A career in academia or Industry- Confessions of a Science Graduate
A career in Academia or Industry? This is one of the hardest decisions that anyone has to make right before graduating from Science. Up until you are in a classroom, you have a vague idea about the operus mondi of the big real world. No matter how much you Google things up, there’s always a cloud of doubt looming over your head. Whether to choose academia or Industry. What is the right choice?
Whether to choose academics as your career or, go looking for a job in the Industry. Or, is there something else that you are not yet aware of. The decision no matter what, we understand is a tough cookie to crack, and of course, it’s very important, to get this decision right.
Many science graduates choose to dive straight into working for an employer, while others choose to remain in academia or do something completely different for a while. There are several alternatives to getting a job straight after graduation and it’s usually about taking the time to explore options rather than simply taking a break.
In case, you are not yet sure of which road you want to walk on. There’s absolutely no harm in taking a break and introspecting. As they say, and I quote “It’s better late than sorry”.
Consider the following opportunities to learn extra skills, build experience and find your calling.
Academics- The long route
Although it doesn’t suit everyone, the postgraduate study allows you to delve deeper into your chosen subject of interest in order to become more specialized and qualified. This could mean continuing within the field of your undergraduate degree or, depending on acceptance criteria, enable you to convert to a new area.
Overall, remember that postgraduate study is not an alternative to a career and you need to consider the impact on your future options. Employers generally value well-rounded candidates with a balance of qualifications, skills and experience, so consider what opportunities will and won’t be open to once you have finished your further study.
Although, this is a longer route in comparison to others. But it surely is one of the most fulfilling and most sorted out career paths. If you are interested in your core subjects, this is the way to go. Research is an integral part of academia. A creative and slow-paced life is the main attraction of this choice. You would get a chance to live your creative potential.
Industry- Join the workforce
The biotechnology sector of India is highly innovative and is on a strong growth trajectory. The sector, with its immense growth potential, will continue to play a significant role as an innovative manufacturing hub.
The Biotechnology Industry is currently doing well in India and globally as well. Many companies like
- Piramal Group
- GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
- BrainWave Biotechnology Ltd
- Bharat Biotech
- Panacea Biotec
- Biocon Ltd and many more
These companies deliver innovative biopharmaceutical solutions, ranging from discovery to development and commercialization, leveraging the cutting edge science, cost-effective drug development capabilities and global scale manufacturing capacities, to move ideas to market.
If you feel ready to join the workforce, this is the time. You can fit in various roles in Research & Development, and also roles in Quality Assurance and Quality Control you can look for.
The sector is one of the most significant sectors in enhancing India’s global profile as well as contributing to the growth of the economy.
India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. India has the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants, after the USA and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. Thus underlining the immense scope of this emerging sector.
Join the workforce, and you can start your professional career right away. If you have the appropriate skill set and an analytical bent of mind. Prepare your resume, and apply without a delay.
Self-employment- Unleash the entrepreneur within you
An increasing number of graduates are considering self-employment and, if you have a great idea to sell, giving this a shot soon after graduation is probably worth a try, especially while you’re likely to have fewer commitments and lots of energy.
It is crucial that you have carried out necessary market research, including knowing who your customers will be and whether you can obtain financial backing, as well as how to promote your products or services. You’ll need to seek out plenty of practical advice about starting a small business and there is a lot of free information available online as well as at university careers centres. Some universities even have workspace available for helping to nurture students’ businesses.
If you have an idea, which can materialize into reality. Go for it. (Remember Kiran Majumdar? Get Inspired!)
Something Else- Be out of the box
There are many other things you can pursue if you listen closely to your heart. It may be something creative or athletic you wanted to do. Now is your chance!
You already are a graduate (or going to be), and you have time to introspect and see what you really love. It may be Writing, Dancing, Singing, Painting or even cooking (This I appreciate, as I’m terrible at it).
Gap years have been popular for a long time and it’s ok to take some time out to travel the world and gain a different perspective. Diligent research and planning are still required and you’ll need to ask yourself if this really is the right option for you. Consider carefully what you want to do, such as backpacking, volunteering, studying or teaching English.
Being a Science Graduate myself, I understand what you must be going through. But my advice is, give yourself the time you deserve, and make a well-thought decision. And even if you sometime in future do not align with the decision you took, there’s always a second chance. It’s an important decision, listen to your heart, and find your true calling.