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Molecular Biology Alternatives

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    This is a thread about what I should apply for after my degree (now in other words). It's really only relevant to me, so I understand if you don't want read through this.

    So I'm in my final year of a biochemistry bsc and I hated it. I studied molecular genetics, structural biology and a bit of metabolism mostly.
    What I did like was basic pharmacology, mendelian genetics, population genetics and evolutionary biology. I seem to like comparing the properties and characteristics of various categories rather than studying the inner workings of nature. I appreciated this in chemistry before university too (e.g. these metals conduct electricity well, this functional group makes compounds more water soluble).

    So what should I do? Normally, areas like research, pharmaceuticals, analytical chemistry, scientific publishing and patenting are recommended to us. When it comes to biotechnology the idea of fixing organisms like in medicinal applications feels very lacklustre compared to developing new ones, important as it may be. That's why I'm more drawn towards industrial, agricultural and maybe even marine biotechnology (tropical aquatic animals like corals, echinoderms and ciona seem particularly fantastic to me whether the're practically useful to us or not) than 'red biotechnology'. But the latter looks like the main employer by far.

    I've been looking into chemical engineering over the last year, because I liked the idea of a creative, mathematical discipline and chemical engineering appeared to be the one I'd be most suited for academically. But it's still a leap into the dark and I don't know if I'd really be good at it or motivated.

    I can't afford to do master's courses at their new fees for next year and generally, I don't think I qualify for scholarships (I should get a 2.1). I have seen some funding for courses in West and South Wales and at the moment, the plan is to do an Msc in Chemical Engineering at Swansea. Thanks for reading this and I look forward to any suggestions even if it's just 'graduate and get an undemanding menial job that you should have done instead going to university in the first place'.
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    I think you should just graduate and get that undemanding menial job that you...only kidding!

    How about something like Biofuels R & D? The new buzz is to get bioethanol out of cellulose waste products rather than food crops. It's clearly going to be a massive industry in the near future and you can get in at the start.
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    I think I like the sound of that. Which companies hire them and would I need a PhD first?
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    (Original post by disgruntledbiochem)
    I think I like the sound of that. Which companies hire them and would I need a PhD first?
    You'll most likely need a Ph.D. to get anywhere, and you'll probably be hired by fuel companies like Shell, I guess, no?
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    The big players over here are the BP and DuPont joint venture and Shell. There's also lots of small research companies and university labs in the UK, Australia and the US who are doing R & D. I guess as it's cutting edge science you'll need to be a post doc researcher but the big players probably take on PhD students.


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