Demystifying job titles and the job search for CBS students

There are so many jobs available in the world of work these days, and so many ways to try to find them. It can be hard to know where to start. We’ve identified some common job titles you might encounter (or want to search for) as a CBS student and some basic tips to assist you in looking for a job. 

Finding a job using the skill set developed while pursuing a bachelor’s degree is a popular option for many CBS students. There are a plethora of jobs available in research labs on the University of Minnesota campus, in clinical settings, or in biotechnology or other companies and many positions may share a similar job description.

Using the skills developed as a CBS student, you may be helping to develop new products, finding new uses for existing products, or discovering new treatments for illnesses–the list is endless! Knowing the difference between job titles can be challenging, but there are a few common ones that can help you get started.  

Common job titles:

Data Analyst • Lab Assistant • Lab Technician • Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist • Research Analyst • Research Assistant • Research Associate • Research Scientist • Research Tech • Structural Biologist

Note: The job titles mentioned here are only a few examples of many and not a complete list.  

A number of these roles may actually perform most or all of the same daily tasks in a work setting, depending on the company or organization the position is with. Knowing these titles may help you get started with your job search, but limiting yourself to only looking for those job titles may mean missing out on great opportunities. Using the tips provided in the next section will be a more effective way to really find jobs you may be interested in. 

The following tips can help you to get a handle on your job search:  

  1. Discover organizations and/or companies that align with your interests and values. While they may not have jobs that you qualify for right now, they may have those jobs available in the future. Bookmark their HR pages! 
  2. Read job descriptions. Sometimes jobs that would be of great interest may have a title you wouldn’t expect. Be sure to read job descriptions. This will not only help determine your interest in a job, but it will help you to tailor your application materials for each job.
  3. Create job search agents. These automated processes will send you a notification any time a job meeting your parameters is posted. This can (and should) include job agents with specific companies or organizations, but also job agents through job search sites such as Indeed and Linkedin. 
  4. Let people know you are looking for a job. If people (professors you have good relationships with, advisors, career coaches, friends, family members, etc) know you are searching, and a bit about what you are interested in, they may think of you when they hear about opportunities. 
  5. Connect with CBS alumni about jobs you might be interested in. Talking with alums in jobs you are curious about can be a great way to not only learn more about different jobs, but possibly be connected to jobs at that company. 

If you have questions about, or need help with, any of the tips or ideas covered in this article, from connecting with alums to researching different companies/organizations, reach out to the CBS Career Development Team!  

–Forest Clarke

October, 2022