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Currently hold B.A. and work in Pharma. Should I pursue a B.S. or M.S.?


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Hello All,

I wanted to first provide some background into my situation. I obtained my B.A. in Political Science from Temple University in May of 2011 and have been working in a Sales/Marketing capacity for a supplier of generic pharmaceuticals to the US market for approximately 1 ½ years. My company acts as a marketing and regulatory arm for numerous manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients throughout the world. Given the nature of my work (and the relatively small size of my co.) I wear multiple hats. As a bridge between manufacturers abroad and customers in the US I am involved to a certain extent in regulatory matters, compliance, quality assurance, sales, marketing etc.

I’ve done some clicking around the internet and this site, and felt my situation was somewhat unique (I think) as a majority of people interested in advancing from a BA to an MS or pursuing a degree that is not parallel to their undergraduate studies, were generally interested in changing from one field of work to another. I, on the other hand, am currently gaining experience in a field that I enjoy, but lack training at an undergraduate level. (sales/marketing does not necessarily require a technical background, but the field by nature is very knowledge-intensive)

I intend on furthering my career within the pharmaceutical industry, and I feel additional technical knowledge and background would help in the long run. I was particularly interested in an advanced degree related to drug design, pharmaceutical systems management, etc. My technical background is relatively limited to the advanced programs that I would be pursuing in the future and I have only taken some preliminary science courses to fulfill my undergraduate requirements.

I am considering going back to my local community college and pursuing an A.S. in chemistry or biotechnology to brush up on my fundamentals and get a solid base under me. From there, would I be better served going back for an additional Bachelors, or will I be competitive enough given my experience to enroll in an M.S. program?

Thanks in advance to all that can provide some insight! Perhaps someone on here has been in a similar situation.

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