Big Pharma: Big markets. Traditional science. Big future and lofty salaries.

Biotech: Lots of competition for smaller markets. Cutting-edge science. Iffy future, but tempting stock options.

Such are the widely held perceptions regarding the industry sectors that employ life science researchers. Those perceptions have become clichés, and like all great clichés, they're not altogether accurate--but they do contain a kernel of truth.

The real truth is, the maturing biotech industry and the pharmaceutical giants are evolving organisms, and clichés that grew from the truisms of an emerging biotech industry in the 1980s need to be re-evaluated for the 1990s. For the job seeker searching for the right fit, it's time to put aside preconceived notions and take a hard look at the industries as they exist today. Whether you're a newly minted graduate, or a veteran seeking a change in scenery, there are a number of questions to ask and...

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