Some of the very happy CLS majors, all of whom have jobs, are Julie Cherico,
Liron Marnin, Ryan Douglas, Jillian Earley, and Allie Renai.
Seven for seven, a perfect success rate. Seven Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) majors graduated on May 18, and every one of them had a job offer before walking across stage to grab a college degree.
In a world where newly minted graduates commonly scratch and claw for months before landing a job, CLS is every student’s dream major. Every parent’s, too. The median salary for a medical laboratory technician was $36,280 in 2010 according to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Dr. Sandra Weiss, director of the Neumann CLS program, believes that starting salaries in the Philadelphia area are even higher, at or above the $40,000 level.
The seven CLS graduates are Julie Cherico (A.I. DuPont Hospital), Ryan Douglas (Einstein Medical Center), Jillian Earley (Crozier Keystone Medical Center), Julia Fralinger (Jennersville Hospital), Liron Marnin (Delaware County Memorial Hospital), Allie Renai (Crozier Chester Medical Center), and Brittany Schafferman (Philadelphia VA Medical Center).
Why choose Clinical Laboratory Science as a major? Most of the students didn’t, at least not at first. They began their college experience in another program, and switched into CLS for a variety of reasons.
“I was in nursing, but I found the research in CLS more interesting and I liked working in the labs,” explains Earley.
Renai, originally interested in becoming a physician assistant, decided that she wanted to focus on infectious diseases. “I found Neumann’s program to be vigorous and that’s what I needed. CLS guarantees you and job, and a very good-paying job, at 23 years old.”
According to the ASCLS website, “Medical laboratory science professionals are vital healthcare detectives, uncovering and providing information from laboratory analyses that assist physicians in patient diagnosis and treatment. They use sophisticated biomedical instrumentation and technology . . . to perform laboratory testing on blood and body fluids. Laboratory testing encompasses such disciplines as clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, microbiology, and molecular biology.”
Weiss believes that career opportunities in the field will be available for years to come “because many experienced medical laboratory professionals are retiring or approaching retirement age.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor supports that claim, projecting that the employment of medical laboratory technicians and scientists will increase by 14% through the year 2016. According to Jobs Rated Almanac, there is a shortage in the field in many parts of the country, guaranteeing employment and higher salaries for graduates.
“Students graduate with a biology degree and a concentration in clinical laboratory science,” Weiss points out, “so they are much more marketable because they are recognized as a clinical lab technologist and as a biologist. Students can continue their dream of going to medical school, physician assistance programs, doctoral programs, or other graduate degrees while working. CLS is a tough, rigorous program that requires a love of science and medicine, and critical thinking in the performance of accurate and reliable laboratory work.”
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