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An Internship May Not Be Enough: Enhancing Bioscience Industry Job Readiness through Practicum Experiences

    Authors: Jason M. Cramer1,*, Paul T. Hamilton2
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: The Graduate School, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; 2: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 23 September 2016 Accepted 22 December 2016 Published 21 April 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: The Graduate School, Dean’s Office, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7102, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7102. Phone: 919-515-2737. Fax: 919-515-2873. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2017 vol. 18 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i1.1248
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    Abstract:

    In contrast to the narrowing of options in academic careers, the bioscience industry offers robust employment opportunities for STEM-trained workers, especially those who display both scientific and business talent. Unfortunately, traditional science programs typically lack curricular features that develop this type of worker. The North Carolina State University Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program facilitates industry-specific experiential learning to fill this training gap. Similar programs often rely on a single industry internship to provide students relevant work experience, but completion of one internship might not suffice to position students for employment in a highly competitive job market. The MMB program requires students to complete an internship and three practicum projects in an industry setting, to promote development of key skills in a variety of areas, to build confidence in the ability to perform initial job duties, and to establish a more extensive work history in industry. In this Perspective we discuss an unmet need in undergraduate and graduate STEM education that can be filled by incorporating a similar set of industry-specific work experiences for students who desire to transition from academe into the life science industry.

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References & Citations

1. National Science Board 2016 Science and engineering indicators 2016 National Science Foundation (NSB-2016-1) Arlington, VA https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsb20161/#/report
2. National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics 2016 Doctorate recipients from U.S. universities: 2015 Special Report NSF 17-306 Arlington, VA https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17306/
3. National Association of Colleges and Employers 2016 First destinations for the college class of 2015 (Executive summary) Bethlehem, PA http://www.naceweb.org/jobmarket/graduate-outcomes/first-destination/class-of-2015/
4. Nugent KL, Lindburg L 2015 Life sciences workforce trends evolve with the industry Nat Biotechnol 33 107 109 10.1038/nbt.3116 25574640 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.3116
5. Sawyer K, Alper J Chemical Sciences Roundtable, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, National Research Council (U.S) 2014 Industry perspectives Undergraduate chemistry education: A workshop summary National Academies Press Washington, DC www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK208545/
6. Nugent KL, Kulkarni A 2013 An interdisciplinary shift in demand for talent within the biotech industry Nat Biotechnol 31 853 855 10.1038/nbt.2694 24022161 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2694
7. Theodosiou M, Rennard J-P, Amir-Aslani A 2012 The rise of the professional master’s degree: the answer to the postdoc/PhD bubble Nat Biotechnol 30 367 368 10.1038/nbt.2180 22491294 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2180
8. Brazee C 2012 Innovative learning/learning innovation: Using action learning projects to develop students’ industry mindset Int J Innov Sci 4 155 171 10.1260/1757-2223.4.3.155 http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/1757-2223.4.3.155
9. Luginbuhl SC, Hamilton PT 2012 Preparing science-trained professionals for the biotechnology industry: a ten-year perspective on a Professional Science Master’s program J Microbiol Biol Educ 13 39 44 10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.375 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.375
10. Luginbuhl SC, Hamilton PT 2013 Cooperative learning through team-based projects in the biotechnology industry J Microbiol Biol Educ 14 221 229 10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.608 24358386 3867760 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.608
11. Professional Science Master’s National Office 2014 Evaluation report : PSM student outcomes survey 2014 Keck Graduate Institute Claremont, CA www.professionalsciencemasters.org/sites/default/files/reports/Reports/EvaluationReport_2014_PSMOffice_KGI.pdf

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2017-04-21
2019-03-21

Abstract:

In contrast to the narrowing of options in academic careers, the bioscience industry offers robust employment opportunities for STEM-trained workers, especially those who display both scientific and business talent. Unfortunately, traditional science programs typically lack curricular features that develop this type of worker. The North Carolina State University Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program facilitates industry-specific experiential learning to fill this training gap. Similar programs often rely on a single industry internship to provide students relevant work experience, but completion of one internship might not suffice to position students for employment in a highly competitive job market. The MMB program requires students to complete an internship and three practicum projects in an industry setting, to promote development of key skills in a variety of areas, to build confidence in the ability to perform initial job duties, and to establish a more extensive work history in industry. In this Perspective we discuss an unmet need in undergraduate and graduate STEM education that can be filled by incorporating a similar set of industry-specific work experiences for students who desire to transition from academe into the life science industry.

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