sociology minor, but then the recession hit and I had a feeling that Lib Arts/Humanities students weren't going to do so well in the job market. I decided I wanted to pick a major that taught some applicable skills and produced tangible goods and services, so I picked Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but none of my previous credits carried over so it was like starting school all over again.
The thing is, I've applied to over 130 positions in the past month; laboratory technicians, research assistants, quality control analysts, anything with "PCR," "enzyme," "cell culture," "antibody," "coliform," "sterile/aseptic technique" in the job description. In that time, I've only gotten 3 rejection letters for positions at Tufts University, Genetech and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
There seems to be a lot of jobs available; there are probably 1000+ new positions posted on Indeed or Simply Hired everyday. The thing is, the vast majority of them require "2-5 years experience," and my only experience in a laboratory setting is in my undergraduate level labs.
A lot of these jobs also require additional certification (Certified Medical/Laboratory Technician, Certified Lab Animal Training, Hazmat, BSL, etc.) depending on the state it's in. Pretty much all California and New York jobs require certification and licensing even for low-level lab techs, so I'm restricted to those states that don't have those requirements.
It's really discouraging because I spent a lot of time learning to do some serious, applicable science and even got hands on experience with some heavy duty gear; I've learned how to use PCR thermocyclers, mass specs, gas chromatographs, NMR machines, reagents that cost several hundred dollars per bottle. Was anyone able to find any sort of entry level, laboratory-setting biotech/biomedical work (corporate or academic) after college with a BS in Biochemistry or Molecular Biology? How did you do it?
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