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Old 10-21-2017, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
83 posts, read 37,751 times
Reputation: 127

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Hi all,

I am new to this forum* as I've been doing some research on my prospects for graduate school and relocation. However, location is as important to me if not more so than the school itself. I am concerned mainly with career prospects, COL, the job market, with social atmosphere/lifestyle as a close second. Though I am kind of fixated on living in Colorado.

I am originally from Queens, NY and have wanted to get out since I was about 10 (this is when one of my dad's friends visited from Durango, and when I saw pictures and from what he said it was like, I felt like I'd somehow been screwed over my entire life). I feel alienated where I live, pretty much always have, the culture and social environment here are foreign to me, despite how long I've been here. I am committed to making sure I don't finish out my 20s here.

In high school, I applied to I think 6 different colleges. I "accidentally on purpose" ended up at DU. Was offered a better scholarship/aid package etc. Transferred in my 2nd year closer to home due to health reasons, and the fact I was financially dependent on my parents would've been logistically difficult. But my time in Colorado was almost this reverse culture shock, in that it's what I imagine it'd be like to be removed from your home planet in infancy and raised on another one, then you return to your home planet and wonder why this new place seemed more natural to you...

I loved it there and hated having to leave, wanted to go back ever since. I am rather tired of city life, though that's where all the schools are...and TBH, Denver didn't even feel much like a city by comparison.

Anyway, I finished out undergrad a bit closer to home, at the end of 2014. The job market is ridiculously saturated in the NYC area. I've had such crap luck finding work here that now I am wondering if that's just a lie I'm telling myself, and I'm actually just not qualified for anything... I'm interested in building a career in medical research, as a data analyst or something along those lines. Most of my work experience since graduating has been unpaid internships related to research or consulting. Some people are willing to hire me for free, at least. (I am also more broadly miserable with the lifestyle here, but that's for another thread, lol.)

My plan for the past year+ is to go for a Master's, hopefully fall of next year. I'm thinking MPH-Biostatistics is a good fit (I don't have the undergrad math background required for the analogous MS degree, though I'm decent at math and it seems like in that field, that's sorely lacking, i.e. demand>supply and better job prospects). Taking all the core courses at a local certificate program, which likely knocks out a semester of the Master's. Colorado SPH is my #1 choice. Though I'll probably apply to 2-3 additional programs as safeties.

My question is, given how the housing market has been in Denver, is it going to make much difference for me in terms of COL, finding work...basically being able to actually live and pay bills while going to school? I've heard the market for the kind of work I'm looking at isn't close to saturated, being that public health schools aren't abundant in the region. Also, from what I've heard, biotech and healthcare-oriented industries are big ones in Denver. Last time I was there I was used to feeling like a nobody and everyone around me seemed impressed by what I perceived as my mediocrity (in terms of academic and work abilities etc). But for all I know, the difference between the two cities has shrunk (hope that's not true).

Anyone have any insights on this? I mean, is the notorious influx of Millennial yuppie stoners making this an unrealistic pipe dream for me?

P.S. - Trying to maximize my chances of getting merit scholarships or some kind of assistantship/stipend offering, but if I can't find either that or some other work prior to the beginning of the school year, I won't be able to move there. So I'm kind of worrying about this. Obviously COL is still much higher where I live than it'd be in Denver, but I'm wondering how much I can count on the job market there to be able to feasibly relocate. Of course I am willing to look a bit further away, since I'd actually prefer that to downtown or some of the other pricier, more high-demand areas where supposedly most students want to be.



*I think I created an account here some 10 years ago for similar reasons, and posted like once, lol.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:22 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,813,073 times
Reputation: 1946
The best advice I can give you is to get a job, any job, at a company/organization that does the type of work you would eventually like to do. I know this sounds like a big undertaking but break into manageable steps:

1. Make a list of potential employers. Contact UC Denver SPH and ask for ideas. Go on indeed and search for the job you eventually want and write down those company names. btw, if you don't see the job you want on indeed then the job market for that career stinks.
2. Write a short and concise letter about what skills you have, your future degree, and how you are a hard worker to each employer. Ask to talk to them about the job market and career opportunities.
3. Move to Colorado once you have a job.
4. Take the classes you need to get into grad school at night.
5. Go to grad school after 2 years of working.

Denver and Boulder's unemployment rate is 2% right now. Every successful company is hiring. If the field you are interested in isn't hiring right now they most likely won't be hiring when you get out of grad school.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:30 AM
 
538 posts, read 254,887 times
Reputation: 405
housing here is lower than nyc for sure but you get what you pay for. denver was special a few years back when the national job market was bad. just denver dosnt have as much VALUE as it had.

did you find DU expensive?

do what you want;
you are looking for a very narrow nitch, could you consider a more general engineering degree, even for db analysis?
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
83 posts, read 37,751 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by daprara View Post
housing here is lower than nyc for sure but you get what you pay for. denver was special a few years back when the national job market was bad. just denver dosnt have as much VALUE as it had.

did you find DU expensive?

do what you want;
you are looking for a very narrow nitch, could you consider a more general engineering degree, even for db analysis?
Fairly expensive, yeah. But considering I was offered some scholarship money, and one of my closest friends at the time said he had out about 30K in loans each year b/c his parents refused to pay out of pocket...'expensive' seems rather relative. Then again, this friend has remained in the area and had much better luck finding a career post-grad than I have (as a health data analyst, in fact).

Regarding engineering: Well, my undergrad is in Psychology (w/ more of a natural science leaning -- I started out as a Biology major), so I don't know how I'd even begin to migrate into something like that at a post-bac level...

My interest was always more medically oriented, but in a vague sense of "research", knowing I don't want to be a doctor, and was really iffy about a PhD (needed for something like neuroscience).
This has given me some kind of reasonable direction, at least.

MPH as a degree is known to be multidisciplinary and have somewhat of a broad focus, even though you are required to specialize. It seems that at this point, not being narrow enough has been the challenge. IME since there's so much specialization, if you're not an exact match in terms of not just experience, but your interests and demeanor, they will choose someone else. So just in the realm of public health alone. I recently was pursuing a grant-funded position within a heath department. It wasn't a research position though. They told me I had a lot of potential, but with their colleagues in basically the R&D dept.

Then within research jobs, you have to demonstrate your interest in that particular area. Many times I am looking for experience more than the topic itself (also advised by grad students I've spoken to)... employers don't want to hear that, it seems to be perceived as a lack of passion or something. Thought research was supposed to be dispassionate.

So TL;DR: the job market is ridiculously specialized here. Maybe I've been conditioned to have that mindset.
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:24 AM
 
538 posts, read 254,887 times
Reputation: 405
a FDA regulatory position?
but this is not a research situation and can be super high stress, while you are in school it might be fine

anyways, very best of luck on your decision...
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
83 posts, read 37,751 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by daprara View Post
a FDA regulatory position?
but this is not a research situation and can be super high stress, while you are in school it might be fine

anyways, very best of luck on your decision...
I'd imagine state/local level isn't so difficult to land as federal (and is more common as far as I can tell -- I have classmates who work local), haven't looked at the FDA specifically, but positions with the CDC, NIH etc. tend to be elite opportunities. Also at CSPH, state dept. seems to be a typical option. Just have to hope I have more market value there than I do here. haha.

Thank you. Seems other factors are going to make the decision for me, but I'll be damned if have to stick around here much longer.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:09 AM
 
538 posts, read 254,887 times
Reputation: 405
i ment college employ in a Denver or where ever med dev company, in their regulatory department. but your idea is good too along te lines working at thr FDA.

any school in Boulder CO that matches

Last edited by daprara; 10-22-2017 at 09:28 AM..
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