Five Reasons Young Executives Should Work In Biotech

Jul 10, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

The global biotechnology market is anticipated to skyrocket to US $414.5 billion by the end of 2017, according to data from Transparency Market Research. It makes good sense that this branch of technology based on biology would be booming -- after all, we know much more today than we did 6,000 years ago when biotechnology first made its debut in the form of food preservation. And while the slowing down of the markets may have led the industry to lag in recent years, infinite new discoveries are ahead -- making it a terrific career choice for people looking to do more than merely clock in and out every day.

Wondering if biotech is right for you? Read on for four reasons to consider working in this headline-grabbing, world-changing field.

 

1. It is incredibly meaningful.

Jay Rao, a medical doctor and money manager at Balyasny Asset Management, recently told MarketWatch of biotech, “Innovation is reaching exponential levels. Advances in biology and science are breathtaking, and they are creating tangible benefits for patients. That’s kind of incredible when you step back and look at the rest of the economy. There are lots of opportunities to do in-depth, fundamental analysis on product launch trends and clinical data events.”

Many academics and researchers are of the world, but not in the world. A biotechnology career offers the opportunity to be both. From the engineering of drought-resistant crops to drug designing in the medical space, the work is both versatile and impactful.

Consider Hindustan University’s B.Tech in Bio-Technology. This highly interdisciplinary course of study, encompassing biological sciences, process engineering and technology, prepares students for a breadth and depth of biotechnology careers. The school’s MBA in Hospital & Health Care, meanwhile, positions graduates to be leaders at the intersection of biotechnology and healthcare.

 

2. You’ll be working with the best and brightest.

In advising life science recruiters about the challenges of recruiting for biotech, Clark Executive Search says, “With so few workers at a biotech, employees wear many hats and hence are exposed to more job functions compared to what it would be like at a big pharma where people tend to work in silos. In addition, it has been said that the best minds leave pharma to go to biotech and therefore these companies offer very stimulating science.” 

We can think of no better way to take your game to the next level than by surrounding yourself with people who are already there. Furthermore, since biotechnology companies are often smaller in scale, the likelihood is high that you’ll be in direct contact with company decision-makers.

 

3. You can go a non-traditional route.

While working for a biotech or pharmaceutical company is one thing, the biotech industry also offers unique opportunities to strike out on your own. Specifically, we’re talking about a phenomenon which finds biotech veterans reinventing themselves as executives-for-hire for startups in need. Explains STAT, “The trend reflects shifts in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and possibly the larger labor force. Corporate behemoths no longer dominate drug discovery, instead depending on smaller companies for innovative ideas. That has propelled the rise of “virtual” startups, those with one or two key employees who plug the gaps with contractors and consultants. And across industries, more workers are forgoing long-term employment and setting out on their own.”

In other words, if 30 or so years as a company man/woman doesn’t sound appealing to you, a biotech background opens up new and exciting pathways. Not only that, but according to Nature, these new companies are a crucial factor in drug discovery.

 

4. Your knowledge, expertise and talent will be in demand.

Biotech may have had a rocky time circa 2010, but the future looks bright with rapid growth projected. Essential to nurturing that growth to its full potential? The best and brightest people. With a degree in biotechnology, you position yourself to be at the forefront of the field -- and to be generously compensated for being so.

 

5. You’ll be really, REALLY happy.

While a high salary is great, you can’t put a price on job satisfaction. In fact, according to one CareerBliss.com study as reported by NBC News, biotechnology jobs are the happiest jobs in America. Said Heidi Golledge, CEO of CareerBliss,  "In biotech, the people that they work with, and more specifically the person that they work for, tends to rank higher in terms of importance, and employees are overwhelmingly happy with those conditions.”

Other aspects of biotech that make it ripe for happiness? People in this industry are content with the work they do as well as the level of control they have over that work. And the growth opportunities within the industry sweeten the deal. 

As anyone who worked in biotechnology --or any startup-rich industry -- during the recession knows, there’s a risk to working in this innovative field. However, what better time is there to take risks than when you’re just starting out? Not only do you have less far to fall if your first venture or two don’t work out, but you’ll have further to rise when things do fall into place. 

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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