Image: science photo/Shutterstock

Want to work in biopharma? Here’s what you need to study

25 May 2017

There are plenty of programmes you can study to start your career in biopharma, from science to engineering.

Biopharma and biotech are becoming some of the fastest-growing industries in Ireland at the moment.

With more than 8,000 jobs on the horizon over the next few years, anyone interested in a science career should consider looking in biopharma’s direction.

Future Human

A general science degree is a good place to start if you’re not completely sure about where you want to go. There are general science degrees all over the country, with plenty of master’s and PhD options if you want to do further study.

For something more specific, there are bachelor’s degrees in biotechnology in a number of institutions:

An alternative route to science is engineering. Students can start with a bachelor’s degree in engineering before moving on to a master’s with science or biopharmaceuticals at its core.

Simply put, while you can get a more specific bachelor’s degree in biopharma or biotech, it is more common for students to top up this qualification with a master’s degree.

If you want to pursue a biopharma career, an alternative degree is a master’s in biopharmaceutical science from the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). This master’s degree was designed by NIBRT and IT Sligo with collaboration from industry experts.

Additionally, for the first time, Springboard is offering free courses in biopharma to people regardless of their employment status.

There is a wide range of opportunities in the biotech and biopharma industry at the moment, and what you study largely depends on what area you want to go into, be it engineering, manufacturing or quality assurance.

The main thing you need to look for in your education is a science or engineering background, with a strong focus on chemistry or biotech.

While traditional pharmaceutical degrees are good to have, the industry is swinging in favour of biotech, so a degree with a focus on biopharma instead of straight pharmaceuticals would be most beneficial.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading