Ryan Liermann was looking for ways to move from a bench scientist role to a technology management position, but finding the right program was tough—until he discovered the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.
The two-year M.S. in Biotechnology Program centers on technology-based entrepreneurship and product development, which students explore through the lenses of science, law, and business. Designed for working professionals with packed calendars, it offers a flexible schedule of classes taught by UW–Madison faculty and leaders of Madison-area biotechnology companies.
Liermann commuted to the program’s evening and weekend classes from Rockford, Ill., where he was able to keep working full-time at Pierce Biotechnology. Soon after graduation, he accepted a program manager position at Hospira, a pharmaceutical and medical device company in the Chicago area.
In addition to giving Liermann a chance to apply his new managerial skills, the job came with a 90% salary increase.
“It’s just one of the benefits that came from following my hunch that this program was exactly what I was looking for,” he says.
Blending science, business, and law
Liermann gained skills in leadership, cross-functional communication, and more in his business and law courses, which covered topics such as project management, patents and licensing, ethics, regulations, and business models and strategies. He also bolstered his science knowledge by studying molecular technologies and the drug discovery process.
“I learned firsthand the ins and outs of biotech management, what it takes to successfully bring products to the marketplace, and how to implement tactical, strategic approaches in business,” he adds.
Plus, Liermann gained confidence by learning from experts and deepening his knowledge base. As a result, he was able to hit the ground running when he started his new job, and again when he assumed a leadership role at Pfizer, where he now oversees project and portfolio management systems.
Find out more about the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program. The program will accept applications for fall 2019 through May 1, 2019, or until the student cohort is full.