Scott Yoder moves up the career ladder with M.S. in Biotechnology

UW-Madison M.S. in Biotechnology students

Scott Yoder had an ambitious goal: learning about the business, legal, and clinical sides of the biotechnology industry. But it was difficult to find a graduate program that met his needs.

“The challenges associated with a startup company, in particular, require a breadth that goes so far beyond a traditional M.S. or M.B.A. degree,” Yoder says.

Yoder found a perfect match for his interests in the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Its hands-on curriculum covers science, business, bioethics, public policy, and law. Instructors include UW-Madison faculty, lawyers, and professional leaders in the biotechnology field from private industry in the Madison region.

“The courses in the M.S. in Biotechnology were the most applied I have ever taken,” Yoder says. “That direct application has been incredibly valuable to me as I have moved into different business environments.”

A competitive advantage

Program graduate Scott Yoder
Scott Yoder: ‘The program gave me a competitive advantage.’

With classes on evenings and weekends, the two-year program allows working professionals to advance their careers in the biotechnology industry without having to leave their jobs. For Yoder, the convenient scheduling allowed him to learn about business strategies just when he needed them in his career.

Two of his employers (PowderJect Vaccines, Inc., and Bone Care International) were purchased and relocated during his time in the program. As a result, studying mergers and acquisitions became highly relevant. “Talk about timing and the usefulness of hands-on information—I was living it while I was in graduate school,” he says.

The Master of Science in Biotechnology Program gave Yoder the skills and the confidence to capitalize on these developments for career advancement. He moved into leadership roles at Stratatech Corporation, Inc., a biotechnology manufacturing company; Hospira, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company; and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he served as associate director of vaccine business operations.

“The program definitely gave me a competitive advantage in pursuing career and salary progression,” Yoder says. “The courses in technology transfer topics were invaluable to me in learning how to get products to the marketplace, whether in a small startup company based on university research or a global pharmaceutical company.”

For more information on UW-Madison’s Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, see the program webpage.