ASCB’s biotech course offers practical info for job seekers

It can be daunting to try to find a job outside academia if that’s all you know about. Let ASCB help! We have teamed up with Keck Graduate Institute and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Manning School of Business to offer a one-week course to give you the confidence and the tools to find a non-academic job. Of the 231 attendees in 2014-2018, 71% now have jobs in industry, regulatory affairs, or tech transfer. Due to the pandemic, the course will be held virtually in 2021, from June 8-11, from 1:00-5:00 pm EDT.

What will the course include? You will dissect a couple of Harvard Business School case studies to learn how science is commercialized. Another afternoon you will learn where you can work; what kinds of jobs are available; what salary to expect; job qualifications and necessary skill sets; how to build your network and take advantage of LinkedIn contacts; informational interviews; and resources for preparing for interviews. Next up will be small group projects to identify a founding idea and value proposition for a biotech company and then you’ll perform market research, determine market size, and investigate technical milestones. After a couple of hours working in breakout rooms, the groups will make their pitches. There will also be a career panel and a talk by an executive coach in the Silicon Valley area formerly in human resources at Genentech, who will offer pragmatic advice for success. Time will be made for networking as well.

Thanks to support from Biogen, ASCB is able to offer the course for $200. We are aiming for 50 participants. More information is available at

Applications open now through April 30.

About the Author:

Thea Clarke is the Director of Communications and Education at the American Society for Cell Biology.