Hottest jobs in life science
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Want to know the 5 hottest jobs in life science?

15 Nov 2016

To celebrate Science Week, we wanted to look at the kind of jobs available to those pursuing a career in the scientific sector. Specifically, Hays highlights the five top jobs in the life sciences industry.

With the science sector continuing to widen, there are hundreds of jobs available for potential candidates across a number of various sectors. If your passion lies in life sciences, but you’re not sure what jobs are available at the moment, Hays Recruitment tells us the hottest jobs in the sector at the moment.

1. Research technician (immunology)

With vaccine sales on the march, it’s perhaps not surprising that research positions in immunology are on our list. Vaccines sales are now routinely outstripping sales of traditional pharmaceuticals, with revenues earned by manufacturers worldwide up 11pc in 2015 compared with 2014 – that’s at least five times the revenue growth rate of the pharmaceutical market in recent years. This trend looks set to continue. Applicants for research roles in immunology should ideally have a degree in a biomedical-related subject and laboratory experience, with good communication skills to support a collaborative working environment.

2. Senior researcher (genomics/genetics)

Genomics is another ‘hot button’ area of scientific endeavour, as the emphasis moves towards a treatment paradigm of personalised medicine. Genetics is the study of heredity, and genomics is the study of the entire genome for a given organism. Senior research positions may require a degree in one of these disciplines and/or computer science. A PhD qualification and postdoctoral experience in the application of genomics would confer a distinct advantage.

3. Clinical project manager (CPM)

Clinical project managers plan and manage all aspects of a clinical trial and, as global regulations continue to require increasing evidence to support product claims, candidates for this role are in high demand. CPMs need to be good all-rounders, with excellent team leadership and project management skills. Competition for such roles typically comes from the ranks of experienced clinical research associates and most contenders have a minimum bachelor’s degree. Existing clinical team managers or clinical operations leaders transition well into the CPM role, but outsiders with the right combination of scientific knowledge, business acumen and communication skills may also be successful.

4. Chief scientific officer (CSO)

A chief scientific officer is a senior executive who oversees the scientific research or technological operations of an entire organisation. Strategic in essence, this role helps steer scientific and research priorities in line with mission statement and business objectives. This senior management position requires a broad grasp of a company’s product portfolio, research activities and market dynamics. The CSO plays a crucial role in positioning the operation to promote efficiency, profitability, public relations and competitive viability. Successful candidates typically hold a masters or doctoral degree, along with extensive industry, research and management experience.

5. Specialists in biotechnology

The biotechnology industry continues to grow rapidly, with the number of biotech companies increasing and employment opportunities multiplying. The growth forecast is strong, with global spend on biopharmaceuticals expected to exceed 220bn US dollars by 2017. In the past, the industry has looked for talent at the masters degree and doctoral levels, but as it grows, there has been a shift in the type of candidates needed to meet critical skills gaps, with mathematical and IT expertise coming high on hirers’ wish lists. If you’re keen to break into this sector, now might be a good time to think about leveraging your existing experience.

Paul Strouts is the global managing director for Hays Life Sciences. Strouts looks after 27 countries within the group’s portfolio, spanning from New York in the US to Sydney in Australia.

A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.

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