What do Biomedical Engineers do?
According to the US Department of Labor, Biomedical Engineers "advance knowledge and technology in engineering, biology and medicine, and combine engineering sciences with biomedical sciences and clinical practice. Biomedical engineers develop devices and systems that advance biology and medicine, and improve medical practice and health care provisions. They work cooperatively with biologists, life scientists, chemists and medical scientists to develop products, such as prostheses, instrumentation and medical information services, for use in the biology and medical-related fields." See the video on the Biomedical Engineering Department Web site for more information.
Where do they work?
Biomedical engineers are employed by places including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, consumer products companies, medical device and testing companies, government agencies, universities in research and academia, and medical schools. The department at Columbia prepares students for careers in areas such as the medical device industry, engineering consulting, biomechanics, biomedical imaging, and biotechnology; graduate studies in biomedical engineering or related fields; and attendance at medical or dental school.
What are some employers in the field?
Top employers in the field include: Boston Scientific ● Bristol-Myers Squibb ● Celegene ● Genentech ● Genzym ● Johnson & Johnson ● Kimberly-Clark ● Mayo Clinic ● Medtronic ● Merck ● Pfizer. You can also check out attendees to CCE's career fairs in the employer profile books and LionSHARE's employer directory tab.
A short list of additional organizations with BME-oriented opportunities include:
Abbott Laboratories, Alcon Laboratories, Bausch & Lomb, Baxter Healthcare, Becton Dickinson, Cardinal Health, Cerner Corporation, Civco Medical Solutions, Cobham Mission Systems, Cook Medical Inc., Devicix, Edwards Lifesciences, Epic Systems, Exactech, Food and Drug Administration, GE Healthcare, Hygia Health Services, Integrated DNA Technologies, Intuitive Surgical, Jemo Spine, Loyola University Medical Center, Medgraphics, Medical Murray, NSBRI at NASA, National Institute of Health, Osiris Therapeutics, Peace Corps, Philips, Proctor and Gamble, Rock Island Arsenal, Siemens, Smith & Nephew, St. Jude Medical Center, Stryker,QinetiQ University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Veterans Affairs Hospitals, Vida Diagnostics, Vital Images.
Sloan Cornerstone Career Center hosts a list of other employers to explore.
What resources can I look into for more information and to gain experience?
Center for Career Education Resources: For a full list of resources and services, visit our home page.
- LionSHARE: CCE’s database of internships and full time jobs for students and alumni
- Science Technology Engineering Internship Program (STEP) and other CCE sponsored international and national internship programs
- CCE Career Fairs, employer information sessions, site visits, panels, workshops, and alumni events (see CCE's calendar of events regularly for updates)
- Webshops and webinars covering a wide array of topics
- Vault & WetFeet guides: profiles industries, companies, and careers including: Vault Guide to Biotech, Careers in Pharmaceuticals, Industries and Careers for Engineers
- List of Leadership Development and Rotational Programs
- LinkedIn.com Columbia Groups: Columbia Career Connections & Columbia Alumni Association Network to find alumni working in the field
Student Clubs & Professional Associations: Student clubs often have direct links with employers and are excellent ways to learn about careers in the field. Many are even linked to regional or national professional associations that have web resources and host conferences and career fairs
- The Columbia Chapter of the Society for Biomaterials and affiliated professional association The Society for Biomaterials (SFB)
- Biomedical Engineering Society Columbia chapter
- Columbia University IEEE.BMES and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
- Columbia Biotechnology Association
- Graduate Biomedical Engineering (GraBME)
- Professional Associations: Use the low student membership rates in professional associations to gain career guidance and information about scholarships, networking opportunities, job postings, conferences and workshops, and access to job fairs.
- Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE)
- Biotechnology Industry Organization
- Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)
- American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
- American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE)
- Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
- Society of Women Engineers
Research, Other Opportunities, and Resources:
- Biomedical Engineering Department Web site
- SURF - Hands-on biology related laboratory research
- Undergraduate Research Involvement Program
- SEAS Global Initiatives – Intern/Study Abroad Web Site
- Fellowships for CC/SEAS, GS, and GSAS
- Mentornet, an online mentoring communinity in which Columbia University participates
Internship/Job Posting Websites:
- List of BME summer programs (research/internships)
- Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
- American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
- National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
- BME Career Alliance: Internship and job posting database from the BME Career Alliance. BME students at CU can email Professor Hillman for assistance locating discount access codes. Also shares free resources here for career research
- BMES Job Board: Internship and job posting database from the Biomedical Engineering Society
- EMBS Job Board: Internship and job posting database from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
- Engineering Jobs – Biomedical: A very broad range of jobs specifically limited to biomedical engineering opportunities
- Hum-molgen: A specialty site dedicated to collecting available career positions in bioscience and medicine
- Bio Find: Along with tracking trends, listing events, and collecting news stories, this site also gathers job listings
- Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
- Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
- Engineer.net: A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent
Professional Journals: Keep up to date on trends in the field, identify potential employers, and find out about new opportunities. Your access to the Columbia library system, through the CU library login, gives you extensive exposure to important information in the field today.