If you are looking to gain experience or make a career move into the booming Biotech sector read on to find out why and how to break into the industry!
The History of Biotech
Biotech Week, which is organised by EuropaBio, have developed a really interesting graphic on the history of Biotech which lists some of the key milestones and achievements in the field of Biotechnology since 4000BC.
The history of BioPharma in Ireland
In 2003 Ireland had two Biologics manufacturing facilities. Today Ireland has 18 Biologics manufacturing facilities under-construction or in production and additional facilities have been recently announced. Ireland has become one of the key global hotspots for Biopharma with over €54Bn in Biopharmaceutical sales in 2016, placing Ireland as the 7th largest exporter of Biopharmaceuticals in the world.
This rapid expansion was driven by €10bn in investments over the last decade. In 2015 we were second only to the UK in terms of total investment in Biopharma across the EU. In 2016 it was estimated that approx. 25% of the committed global capital spend in Biopharma was being invested in Ireland.
Why get into BioPharmaceuticals?
It is estimated that there will be 8,000 jobs created in Biopharma in Ireland from 2016 to 2020. This represents a doubling in the size of the Biologics sector and brings the overall direct employment in the Biopharma sector to 25,000. In any industry going through such a dramatic growth there is a need to gather resources to drive the growth. This offers opportunities to those in other Life Science fields (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device) and beyond to make the step into Biopharma.
The field of Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals is growing every year as we push the boundaries of human knowledge further and develop novel new treatments. This growth is supported by the Irish government through the IDA and also the €8bn research funding commitment to key strategic areas which includes Technology and Life Sciences. This promises to make a career in Biotech exciting, ever changing and full of career opportunities.
How to get into Biopharma?
If you want to make the transition from Pharmaceuticals, Medical Device, Process industries (Chemicals or Oil and Gas) or other engineering and science related fields there are a number of recommendations to help make that move:
Upskill with Biologics specific training courses
Listed below are some of the options:
- NIBRT run conversion courses which give you a highly respected technical and hands-on foundation in the Biopharma market
- InnoPharma Labs run an education program to support the transition to Biopharma
- Sligo-IT offer a range of online courses focused on the Biopharma market
- GetReskilled (in association with Dublin Institute of Technology) offer 18 courses to upskill and prepare for the Biopharma sector
You don’t need to become an expert in all parts of the Biotech market to make the transition, however it is important to understand the roles that you would like to do in Biopharma before you start your course and ensure that the course content supports your desired career path.
Join an industry body
An industry body will keep you up to date on industry technology and trends through publications and industry organized events which are also a great opportunity to network with industry professionals to find out more about the industry and companies.
Take a contract job to get your foot in the door
Contract jobs in Life Sciences tend to operate on a quicker turnaround. On average from submitting a CV to starting at your target company, the contract process is twice as quick as an equivalent staff role (for example 3 months vs 6 months).
Cultural fit is a key factor
Cultural fit is a key factor with companies in this sector, with many companies including a psychometric evaluation as part of their interview process. When you are drawing up your CV ensure you spend time painting a picture of who you are. Include examples of your ability to work in teams, to achieve deadlines, to think creatively, be open to new technologies or processes, to communicate effectively and even adapting to change.
Start in a small Biotech or one of the many niche market SMEs which support the Biotech industry. There are less layers of bureaucracy in a small company, plus most SMEs will receive fewer CVs for a role than a large multinational. This increases your chance of a successful outcome.
Life Science Career Opportunities
If you are a recent graduate or moving from another industry there has never been a better time to join the Biopharma sector.
If you want to find out more about how to make the transition into Biopharma, call us at LSC today.