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I have studied Biochemistry and Computer-Science (both Bachelor-Degrees). I have worked a few years in a biochemistry-lab in which I had own projects for which I was responsible. During that time I also started to study CS for which I am preparing right now to search for a job at a company.

Regarding CS: I've accomplished a small Java-Enterprise project for a customer as freelancer. Obviously this is some kind of work-experience.

Question: When my prior work as biochemist involved having responsibility in projects does it count as experience regarding my new company in a different field ? How much do soft-skills count when it comes to experience ?

More specific: With "count" I mean explicitly will I have to start from pure entry-level again ?

Soft-skills: Actually working in a team, had to meet deadlines, organize projects,...

Thank You

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    You can include anything in your resume as long as you can justify its relevance to a prospective employer. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 12 '15 at 9:50
  • It looks both totally diff. fields so you can include in resume but for job based on computer science , you will be consider as fresher/entry level. – Helping Hands Jun 12 '15 at 10:55
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Question: When my prior work as biochemist involved having responsibility in projects does it count as experience regarding my new company in a different field ? How much do soft-skills count when it comes to experience ?

This does not depend on what field you're interviewing for but to what job you're interviewing for.

Anything that gives you an advantage over other candidates for a position is relevant.

In your case - generally no. As someone who worked at a biochemistry lab for half a year - it was immensely interesting and I learned a ton from really smart people but the skills I earned there did not directly translate to anything in computer science. So if your experience has been like mine - then an entry level position is more likely.

That is - unless you go work for a company that does something that mixes the two - like a bioinformatics company where your skills do directly translate into a better ability at the job.

That said - jobs in technology are generally very flexible, things like "entry level" don't really exist in a uniform sense and as long as someone wants to hire you you can get a job - I know plenty of people who started as senior developers so there's that.

  • Thanks, in fact I want to do just "some" programming now and then specialize into mixing the two. i.e.: Software Developer for Pharmaceutical Companies... How is your experience in the CS field when heaving also done biochemistry ? – SklogW Jun 12 '15 at 12:06
  • I have done a lot more programming than biochemistry - but overall very good. I have a bunch of friends who did and are successfully doing both - you can apply for bioinformatics companies - they typically have different focuses than other coding companies (less Java, more Python and data science). – Benjamin Gruenbaum Jun 12 '15 at 12:07
  • A little follow-up: Would you say it is legitimate to ask for more money when the job requires skills in biochemistry AND programming ? I imagine that such a set of skills is rarer than either of both, therefore more expensive. – SklogW Jun 12 '15 at 12:10
  • Generally biochemistry jobs pay pretty well in the market here, but it depends on where you're located, what company and so on. As always it is generally best to interview a lot and talk to a lot of people in the field. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Jun 12 '15 at 12:11
  • Interesting. How does one get a first dev job as a senior? – jcm Jun 12 '15 at 12:46

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