Q: How DO You Search for an Entry Level Position?

Dr. Greg Quinn greg at franklin.burnham-inst.org
Mon Oct 19 20:00:50 EST 1998


Harry Erwin (herwin at gmu.edu) wrote:
: I'm trying to help my son find an entry-level position in computational
: biology in the USA.  He has a new degree in biomedical science, a
: background in C++ programming, and a senior project that computed
: primer-template bonding temperatures using a nearest-neighbor algorithm.
: He's deferring grad school until he knows what specialized field he
: wants to work in.  He's been e-mailing resumes to the human resources
: offices of companies on the web, but I have the impression that he's
: getting lost in the hundreds of resumes they must get that way.  I'm
: sure there's a lot of research labs that could use his skills, but most
: of them don't post their openings on the web.  Is there a better way to
: do this?
: 
: -- 
: Harry Erwin, Web Page: http://mason.gmu.edu/~herwin 
: Senior Software Analyst supporting the FAA, PhD candidate in 
: computational neuroscience--modeling how bats echolocate--and 
: lecturer for CS 211 (data structures and advanced C++).
: 

Harry, you may want to check the bionet.jobs.offered group. There's 
usually an assortment of computational biology positions to be had.

There's a real need for computational biologists, though many of the 
positions do seek someone with a few years lab experience and many
require a Ph.D. If I had to give my personal opinion, it would be that
unless your son is desperately interested in getting a Ph.D., try to get 
into a computational position with his present qualifications (plus some 
lab experience) or a Masters degree at most. I wouldn't advise anyone to get 
a Ph.D. simply to get into computational biology, and in fact with
the current career/funding structure, I wouldn't advise anyone to get a bio 
Ph.D., period. If he wants any real financial/career stability, stick with the
computing/biocomputing, which in career terms has 'outs' into mainstream 
commerce. Most of the Ph.D. computational biology positions advertised by 
companies (and all the ones that I have been contacted about)
are usually looking for someone to do very light programming 
(PERL scripting, etc) and a ton of data analysis, which your son may or may 
not find interesting. Any real  programmer worth his salt won't find such 
a situation very satisfying, so your son needs to really think this through.

Good luck with your search.

-- 
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS AND NOT THOSE OF MY EMPLOYER
*****************************************
Computational Biology Group
The Burnham Institute
(formerly La Jolla Cancer Research Inst.)
12901 North Torrey Pines road
La Jolla
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Phone:(619) 646 3103
Email: greg at franklin.ljcrf.edu
http://franklin.ljcrf.edu/greg
http://www.greg.com/
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