Author Topic: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?  (Read 571 times)

startingsmall

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Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:17:17 AM »
I am a veterinarian suffering from a severe case of burnout. I'm about 10 years away from FIRE.... and I'm not gonna make it. I considered just toughing it out for another 5 years or so, then downshifting to something fun (teaching, freelance writing, whatever).... but I don't even know if I can make it that long. So, it's time for a career change.

I really need to focus on jobs that translate to remote work, for several reasons. Number one, we currently live in a rural area with limited career options. Number two, we may move soon for husband's job and it would be great to have a job that can follow me.

I've been doing a decent bit of freelance writing on the side for the last couple of years, to the tune of ~$20k/yr. I could potentially scale that up but, with all of the current uncertainty regarding health insurance and the fact that our savings aren't yet where I want, I really want to stay a FT employee for a bit longer. (My husband's current job doesn't offer insurance. Future jobs may or may not. He has a pre-existing condition.) I've been applying to remote medical writing jobs but not having any luck... so maybe there's something else I should consider?

I stumbled across biostatistics last night. I like science and I'm good at math and analytical type stuff (800 on both SAT & GRE math, plus 800 on the old GRE analytical section). There seem to be a lot of work from home positions. The work sounds interesting, impactful (I hate that word, but it fits here), and hopefully mentally-stimulating. I would need to get either an MS in Biostatistics (which would require me to take a few prereqs first) or an MPH with concentration in Biostatistics (no prereqs, more appealing because of the public health emphasis, but maybe less marketable).

Any biostatistics folks here on MMM that could tell me more about the field, career options, etc?

Does anyone else have a mentally-stimulating remote job in something science/medicine/math related that might give me some other options to explore?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 11:25:16 AM by startingsmall »

mozar

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 09:36:49 AM »
There are lots of options for math. Back end software engineer, machine learning,  AI, so many ways to apply statistics: as an economist doing research on the homeless at a think tank, a government statistician (usda, census). Is there a field you've always wanted to try? What do you feel would really push you? Since you have an income why not quit now and start thinking seriously about what you want to be when you grow up.
Embracing the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning

mozar

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 09:42:17 AM »
Re: working from home. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "work from home careers" that pay well. You should focus on finding work you like and then negotiate telework. Also consider aptitude testing. There is one I think it is called johnson o'conner? They have several locations.
Embracing the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning

Rylito

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 10:41:18 AM »
Checkout:  https://www.flexjobs.com/jobs/telecommuting-jobs-at-idexx_laboratories

Here are some positions I can think of that are often done by remote consultants in the pharma industry you might find appealing.  They may involve visits to client or clinical trial sites but in many cases primarily can be done from home.  I would google these + "remote jobs" and see what comes up. 

GCP/GLP/GMP/QA compliance and auditing
Statistical programming/biometrics
Regulatory affairs consulting
Clinical trial specialist/manager/etc.
Medical writing (I'm sorry you're not having luck breaking into this field, but I do know there is strong demand for experienced writers.  It may be worth trying to network with medical writers on LinkedIn and asking how they got their break.  I'm sure someone with a DVM would be much more desirable than an applicant with only a master's.)

Also pharmaceutical salespeople are obviously not remote workers, but salespeople are needed everywhere.

startingsmall

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 03:03:08 PM »
There are lots of options for math. Back end software engineer, machine learning,  AI, so many ways to apply statistics: as an economist doing research on the homeless at a think tank, a government statistician (usda, census). Is there a field you've always wanted to try? What do you feel would really push you? Since you have an income why not quit now and start thinking seriously about what you want to be when you grow up.

Quitting now isn't an option, unfortunately. My FT job accounts for 65% of our household income and we aren't Mustachian enough to live on just the other 35%.

Maybe my best bet is to keep working on the writing thing. I've had a few phone interviews... and had several people tell me they would seriously consider hiring me if only I could relocate. Maybe I'll eventually find someone willing to take a chance.

startingsmall

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 03:05:05 PM »
Re: working from home. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "work from home careers" that pay well. You should focus on finding work you like and then negotiate telework. Also consider aptitude testing. There is one I think it is called johnson o'conner? They have several locations.

I've considered seeing a career counselor. My husband was required to see one recently as part of his job and he felt that it was incredibly helpful. On the other hand with my limitations (need good pay and something that I can either do in my tiny Town or remotely), I feel like the pool of options may be too narrow for that to be helpful.

Case

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 03:41:36 PM »
I am a veterinarian suffering from a severe case of burnout. I'm about 10 years away from FIRE.... and I'm not gonna make it. I considered just toughing it out for another 5 years or so, then downshifting to something fun (teaching, freelance writing, whatever).... but I don't even know if I can make it that long. So, it's time for a career change.

I really need to focus on jobs that translate to remote work, for several reasons. Number one, we currently live in a rural area with limited career options. Number two, we may move soon for husband's job and it would be great to have a job that can follow me.

I've been doing a decent bit of freelance writing on the side for the last couple of years, to the tune of ~$20k/yr. I could potentially scale that up but, with all of the current uncertainty regarding health insurance and the fact that our savings aren't yet where I want, I really want to stay a FT employee for a bit longer. (My husband's current job doesn't offer insurance. Future jobs may or may not. He has a pre-existing condition.) I've been applying to remote medical writing jobs but not having any luck... so maybe there's something else I should consider?

I stumbled across biostatistics last night. I like science and I'm good at math and analytical type stuff (800 on both SAT & GRE math, plus 800 on the old GRE analytical section). There seem to be a lot of work from home positions. The work sounds interesting, impactful (I hate that word, but it fits here), and hopefully mentally-stimulating. I would need to get either an MS in Biostatistics (which would require me to take a few prereqs first) or an MPH with concentration in Biostatistics (no prereqs, more appealing because of the public health emphasis, but maybe less marketable).

Any biostatistics folks here on MMM that could tell me more about the field, career options, etc?

Does anyone else have a mentally-stimulating remote job in something science/medicine/math related that might give me some other options to explore?

If its that bad, can you just change employers?  Being that far away from FIRE and with a high paying job that requires extra education,  seems like a waste to leave so early...

kwarden13

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 03:54:06 PM »
Look at any of  the big fours. I have worked for 2 of them remote and love it. I work in analytics internally (not consulting) and have an engineering background. Also, the benefits and compensation are amazing!

startingsmall

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 06:31:05 PM »

If its that bad, can you just change employers?  Being that far away from FIRE and with a high paying job that requires extra education,  seems like a waste to leave so early...

Unfortunately, after trying six different veterinary clinics in the last 12ish years, I've realized that it's the career, not the individual clinics. I'm an introvert, so being in an exam room or working directly with a team all day long is incredibly draining for me. I have serious compassion fatigue from seeing so many clients neglect their pets and refuse even minimal care. I hate feeling like I'm constantly selling to clients or, alternatively, like I'm constantly fighting them to ensure that pets get the care they need. There's a reason that veterinarians are #1 for suicide (4x the general population) and it isn't all because of the easy access to euthanasia solution.

My current salary is $70k. (There is the possibility of additional bonus income, up to maybe $25-30k/yr, but our clinic is slow right now so I'm not really banking on that. I haven't been in this position long enough to know for sure how much I'll make in bonuses this year.) Anyway, once I subtract out the cost of commuting (currently over 70 miles per day), I really only need to make about $55k to match my base salary. I agree that it would be preferable to stay in a vet job instead of taking a pay cut, but I think it should be possible for me to change careers without taking too much of a pay cut. Maybe I'm wrong.

Look at any of  the big fours. I have worked for 2 of them remote and love it. I work in analytics internally (not consulting) and have an engineering background. Also, the benefits and compensation are amazing!

Thanks for the suggestion - I'm going to look into this!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 06:34:26 PM by startingsmall »

Smokystache

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 07:01:29 PM »
Any chance that you could combine your education/experience and your writing skills? What I've discovered is that every industry has an unending desire for content for their trade journals, newsletters, blogs, etc. Perhaps you could leverage that into a regular column for an industry magazine, or a pet magazine, local group of shelters, or large group of animal hospitals. This would be a way to leverage all of those hours of direct service into a job that allows you to work from anywhere and no longer have to work in a clinic. You may have to think outside the box. Lots of new pet food services that are into healthy/non-GMO food. Pet insurance is really taking off. Look around to see the companies that already spend significant dollars on advertising - they already know the value of getting their name out there. Is there some specific area of your experience that you're still passionate about (if only you didn't have to work at the clinic)? Perhaps it is a specific type of animal (ferrets, beagles, birds, etc.) or a specific topic within your field (food/nutrition, behavioral training, hospice, skin care, etc.)

(I've done some of this; I have a PhD, but don't want to provide direct service/teach any more). It would take some time to build this up to replace your salary and get several clients or one consistent client, but so would getting a master's degree.

Best of luck!

startingsmall

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 07:06:21 PM »
Any chance that you could combine your education/experience and your writing skills? What I've discovered is that every industry has an unending desire for content for their trade journals, newsletters, blogs, etc. Perhaps you could leverage that into a regular column for an industry magazine, or a pet magazine, local group of shelters, or large group of animal hospitals. This would be a way to leverage all of those hours of direct service into a job that allows you to work from anywhere and no longer have to work in a clinic. You may have to think outside the box. Lots of new pet food services that are into healthy/non-GMO food. Pet insurance is really taking off. Look around to see the companies that already spend significant dollars on advertising - they already know the value of getting their name out there. Is there some specific area of your experience that you're still passionate about (if only you didn't have to work at the clinic)? Perhaps it is a specific type of animal (ferrets, beagles, birds, etc.) or a specific topic within your field (food/nutrition, behavioral training, hospice, skin care, etc.)

(I've done some of this; I have a PhD, but don't want to provide direct service/teach any more). It would take some time to build this up to replace your salary and get several clients or one consistent client, but so would getting a master's degree.

Best of luck!

I've found a lot of freelance writing work along these lines, but so far no luck translating that to a FT remote job with health insurance. That's the sticking point right now. I don't trust our current healthcare situation enough to give up employer-sponsored health insurance. Maybe that's silly, but I just can't bring myself to do it. (It'd be different if my husband didn't have a pre-existing condition that JUST caused him to be denied access to his employer's plan. Stupid church plans.)

Smokystache

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Re: Biostatistics? Other work-from-home careers?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 05:35:06 AM »
That's not stupid at all - a very reasonable concern. My suggestions are best for side income that has a small chance to develop into something FT.