Long story short: I graduated in 1986 with a BA in Biology. My first job with that degree was making Whoppers at Burger King. So, a few years later, I went back to school and got my BS MT, took the BOC exam and was certified [MT(ASCP)] to work in clinical labs. At one point, I was working in a teaching hospital, and developed a drug monitoring assay (free Phenytoin, as opposed to total Phenytoin) for that lab. That got the attention of a clinical chemistry research lab associated with the clinical lab, and they hired me. I learned to do basic research as well as instrument validation and patient studies. Being full time on the academic side entitled me to 6 free credit hours a semester, so I worked on my MS in Biochemistry. Now I’m looking for a new position to learn new skills.
I’m still research grade as well as clinical grade, and can work in either setting now. Having an MS on the clinical side is not that common and doesn’t get you any further, really, than a BS MT because there’s no established role for that educational level. I would love to see an MS MT degree in the future that would dig deeper into molecular pathology and the chemistry of bioanalysis and be an effective laboratory medicine representative to those who order lab tests.
CSMLS would be the place to start for you. Antigen can help you, too, as she was a CLS in Montreal before moving south of the border.