Interview With Hardeep – I think Biotechnology MS, PSM Thing is Stupid

Part 2 of the interview with Hardeep continues here today. You can read here the Part 1 – Why Keck Graduate Institute for Biotechnology?

What are your thoughts on biotech job market for students graduating with master’s in biotechnology?

The U.S. job market is definitely tight right now. However, there are always ways to get a job. You need to network with people early and not to expect to get a job based on your resumé or a company with a big brand.

You need to contact the right people at the right time. Getting a job is a mix of talent and luck. I can’t highlight the importance of networking anymore. It is indispensable as I see it.

How easy is it to find internship during Summer?

It is not as difficult like finding a job but it is almost the same thing. You need to do exactly the same preparations and techniques as finding employment.

Get good grades, network a lot, sell yourself well, start early, brush up your interview skills, write a good resumé, and leave rest on good luck.

Cost of living at KGI

My school is one of the most expensive schools in the US to graduate at simply because of the business concentration in California and the money to be spent on the intense coursework.

The fee is about $80k for 2 years (could have likely increased by now) but everyone gets some sort of scholarship there.

What are the chances of getting scholarship?

The chances of getting a scholarship are 100%. Everyone gets it but the amount varies. It differs widely, from 15k – 50k. I got 50% scholarship, which was the highest at that time.

Getting into KGI is not tough but obtaining high-value scholarship is slightly tricky. The admission process comprises of some interviews and webinars or something.

To support student education, KGI also provides an internal loan at 7-8% (way cheaper than in India) and you don’t need anyone to sponsor you, you just need to be KGIian.

I’m confused between MS in biotechnology and PSM in biotechnology, I don’t have work experience, so what would you suggest me?

I think this M.S.—PSM thing is stupid. There is nothing like PSM thing in most colleges. Employers do not care what degree you have taken, they look at your skills.

KGI is one of the first to have started PSM. Some others (large American colleges – don’t want to disclose them) followed and students are struggling. KGI is into business and is not a good place for researchers.

However, PennState and UPENN have PSMs too, but people still get research based jobs (most of them).

To cut it short, if you are a research lover, PSM might not suit you. Look for places which are situated where there are industrial areas and many businesses.

For example, NEU is not a high ranked university but since it is in Boston, they have co-op programs and most people get placed in some business sector or industry. USC takes so many people but has a big brand and is in California, so it is another low hanging fruit.

Some high brands in Texas or Utah might give you a good name on the resumé, but with less industry sectors around might make you sweat harder to get something in pocket.

It’s all about working SMART and partying harder!!!

How did Happy Schools Blog help you?

Happy Schools Blog had answered a lot of questions I had at that time (some 2 years back).

Nonetheless, I was looking for some answers that the blog did not have since it was not centered towards life sciences to a large extent, but now I see the blog has improved a lot in that regard.

HSB is a lot more organized and professional now. It has a lot of authentic information on different things required by you, and even more.

In addition, I can see a lot of student interviews which is good as it gives you a student’s perspective on various issues. The keeper of the blog is genuine in his efforts and students should try to use the blog for their benefits.

For the benefit of the students and the blog (yes, it needs you too ;)), feel free to direct other kids.

I wish Happy Schools Blog good luck and I would be happy to contribute more in the future.

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  1. Hi, can someone tell about the MS in Biotech/Biotech & Entrepreneurship at NYU Tandon? I’m trying to decide betwenn NYU and the PSM in biotech at UPenn. Thanks!

  2. Hi,i did MTech Biotechnology in India.Now i am in h4 visa. Can you please help me what options i have to do job here. Please help me in finding consultancies which apply h1b visa for me. Thanks in advance

    1. So it seems PSM in biotechnology will be the ideal option for someone like me who wishes to work on the business side of biotechnology and is not looking for PhD? I also don’t have work experience.

      1. Nope! I don’t recommend it. You will not get to work on business side unless you have plenty of experience. Overall biotech – It’s tough to find jobs, even if you do, don’t expect salary like an Engineer – You may start with $45k and in 10 years, it would read like $75k, whereas, Software Engineer starts at 60k and in 10 years, they are at 100k+.

  3. Hi
    I am applying to KGI as well
    Can I please get hardeep’s email address
    I had a couple of questions regarding KGI
    I will really appreciate your co-operation

  4. Has anyone done either of the following programs?Any idea of the program value addition,future job prospects etc.?

    UPenn : M.S. Biotechnology
    Tufts : Bioengineering

    I am interested in Bioenterprise/Bioentrepreneurship,more so from the technical angle than the business angle.
    UPenn is Ivy,Tufts is not.
    But,Tufts is in Boston,UPenn is not.

    Any advice to makea decision would truly help.

    Thanks a ton!


  5. Hi'

    I am in the process of University seacrh for Undergraduate course in US. I wanted to study Bio Medical Engineering related to medicine. Can you suggest some good Universities that I can apply to. What are the career options of taking Bio Medical I am studying in an International school where I am doing AP as well as AS levels. I am also a bit fee conscious.

    Thanks in advance


  6. What is the value of MS in Biotechnology (done in
    University of California) in Indian Biotech industry, especially in
    Bangalore for a person who has no job experience? The student has
    completed BE in Biotechnology from India and gone to do MS in the

  7. Glad to have helped. Again, don't consider KGI degree to be an MBA. It's one of the best in terms of imparting knowledge around 'business of science'. A lot of my KGIians do face an issue with branding as it does not match to the likes of UCs or Upenn. However, like mentioned before, employer wants to know if you can do the job for them and thats where your skill set come into play, not your degree name. Bottomline is that you need to sell yourself, if you can speak well and show your value, you can overcome the branding hurdle. If money is not an issue, I would recommend everyone to have a look at the course work, its worth doing the program!

  8. excellent article!

    i too have got admit and 50% aid just like him at Keck, i need to ask him a couple of crucial questions about KECk.

    Kindly oblige…

    1. Hi Manukiran,

      Could you please let me know, how was the fellowship assessment interview process and what typical questions do they ask. I have the interview in next week.

      Also do brief me regarding the admission interview.

      Any guidance and help in this regard would be greatly appreciated!

      Thank You!!

  9. Can someone tell me about the Keck Graduate Institute. Heard that it is really very good in applied life sciences. But it doesn't have big brand like all other USA universities. I am thinking of pursuing my master in Bioscience with business as a career track. On the other side I saw that tuition fee is very high. Will it be agood idea to invest such a high amount of money for school who doent not have a big lable like Notthwestern, Purdue, UCLA, Stanford. Please anyone help me in this regard. I am very much disturbed. I would be very grateful, if you answer me.

    Best regards,

  10. can somebody tell about the MS Course in Bio Tech and Entrepreunership at NYU POLY at Brooklyn .What are the job prospects after the course?and the Internships?

    Is it a part of NYU?How do the course and the institute stand among others in US in terms of reputation.

  11. hi, im actually confused now since few ppl said psm is good branch and u have a lot of scope since u ll be able to work as project manager n stuff or more precisely its like doing mba in biotech.
    so plz reply me if i to continue or not actually im giving my gre exam this month
    thank you
    plz reply

  12. thanx a lot hardeep…

    i really appreciate for providing me such gud information..

    students must get clear with a lot of things!!

  13. I wish I'd read this post earlier! Thanks Hardeep, this is valuable information for ppl wanting to do a Masters in Biotech.

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