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The upcoming biggest trends in biotech jobs

By Paul Strouts, Global Managing Director of Hays Life Sciences

The new wave of candidates moving into the biotechnology sector have some really exciting times ahead of them. We’re seeing a great deal of expansion across areas such as diagnostics and microbiology.

Data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook (a document highlighting employment projections from 2014 to 2024, covers a range of jobs most likely to be in demand during this period. Despite its focus on the US, it’s a very similar picture we’re seeing here in the UK.

Budding jobseekers would do well to consider the following roles described in the report, and any efforts to tailor their experience, professional development and credentials accordingly would go a long way.

1. Genetic counsellors

The BLS anticipates demand for genetic counsellors to increase by almost 30% by 2024. Genetic counsellors evaluate DNA test results to assess the risk of acquiring inherited medical conditions, and follow up with counselling. Most work in hospitals, but some work in community roles in association with medical practices.

2. Biomedical engineers

Bio-sciences and the skills required in engineering is a powerful combination, and it’s a specialist sector that is currently revolutionising the design of instruments, devices and software for healthcare and medicine. Many of these roles arise in the manufacturing of medical equipment and life science research and development (R&D). The BLS expects positions in this area of biotechnology to increase by 23% by 2024, delivering a great umber of new employment opportunities for candidates focused on this direction.

3. Lab scientists and technicians

We’re seeing a great deal of expansion in the diagnostics sector, with the roles responsible for performing the tests and procedures ordered by healthcare professionals are expected to grow as well. The BLS projects an increase of 16% in these kinds of lab-based clinical diagnostic positions, which is excellent news for life science graduates. Any strong candidates with an interest in (or an aptitude for) the clinical laboratory environment are bound to be in demand.

4. Biochemists and biophysicists

Essentially these are scientists at the doctoral level who have chosen to study the biological, chemical and physical processes of life. Mainly these roles will be within R&D for universities and colleges, as well as for pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers. These positions are expected to increase in number, with the BLS anticipating an uptick of 8% in the coming years.

5. Epidemiologists

Despite dramatic expansion in our scientific knowledge base, the exact causes of many diseases in human populations remain elusive. Epidemiologists, who study patterns of disease at the ‘macro’ level, can therefore expect to remain busy, with a 6% increase in the number of jobs anticipated.

6. Microbiologists

Bacterial, viral and parasitic micro-organisms are increasingly under the microscope in a world in which antibiotic resistance threatens the established order in the medical treatment paradigm. The BLS expects the demand for microbiologists to increase by 4% between 2014 and 2024.

Looking for biotech talent?

If you’re looking to grow your teams contact our recruiting experts here at Hays.

We work with leading biotechnology organisations of all sizes, throughout the UK and around the world, finding the best specialist and technical talent. Whether you are looking for a permanent, temporary or interim solution, we carry out an in-depth assessment of every candidate.

We also offer expert advice on salaries and benefits, and specialist insight into market trends, helping you keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the life sciences industry.

This blog first appeared on Silicon Republic.

If you are looking for support with your employment needs please contact your local office.

About this author

Paul joined Hays in 2007 following the acquisition of his Life Sciences business (James Harvard International) and has been involved in the sector since 2001.

He looks after 29 countries within the group’s portfolio, spanning from New York in the US to Sydney in Australia. From our flagship London office, Paul oversees all operations and sales for the brand, and drives the business forward on a strategic level.

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