Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Biology Degree, Premed and False Promise!!!

I do think that majoring in biology provides a great return on investment for the university system. I do think our advisors misled us quite a bit. Let say that you are premed. You can still major in medical technology, nursing or something else, take all of your prerequisites and still become a great medical school candidate. Now, let say that due to some circumstances, you have to take a couple of years off, your friend who majored in nursing or medical technology would be making good money working at a hospital or a lab, respectively, while you, who majored in just biology, finding yourself struggling to even land an entry level position.

Here is how it is now.

Student: advisor, I need to go to medical school.

Academic Advisor: Well, the most popular degree now is biology or biomedical sciences.

Student: OK. Should I major in biology then?

Advisor: You should.

Student: Ok. I will. What classes will I need to take.

Advisor: I will prepare you a degree map.


Student: advisor, I want to pursue a career in medicine.

Honest Advisor: You know something, most students do major in biology. The problem is that sometimes, some students do not go right away to medical school. They decide to take a couple of years off. Now, if this student want to work as a biologist, it would be very difficult because they do not have enough hands-on experience. We have others alternatives for you. We have degree X (medical technology or nursing, for instance), which you can also choose while still fulfilling your premed per-requisites. These programs lead to licensure, which looks very good when you want to take some times off but work in a health science job. And, the starting salary is great too.

But, the reality is you would probably the last person that this "honest/quality advisor" would advise because the department chair would fire him or her because she could not meet her department recruitment quotas.

Enough of this biology nonsense MARKETING TOOL. Don't become part of STATISTICS. Folks, be smart about your career. Take responsibility of your own destiny. Nowadays, universities are inventing all kinds of degrees. No degree is promising you acceptance to graduate school. If you are going to spend money in a degree, please ask yourself, what if you decide to change your career path? What if you want to work right after graduating in job that relates to your four-year degree? How is the job market for your 4-year degree? If you struggle to answer those questions, you need to consider a degree that leads to a license or certification because employers are not looking for diploma, they need licensed and experienced professionals.

Don't become a victim of the MARKETING strategy that the university system is using. You will find yourself struggling to repay massive student loans while working a low paying job that can barely be used to pay your car insurance.

My advice is that when you go to see your advisor for the first time, don't just walk there without having a pile of questions to ask. Be smart about your questions. Take control of your destiny. PLEASE AND PLEASE do not let your advisor choose your career. You should have already been researching your degree way long before you show up at your advisor's door. One more think, please DO NOT listen to all the crap they have to say about the most popular degree. You need to focus on what is best for you. Do you want to work at McDonalds after 4 years of biology/biomedical sciences or do you want to work in a hospital or a lab or a research facility with a good paying salary?????

This is my advice to all of you out there entering the corrupted university system that is out there.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S

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