Back to School with an Improved Biotech Careers

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Careers and career pathways in biotechnology

For many summer break is over, for others it is just about to end. Fall is good time to learn about careers in biotechnology, and Biotech Careers has been updated to improve learning experiences. Major updates include new layouts for content and improved ways of showing related content. Old "content dense" lists have been replaced with grids that are responsive on all modern browsers and devices. Related content, other things you might be interested in when you are reading a blog, learning about an entry level job, or viewing a job area, are displayed in horizontal sliders. In addition to major improvements, we've made other changes and fixes that together improve the site's look and feel. We also updated how we recognize our sponsors because without their support, this site would not be possible. 

Details are provided below. We hope you enjoy the changes.  

Each of the figures below can be viewed in full size by clicking on the image.

Careers now includes more information


Job Descriptions have an improved layout


Job Areas changed from lists to grids


Related content in horizontal sliders


Example blog with related content


Careers Page

The careers page begins with a brief discussion about career pathways in biotechnology and sponsor acknowledgement. This top area is followed by a three panel area: Education, Entry Level Jobs, and Job Areas. The first box describes education requirements. To its right the panels entitled "Entry Level Jobs" and "Job Areas," are added to indicate how career information is organized in the site. Careers begin with entry level jobs that are found in multiple segments (Job Areas) of the biotechnology industry. Job Areas have similarity to the site's Company Business Areas and in terms of career pathways, Job Areas can be used to learn about horizontal mobility. 

The area entitled "Biotechnology Job Descriptions" follows the information panels. Entry level jobs are listed in cards that are displayed in a grid format and illustrates one of the site wide improvements in this update. Specifically many of the list displays have be replaced with grids. Grids provide a visually appealing display and make it easier to see a large amount of related content.

Each job card In the Biotechnology Job Descriptions area, includes a title (linked to its Job Description content), an image (also linked to the content), and a shortened description (with a "Learn more" link). The description is followed by icons that indicate minimal education requirements. Mouse over the icons to view more information. 

Job Description Page   

As noted above, clicking on either the job title, image, or "Learn more" link, one can view more information about a job on its Job Description page. The left side of this page includes descriptions about the job and its education and training requirements. Starting wage (country wide), job areas where the job applies, other jobs that are related, and minimum education requirements are provided in a side panel entitled "Fast Facts." On small screens (phones), Fast Facts wraps under the job and education/training descriptions. 

Two additional areas are included below the job descriptions. The first is a horizontal slider display entitled "Hear from the pros:" This display includes related site content (Blogs, Alumni Profiles, and Videos).  Here, we've replaced the old dense list formats with horizontal sliders. Horizontal sliders separate related content categories better and allow us to include more content that can be easily viewed by click dragging (touch dragging on mobile) the boxes to the left or right. It's just like browsing movies or songs on your favorite streaming services. 

In the second area, we improved data integration with our companion site Bio-Link. Previously, we had a small list of links for degree, certificate, and skill topics, from Bio-Link. We still have that list, but now you can see it! And, we've added an icon image and how many schools offer instruction in a given topic. These topics are also integrated in way so that as information is updated on Bio-Link it will be on Biotech Careers too. The box next to instructional tops has links to a couple of job sites. We'll see improvements in this area in the future. Stay tuned!

Job Areas 

The Job Area landing page is similar as it was before, except that we've replaced the old list format with a grid display. Like Job Description cards, Job Area cards like to their Job Area Description page via the card's title, image, and "Learn more" link.

Job Area Page

Job Area pages have two main parts: the Job Area description and related content. The Job Area description is the same as it was before, but the links (under the description) to other related, Job Areas have been changed from a vertical list to a horizontal, pipe separated, list, which we think is easier to read.

The related content area has four horizontal sliders for: Related Jobs, Related Blogs, Related Alumni Profiles (formerly Photo Journals) and Related Videos. To see additional items in the slider, simply drag the boxes to the left, or right. When there are more than 10 items of related content a "View all [content type]" link appears in the slider window. Clicking the "View all" link will load a page with all of the related content for that category ... in a grid format of course.

It is worth noting that in many cases, a Job Area will have several related jobs because many kinds of biotechnology skills are transferable. This is possible due to the fact that many areas of biotechnology share common foundations in science and processes.

We should also point our that the Job Areas lists that appear in side menus on many pages throughout this site are word clouds. Larger titles have more content associated with them. In other words, the larger titles represent more general areas of the industry. 

Blogs Page 

Blogs also received some love in this update. In the past we had links on the blog page for what a blog is related to. These were at the bottom of the page in small lists that were hard to see. Now related items are displayed in the blogs side menus. Related items include Jobs, Jobs Areas, Blogs and Business Areas. Related Blogs and Business Area are new additions. As Related Blogs is in a side menu, it uses a vertical slider instead of a horizontal slider. Works the same, but instead of sliding items to the left or right, they slide up or down.     

It's the little things

And there's more. 

  • We reorganized the top "nav bar" links to better reflect the flow of the site. Careers have many jobs listed, so they are first. Jobs are organized into Job Areas so that is next and is followed by Internships (how you get started). Next are the information resources: Blogs, Profiles, Videos. Biotech Companies, a large database in its own right is last. 
  • The bottom footer menus have also be rearranged to some degree to match the changes on top. 
  • Photo Journals are now Alumni Profiles.  This change better reflects what they are; stories about graduates and their work in biotechnology. 
  • Many of the items labeled Careers have been changed to Jobs. The Job Description pages describe entry level jobs which gets a career started. This change also sets the stage for future career pathway work. 
  • Improvements for Sponsors. We've added a Sponsors and Partners page to better acknowledge our supporters. We've also added more pages where sponsors can be listed. Sponsors are important. 
  • Side menus have a stronger delineation with borders and backgrounds.  Also, some include lists that can be long. In these cases, the menu height is reduced and vertical scrolling is applied to the content.
  • Fixed the counts of companies by business area for aggregated business area (term) pages such as the Biomedical Device Companies, Immunology Companies, Genomics Companies, and others found on the Biotech Companies page.  Also, the company counts now update when the "View by World" or "View by United States" option is selected.  
  • Improved grid displays for Company Business Areas pages.  Rows have a consistent height and the alphabetical listing of companies reads from left to right instead of top to bottom.
  • Fixed some things that were probably broken on IE 11. As a note, IE 11 will display content in similar ways to modern versions of other browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) on Windows computers, but not exactly. Support for IE 11 ends in 2020.
  • Under the hood changes. We also refactored the way content is reference in the site. You don't see this but we do and it will help us stay current with technology improvements.  


Submitted by Todd Smith on Mon August 26, 2019.

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