All across America this time of year, college campuses are filling with new and returning students all looking for that magic piece of paper that will ensure their futures. All that effort and all those tuition fees…. You’d better make sure it’s worth it.
No offense to those with psychology degrees, but the most valuable college degrees now and in the future are much more science and technology-oriented: Engineering, Computers, Finance, and Science.
A List of Best College Degrees By Salary fills the top 5 with the engineering and computer science types, but #10 is Business Management, #11 is Marketing, and #13 is Biology. Psychology is way down there at #19…past even English and Communications.
A Top 10 List of High Paying Careers ranks Pharmaceutical Representative at #9 with an average starting salary of $51,000+. I happen to know of similar sales jobs in clinical diagnostics, research laboratory, histology, pathology, imaging, DNA, cellular, molecular, surgical supplies, hospital equipment, and medical device where you can do better. In a more specialized medical sales job, you can be one of the few, not one of the many, and be that much more successful. What kind of degree is most helpful for those jobs? Biology, microbiology, chemistry…you get the idea. Not psychology. Sorry.
Am I right?
I received a resume from a candidate the other day. She had a MS in Molecular biology. Great grade point average – intelligent? Yes. What did she want to be when she grew up? A pharmaceutical sales representative. Why? She wanted to use her science background, communication skills and business acumen. I asked her “Why do you want to be one of the many where you are one of the few?” Not very many sales reps have MS degrees in complicated science areas. Certainly 80% of pharma reps are without that type of advanced degree and there are thousands of pharma reps. My advice: Find another product area where her degree is more of a requirement from the start she will have fewer contenders vying for these positions. And once she has sales experience she will have even less competition for other positions of advancement in these arenas. To summarize: Consider yourself. What is unique about you? Work to identify career areas and where you can differentiate yourself with this uniqueness.