Biopharmas Focus Job Expansion on Technologies, Therapeutic Areas, and Other Expertise

Wall Street’s growing fondness for biotech and pharma has helped warm up the industry’s once-chilly labor market, yet companies remain choosy about how they deploy the extra capital to add jobs.

Companies are expanding their workforces in selected technologies, therapeutic areas, and other expertise—but not across the board, and not in areas heavy with outsourcing, such as basic R&D, several recruiters said in interviews with Clinical OMICs.

Mark Lanfear, global practice lead-life science solutions with Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting, told Clinical OMICs the growth of big data within biopharma has led to increased hiring for data management, biostatistics, or other data programming and analytics positions.

“The skill and ability to be very tech savvy is becoming very necessary because it’s speeding up the process that research and development goes through within biotech and pharmaceutical companies,” Lanfear said. “Where there used to be a lot of clinical sciences going on, hands-on types of science medical work that drove the different R&D projects, now what we’re seeing, a skill set that is highly needed, is being able to use different platforms of programs. Having some ability to be able to program and analyze data is now a necessary stage—a gate of entry to the industry and the jobs that are currently out there.”

Jobs are fewer than with the R&D positions of years ago, but with higher salaries reflecting more specialized skills: “We’re talking about positions that are paying $80,000 a year and up into six figures—about $150,000 and just under the $200,000 range.”

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