I'm from Russia. I majored in biology(genetics), wrote a bachelor's diploma in the field of psychogenetics, and graduated with mean grade of roughly 4 out of 5. Back then some circumstances arose that prevented me from an academic career (including lack of biotech companies in my area), so I had to make do with an entry-level job. Biotech companies in Russia can afford to be picky and hire only experienced staff even for an entry-level position such as lab technicians. With a lot of people in the field looking for a job, and a few biotech companies, I don't have a lot of chances there.

I've heard that Russian diplomas in STEM fields are valued abroad, probably more than they are in Russia; that brings me here. What are my chances of finding positions as a junior lab member, lab technician, etc. in a biology-related field overseas with my higher education diploma and practical experience (achieved during two years of lab work in the university)? What skills/qualifications do I need to get to improve my chances? What direction would you suggest to start my research on possible employers? Could you give me any further tips on career track?


closed as off-topic by David, Bryan Krause, canadianer, Chris Dec 2 '17 at 14:26

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you interested in graduate school? I know America has a lot of biology BS lab techs. A Ph.D. program might be an easier way to getting your foot in the door overseas, if you're willing to put up with an extra 4 - 6 years of schooling, and your job opportunities with a Ph.D. might be better. If you speak English as well as you seem to write it, your language skills are probably fine. I don't anything about the job situation in Europe though. $\endgroup$ – user137 Nov 28 '17 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ You might be interested in reading Paula Stephan’s book: how economics shape science ( talk: healthra.org/download-resource/?resource-url=/wp-content/… ). In short, the general problems with biology unfortunately are global; p.s.: Switzerland or Germany are quite strong in biotechnology, and not even overseas $\endgroup$ – tsttst Nov 28 '17 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ You may be able to get a position as a lab technician in Europe, but otherwise in most places you'd need to do a Master's as well. There are plenty of pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland but I am not sure on the qualifications required for an entry-level position. I'd suggest that you build your skill-set around the position you want. You haven't said anything about what you would like to do. $\endgroup$ – vkehayas Nov 28 '17 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion this is a general problem throughout the life science industry all across the globe. Personally I work in the UK and although I am now in a slightly better position, the beginnings were tough - very tough (despite having a MSc). The money still isn't great but not as bad as what it was during my first two years. I do have quite a few friends in Germany who tried to establish themselves as scientists there, very few did. Most ended up pursuing careers in Life Science Sales are something else all together. I am not saying you can't make a living in the life sciences but it's hard $\endgroup$ – Johnny Nov 28 '17 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ There are quite some positions offered in bioinformatics, but I think they often require at least a master diploma. That being said, you can learn a lot by yourself using online resources. So if you have time, you might try to follow some online course (for instance on coursera or edX) to see if this is a kind of career that could suit you. $\endgroup$ – bli Nov 29 '17 at 9:16

You have so many questions, and it seems like you have no idea what to do next. So you better ask Russian guys who are really into this as

  1. Good FAQ with a lot of cases from real life: https://vk.com/career_in_biology
  2. More like Career in Biology 101: https://vk.com/science_career (also they have a chat in Telegram)
  3. Career adviсe and pretty decent list of positions: https://blastim.ru/
  4. Winter biotech school (in my opinion you have good chances to get there as they do it for people just like you): https://vk.com/futurebiotech
  5. Completeish list of biological summer schools where you can get hands-on experience: https://vk.com/coolresearch

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