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    Default Career change - good idea?

    Hi - apologies in advance as I know this is going to be a rambling post.

    I am trying to decide if a career change is a good idea, what that change could be and how I could make it happen. Looking for any advice or tips

    I'm 33, partnered and have 1 biological child (1.5 yo) and 2 stepchildren. Before having my DD I had an exciting career that I was reasonably happy in. It involved significant amounts of travel and was the type of role that you could only really find in major cities and/or overseas.

    Since having DD we have moved to a regional area to be closer to DF's other two children. This means that my career has come to a grinding halt. I have returned to my old job working part time and commuting horrendous hours, which is hard given that DF works overseas. Even though I'm in my old role, it's vastly different due to a number of reasons and I can't really progress because I'm limited to working part time and can rarely travel. I will not be able to continue this job when DD starts school as I won't be able to do drop off or pickup. I'm ok with her going to before school care or after school care but not both.

    The main industries where we live are tourism, hospitality and health care. The first two do not interest me at all but health care sort of does. I'm thinking of going back to uni to study biomedical science. Does anyone here work in that field? Are there many jobs outside capital cities? How hard it is to 'break into' after your graduate? Is a bachelor degree sufficient to get a foot in the door or do you really need to do honours and/or a phd? Are most jobs 'family friendly'? I did look on seek for roles in my area but didn't come up with much, I'm not sure if I was using the right keywords or if there are no jobs...

    Any advice or experience would appreciated. I'd love to hear from people who went back to study later in life after a career change and how they found it.

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by babyno1onboard; 28-03-2017 at 21:05.

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    Default Career change - good idea?

    I don't work in biomed but have a lot of exposure to it and know many people in it.

    On its own a biomed degree probably won't get you far. Biomed on its own is often a stepping stone into medicine. Do you know what you want to do with it?

    If you continue onto honours you'll most likely end up in a research support role which pays ok but won't have a lot of career progression. Be aware most work is contract and rarely permanent which can be hard with kids.

    A Phd would mean career progression but hard science PhDs are often not very compatible with family life for a variety of reasons. People make it work but it's pretty stressful trying to meet demands of the job and be at home as well. You will spend huge amounts of time on research grants, supervising students, possibly teaching etc. it can be very full on. I don't know what you could get with a biomed Phd outside of academia.

    In general jobs are few and far between and there are huge amounts of students being pumped out of these degrees so it's also very competitive. I would think jobs outside of main cities would be few and far between.

    I left a Phd in hard science because of the huge lack of jobs and the family unfriendly lifestyle I was heading towards (if j even secured a job that is). It was a hard decision at the time but I'm much happier I got out of it before I went any further.

    I would recommend going in with your eyes open and research all of your options before committing. Good luck!

    Eta - regarding career changes - I am now doing teaching instead - mainly because I get to keep doing what I love (teaching science) but will have more job opportunities and family friendly work hours. Def was the right decision for me and I'm loving this change - it's much more "me". It's never too late to make the change!
    Last edited by Pearlygirl; 28-03-2017 at 21:36.

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    gingermillie  (28-03-2017)

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    As above, most of my friends used biomed as a stepping stone to pharmacy or medicine. The degree alone doesn't really qualify you for much except research and then you're looking at Phd etc which is hard work.
    What about a diploma or degree in health promotion or similar? Do you have a health background?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearlygirl View Post
    I don't work in biomed but have a lot of exposure to it and know many people in it.

    On its own a biomed degree probably won't get you far. Biomed on its own is often a stepping stone into medicine. Do you know what you want to do with it?

    If you continue onto honours you'll most likely end up in a research support role which pays ok but won't have a lot of career progression. Be aware most work is contract and rarely permanent which can be hard with kids.

    A Phd would mean career progression but hard science PhDs are often not very compatible with family life for a variety of reasons. People make it work but it's pretty stressful trying to meet demands of the job and be at home as well. You will spend huge amounts of time on research grants, supervising students, possibly teaching etc. it can be very full on. I don't know what you could get with a biomed Phd outside of academia.

    In general jobs are few and far between and there are huge amounts of students being pumped out of these degrees so it's also very competitive. I would think jobs outside of main cities would be few and far between.

    I left a Phd in hard science because of the huge lack of jobs and the family unfriendly lifestyle I was heading towards (if j even secured a job that is). It was a hard decision at the time but I'm much happier I got out of it before I went any further.

    I would recommend going in with your eyes open and research all of your options before committing. Good luck!

    Eta - regarding career changes - I am now doing teaching instead - mainly because I get to keep doing what I love (teaching science) but will have more job opportunities and family friendly work hours. Def was the right decision for me and I'm loving this change - it's much more "me". It's never too late to make the change!
    Hmmm ok. I think I need a new potential career path then! I did a honours degree after finishing school and the honours year was tough so sort of know what a phd would entail and I don't want to go near one 🤣

    I was wanting to do medical research / drug trials, etc. Not sure if you need to be an actual doctor to be involved in that line of work though. I don't want to become a doctor. Contract work is ok (and being out of work occasionally is fine). The high flying money making part of my life is over and I'm chasing job satisfaction.

    I had also thought of becoming a high school science teacher as I have a general (non-medical) science degree but just not sure if teaching is really 'me'. My other option is to get a job with the council or something here but they don't really come across as very inspiring. At all.

    I'm glad it's worked out so well for you

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosey82 View Post
    As above, most of my friends used biomed as a stepping stone to pharmacy or medicine. The degree alone doesn't really qualify you for much except research and then you're looking at Phd etc which is hard work.
    What about a diploma or degree in health promotion or similar? Do you have a health background?
    Thanks I'm getting a clearer picture now. My background is environmental science. I'm not sure if health promotion is really my thing either. Ahhh it's just so hard. Need a magic wand

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    Im not really much help. But wanted to say Im also 33 and currently doing a complete career change in preparation for my when my youngest is at school.
    It is hard work but so satisfying and exciting. Good luck for whichever area you decide to go

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    Just realized my post sounds pretty negative 😕 not trying to put you off I just wish I had been given this sort of information right from the start of my undergrad. Instead I worked my butt off for 7 years for something that in the end wasn't a good choice.

    You don't need to be a dr to do medical research but you will likely be tied to pharmaceutical companies or Uni's. I would think this work is mostly going to be in the cities with honours at a minimum.

    Perhaps look for jobs in the geographical areas you're willing to work in, and see what interests you. Then you can research what you need to do to get there knowing that jobs are available near you.

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    What about becoming an environmental health officer? It's a uni qualification generally postgrad. My uni offers a one year graduate diploma which qualifies you as an EHO. It's a growth area especially out of cities. Most jobs are with local government. The role itself is not the health of the environment it's the interface between the environment and humans so air quality, water quality, food safety etc. that could work?
    You've been given excellent advice re biomedicine already in this thread. My advice would be to go for something with a specific professional qualification and that you have seen jobs for in your area. Clinical research roles generally require research higher degrees so if you're not interested in a PhD steer clear of that field.
    Another alternative is something like occupational therapy. Again it's a growth area with many niches you can pursue and combines clinical work with a more mechanical/practical focus.
    Happy career hunting!

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    Default Career change - good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    What about becoming an environmental health officer? It's a uni qualification generally postgrad. My uni offers a one year graduate diploma which qualifies you as an EHO. It's a growth area especially out of cities. Most jobs are with local government. The role itself is not the health of the environment it's the interface between the environment and humans so air quality, water quality, food safety etc. that could work?
    You've been given excellent advice re biomedicine already in this thread. My advice would be to go for something with a specific professional qualification and that you have seen jobs for in your area. Clinical research roles generally require research higher degrees so if you're not interested in a PhD steer clear of that field.
    Another alternative is something like occupational therapy. Again it's a growth area with many niches you can pursue and combines clinical work with a more mechanical/practical focus.
    Happy career hunting!
    Hmmm food for thought. I haven't thought of becoming an EHO. I've done most of that type of stuff before but for a different purpose so my current skill set would be very transferable.

    A massive new university hospital opened up here and are hiring like crazy. I was 'dreaming' (lol!) that I could get a job there doing research. I am willing to do (another!) honours year but a phd is too much, I don't want to be at uni full time for 7-8 years to change careers. There are def no pharmaceutical companies here.

    I'm still not really 'sold' on anything. At least I'm fortunate enough to be able to make a career change, even if it's impossible to decide what to do

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    Default Career change - good idea?

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