Achieving an MBA marks a huge milestone in your education. The degree is not easy to get and earning one shows your academic commitment. What's challenging, however, is that approximately 156,250 students per year graduate with an MBA. These students comprise 25 percent of the master's degree market (see reference 2). This decreases your employment advantage because your competition has the same educational level and broad skills. To stay competitive, some MBA graduates are seeking additional education and using the MBA as a complement to a specific skill set. A strong market to consider is biology. Combining a degree in biology with your MBA opens many doors in the biotechnology field.
Executive management and biology have become synonymous to companies looking for competitive advantage. The demand is so high some schools have combined the MBA with a biology concentration into a single degree (see reference 4). The regulatory requirements and funding challenges of biometric research call for a well-educated manager. Expertise in collaborating with business partners and working with the government on high-level administrative compliance will determine the longevity of the company.
Market research reports break down the components of a given industry. They are heavily based in financial data and you have to be knowledgeable about biology and business to fully research and properly interpret biotechnical data. For example, the Biological Product Manufacturing 2013 Industry Report displays financial ratios to compare profitability, liquidity and efficiency of companies in the biological manufacturing market (see reference 3). Using your MBA expertise is vital in analyzing these ratios to forecast growth and market size for various companies in the industry.
Project Management Positions
Biological research companies need competent project managers. Knowledge of contract work, product coordination and task execution are skills all MBAs possess and are essential to the job. For example, an environmental scientist experienced in studying specific life forms might want to implement a research study to monitor the effectiveness of pest control. This level of project calls for funding, regulations and administrative oversight — all skills of an MBA graduate.
Business analysts identify the needs of a business and set goals for progression (see reference 6). A competent analyst is also a strategic thinker and steers the company alongside its corporate policies. The company's business model must sync with its desired rates of return and forecast of fluctuating markets. This is especially important to biotechnical firms because of increasing breakthroughs in medicine. An analyst with a biology degree and an MBA better understands the opportunities and threats to business based on strategic knowledge and change in biotechnology procedures.
- Education Portal: Careers with a Biology Degree and MBA - Combining Biology and Business
- Numberof.net: Number of MBA Graduates in the US per Year
- Pell Research: Biological Product Manufacturing - 2013 Industry Report
- Carnegie Mellon University: Biotechnology and Management
- Agrifor Biotech: Project Management
- Business-Analysts.org: What is Business Analysis?
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