BioSci Careers expands programs to prepare trainees for range of jobs

The School of Medicine is providing new resources to graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral scholars headed not only into academic careers, but also jobs in government, industry and the nonprofit sector.

As part of its Industry Onsites program, BioSci Careers organized a visit in 2016 for students and postdoctoral scholars to Genentech, where they met with management, attended presentations and toured laboratories.
BioSci Careers

BioSci Careers, formerly known as the School of Medicine Career Center, is marking its 15th anniversary by expanding its services to meet the evolving needs of students and postdoctoral scholars.

BioSci Careers, which describes itself as a “career community,” has added new courses in law, public policy, consulting, business, finance and communication as part of an effort to help trainees learn how they can transfer their skills to other professions, said Stephanie Eberle, assistant dean of BioSci Careers.

“It’s not easy for our trainees to make the transition from school to careers,” Eberle said. “Often, they don’t know how to market themselves. They’ve been so focused on one particular facet of science.”

The changes at the career center were spurred in part by studies showing that biosciences graduates are increasingly taking nonacademic jobs. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health showed that almost 80 percent of research-trained professionals in biomedicine nationwide are employed outside academia. At Stanford, those numbers aren’t quite so dramatic, but they’re trending in that direction, Eberle said.

Alumni survey results

A survey of Stanford alumni with PhDs in the biosciences found that a majority are pursuing careers outside academia, a major shift over that past decade, Eberle said.

The survey examined career trends for biosciences alumni between 2010 and 2015 and found that 52 percent of all respondents were pursuing nonacademic careers. About 30 percent were working in biotechnology. Other areas of work included government, consulting and finance.

BioSci Careers assists more than 2,000 trainees per year in identifying and preparing for future careers in academia, health care, biotechnology, entrepreneurship, data science, education, nonprofit organizations, government, law, finance, government policy and science communication, Eberle said.

“We’re here to help trainees make good career decisions based on fact and self-awareness rather than assumptions and fears,” Eberle said. “Our goal is to help trainees develop their many transferrable skills.”



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