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Selling Science: Marketing positions hold allure, but present challenges

Vaulting from the lab bench to the marketing office sounds tempting for scientists considering leaving the research world for a business environment. But several scientists who have made that move report that it takes more time, effort, and patience than many may realize. LONG-TERM MATTER: Dennis Bittner, group product manager at Bio-Rad Laboratories, says most Ph.D. scientists with no business experience will likely fail to land marketing positions immediately. "They'd like to go straight fr

Paul Smaglik

Vaulting from the lab bench to the marketing office sounds tempting for scientists considering leaving the research world for a business environment. But several scientists who have made that move report that it takes more time, effort, and patience than many may realize.


LONG-TERM MATTER: Dennis Bittner, group product manager at Bio-Rad Laboratories, says most Ph.D. scientists with no business experience will likely fail to land marketing positions immediately.
"They'd like to go straight from the bench into marketing," says Dennis Bittner, marketing manager at Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., a Hercules, Calif.-based instrument manufacturer, of scientists contemplating the switch. Most Ph.D. scientists with no business experience will likely fail to land marketing positions immediately, Bittner notes. But scientists can do three things to gain the experience necessary for a marketing position: work as a field sales representative, serve as a technical support person, or earn an MBA. A technical background...

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