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The New Demand for Biotech Industry Talent

September 30, 2013
Biotechnology is a multi-disciplinary field involving the integration of knowledge and skills drawn from numerous disciplines, such as microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and chemistry.

Traditionally, the field of biotechnology has required a workforce with a wide array of highly specialized skills and training. Interestingly though, a shift has begun to take place, favoring people with interdisciplinary academic training who can support more than one project team and work across multiple areas.

On September 10, Nature Biotechnology published data from a report produced by the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes backed reported that vividly illustrates this reality.

The data highlights a strong shift where not everyone has to be an expert. The clear message is that current workforce preparation needs to happen while our future employees are still in school, and not as a bridge between graduation and first-job competency. This is valuable information that will help inform our national academic institutions and stakeholders on how best to train the industry’s future workforce. This report captures the nature of the shift in demand in job-related qualifications and makes the case for retraining employees at all levels to provide better value to the life sciences industry.

The results are based on an introductory investigation in an ongoing study conducted in collaboration with Booz & Company and Burning Glass designed to answer two of the most pressing questions in the industry today, “Where are the jobs?” and “Where are the jobs going to be?” The article is currently available online and appears in the September 2013 print edition of Nature Biotechnology.