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Neurobiology vs Molecular Biology vs Pharmacology

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kiddynamite914, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. kiddynamite914

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    I am still trying to choose my major. I am pre med and it is my goal to attend medical school. However, as for security, which major out of the 3 would be best in setting you up for a job or other fields between neuro, pharmacology & toxicology, and Molecular Biology?
     
  2. Cotterpin

    Cotterpin Gluconeogenesis Evangelion
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    I think if you do the one you are most interested in, then you would be best set up for success in that field. Look inside your heart, young grasshopper.
     
  3. Shirafune

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    I believe all three have limited prospects (if you're talking about financial concerns). In my area, a Junior Specialist (Research Associate, Lab Technician, whatever) with a BS/BA in any of those three majors is paid $37K - 40K. Your other option would be to go to graduate school and into academia, though I believe you're better off getting into medical school than trying to secure tenure. These are your options in academia.

    Entry level industry jobs pay $50K - 60K from where I am. If you have a PhD, you may make $80K - 90K. Because you are working for a company, however, industry jobs tend to be higher stress (debatable) with less flexibility.

    If you are interested in something related to medicine with better immediate job prospects, try biomedical engineering or biotechnology. I can guarantee you an engineering degree is far more practical, but be aware that engineering majors tend to have lower GPAs due to harder classes.
     
  4. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme
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    Pharm tox hands down.
     
  5. kiddynamite914

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    The reason I was leaning towards Molec Biology was because I heard it incorporates a lot of Cell Biology, Biochem, and Genetics, and those are all areas that are on the rise for medicine and treating many problems we face today. As for Neuro, it is very interesting, but in terms of applications, I feel as if it is not as solid as Molec Bio. As for Pharm, I feel as if is more for students who are headed towards a career in pharmacy . Many diseases can be treated at the Molecular level.
     
  6. Shirafune

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    You might still be a little too early in your undergrad years. Cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics will always be the foundations of medical care and they are not "on the rise" for medicine per se. It's just that they have always been important. In fact, I would argue that such areas of study are on the decline in medicine, not because their relative importance is declining, but because funding for biomedical research from the NIH has remained relatively stagnant for at least a decade.

    All three majors will provide you with an adequate education for medical school. Your undergraduate courses will have little bearing on medical school curricula, aside from basic biochemistry for example.

    If you are interested in hot molecular biology topics in medicine, I would look into personalized medicine and genomics as well as CRISPR/Cas technology.
     
    Lucca likes this.
  7. Grace184

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    The one you can do best in
     
  8. Holmwood

    Holmwood WOW
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    Mm... well if you plan to do research during undergrad, then I would choose the one that'll give you a solid foundation in whatever you want to do research in.

    Don't plan on doing any bio job right after college that pays anything more than pennies and dimes. It's no better than a desk job in terms of pay. : P
     
  9. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
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    Job prospects for non-professional programs (I.e not a trade, not engineering, not business, not computer science) depend more on 1) your undergraduate pedigree and 2) on your ability to network and market yourself more than they do on whatever it is you studied.

    There are non-research opportunities in Health IT and consulting provided your university has the clout and resources to help you obtain one of those jobs. If they don't, then the onus is on you and you are fighting an uphill battle.

    Imho non-quantitative degrees (aka, anything with biology in the name) have very little to offer a non-scientist in terms of job prospects unless they have other specific training or work experience that can help them apply that knowledge in a non-scientific way (consulting, working for biotech, science writing) and that usually involves studying something in the liberal arts or business disciplines in conjunction with your science degree.

    The best thing you can do to maximize your job prospects today without majoring in one of the majors I listed in the first paragraph is to have a background in the humanities alongside some sort of quantitative training (mathematics, modeling experience in research, physics, learning how to program) and try to get hired by the sales, marketing and creative departments of startups and established technology companies (a rapidly growing source of hiring for humanities grads at my school and I've read a couple of articles that say the same is true for other schools).

    However, if you go to an Ivy or a similar "target-school" you could just follow 50% of the really excellent sheep and go into consulting and finance with whatever.
     
    #9 Lucca, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015

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