Guest post by LSE MSc in International Management alumnus, Yannick Skop:
It has been a booming decade for biotech, not just in the stock market, but also in real, impactful advances in human knowledge. Just as I started writing this blog post, we learn that for the very first time, scientists have managed to edit the faulty DNA of embryos, preventing certain diseases and disorders to develop. Thanks to a new genome-editing technique called CRISPR, we may see the end of hereditary diseases very soon.
When I graduated from LSE’s MSc International Management programme in 2010, I never even considered whether I would like to give a career in biotechnology or bioinformatics a try. It simply did not seem relevant to my education or skill set. I admired the exploits of the world’s top scientists from afar, and I believed that in order to contribute to advances in science & technology, one must have a life sciences degree and most likely a PhD.
I was wrong, and it took me a few years until I found my way to a sector that I very strongly believe in, and a job which motivates me because I know I’m contributing, even if just a little bit, to the advancement of science. As part of my role at labfolder, my goal is to ensure that scientific researchers worldwide have modern lab notebook software to their disposal, which surprisingly is often not the case. Our team consists of 45% scientists and 55% non-scientists, and having a bit of diversity in educational backgrounds has helped us work smarter and grow faster.
If you would like to explore the biotechnology or bioinformatics careers scene, look out for the following five career options that non-scientists can apply for:
- Marketing: “If you build it, they will come” often does not apply in the context of new biotech advancements. If a new drug has been developed, you can bet on it that big marketing budgets will be dedicated towards increasing sales. Content marketing and performance marketing are just two of the many marketing specializations that are often in demand.
- Business development: Advances in commercialisation are often reached through strategic partnerships, and that’s a role where business graduates can comfortably play a leading role.
- Business intelligence and data science: Research experiments such as genome sequencing generate huge data sets, and the challenge is to uncover valuable patterns. Mathematicians and statisticians can expect well-compensated and intellectually challenging jobs trying to make sense of big data.
- Intellectual property: Perhaps one of the most important non-scientist jobs in a biotech company, revolves around defending the company’s intellectual property rights to its inventions. Graduates from LSE’s Department of Law can find lucrative careers in this space.
- Finance: Just because you graduated with an MSc in Finance, doesn’t mean you automatically have to apply for a job in banking. The life cycle of a biotech company, from R&D to the commercialisation of a blockbuster drug, is incredibly challenging and full of uncertainties. Who better to manage that than an LSE graduate?
Whether you prefer to work for a large corporation or an inspiring startup, I can highly recommend the biotechnology sector as a viable and fulfilling career choice.
Yannick Skop graduated from LSE in 2010 with an MSc in International Management (IMEX). Before joining labfolder in 2017, he worked at startups such as Groupon, Medigo and foodpanda, in a variety of management roles. Yannick decided to join labfolder when he realised how big of an impact the company could have on the scientific research community. To learn more about how labfolder is helping the scientific community, Yannick recommends the following research guide about the electronic lab notebook.