One year after graduating with a degree in political science, Jim Reddoch caught the molecular biology bug and entered the graduate program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Two years into that program, he already had misgivings. Advisers suggested that, once he had a Ph.D., he was virtually assured of an immediate career in academic research. Watching his fellow graduate students finish degrees and search for jobs, "I found that was not the case at all," he recalls.

Here's a partial list of jobs related to biotech, pharmaceutical, or healthcare investing:

Senior analyst/research associate: Perhaps the path of least resistance to those who have no formal business training (although a class or two in finance would be a good idea). The research associate reports to a more experienced senior analyst. Track a limited number of companies, and produce periodic reports with a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell....

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