Description: The university setting is quite attractive from a variety of perspectives. Foremost among these are the diversity and degree of intellectual activity, the commitment to educating talented individuals, the vibrant cultural activities, and the amenities that include access to courses and recreational resources. Research and teaching are the mainstay of university life, of course, but there exist other opportunities accessible to those with PhDs in the biomedical sciences. These opportunities are varied and consequently difficult to categorize. Administrative positions listed with HigherEdJobs provide a sense of what’s possible: academic advising, managing continuing education or postgrad educational programs, career counseling, development and fundraising, programs related to diversity and inclusion, and handling initiatives related to long-distance education. A glance around the University itself provides additional ideas, for example through the centers and infrastructure for research that exist: the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Penn Center for Innovation, for example, both represent ventures that have employed PhDs in biomedical science. There’s also a middle ground to consider, one that involves lab skills and some degree of research that nonetheless falls under the category of nonacademic jobs. Careers of this nature include staffing or directing clinical laboratories or research laboratories that serve as core facilities.
Advantage of an advanced degree: How a PhD in the biomedical sciences provides an advantage is case-specific. The value of the PhD, with some exceptions, will not be so much about scientific capabilities as the perspective it provides. The exceptions relate to positions within certain centers, clinical and research core laboratories, and some aspects of research infrastructure. The PhD, too, is a testament to a variety of non-bench skills and traits that are attractive within academia. Other factors relevant to one’s goals and perhaps other skills will obviously come into play.
Key competencies: Key competencies will vary according to the type of position.
On-campus student organizations: The relevance of student organizations will depend on the position sought.
First steps: Informational interviews are quite helpful, of course, but given the often unique requirements for university nonacademic professions externships and/or internships are invaluable.
Videos: None available yet.
Alumni network: Contact Rebecca Lopez
Additional resources: None