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How Do I Get a Job in Cancer Treatment Research?

By Valerie Clark
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Getting a job in cancer treatment research, or oncology research, typically requires a science-based degree in biology, chemistry or related field. Additional requirements include work experience in a laboratory setting, research facility or similar workplace. Qualified applicants for cancer treatment research jobs generally hold an advanced degree or certificate with specialized training in clinical research.

As the demand for cancer research grows, so does the need for well-trained, diverse and motivated scientists and technicians. Cancer research careers have become more diversified, employing professionals from academia, industry and charities. To job seekers who are eager to break into cancer treatment research, this means more opportunities for qualified people from varied backgrounds. For cancer research centers, this means increased collaboration for the development of new drugs and therapies.

Anyone aspiring to be involved with cancer research can be assured of two things. First, job security is high for those who are qualified and have a strong work ethic. Second, job satisfaction ranks highly among those who feel that they are contributing to the search for a cure for cancer.

If you’re young enough and you have not earned your college degree yet, begin preparing for a career in cancer research by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in science or medicine. While in school, build a portfolio of research experience, laboratory exposure and at least one internship that is related to cancer treatments. Insight into the career opportunities for a cancer researcher can be found by conducting a little research yourself. Regularly monitor what types of cancer treatment research jobs are in demand and what the requirements are. Use this information to develop a skill set that is sure to be in demand when you’re ready to find a job.

If you’ve already earned your degree in science or a related field and your goal is secure a career in cancer treatment research, you’ll need to make sure that you have the skills that are in demand. Although you might ultimately want to be in a leadership role, most people have to work their way up, beginning with basic laboratory technician jobs. An alternative would be to continue on with your education until you reach the doctorate level. With a doctoral degree in hand, a new graduate can land a fairly lucrative job as a study director or principal investigator with a research organization.

The opportunities to work in cancer treatment research are diverse. Even if you don’t have a scientific background, cancer research organizations employ administrative professionals, accountants and information technology (IT) experts. Writers, statisticians and quality assurance auditors can all find a place within the field of cancer treatment research. If you are having difficulty landing a highly sought-after position, consider applying for a less-competitive position and work your way up. Either way, you can still have a job that is related to cancer treatment research.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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