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What does the future of life sciences have in store for job seekers?

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​The life sciences industry is in constant flux. With new technologies, and products being released all the time, start-up companies and pharma giants alike need to continue adapting and innovating if they want to stay competitive. It’s an exciting time for anybody working within the market, with technological breakthroughs and innovation creating new career opportunities.

Here’s what you need to know about the most important trends in life sciences - and what they mean for your job search.

Modernising with smart technology

The life sciences industry has benefitted hugely from the latest technology, especially AI. Though it rose the popularity ranks some time ago, some companies are yet to adopt the technology and a Deloitte report found that the market for AI will reach $3.8 billion by 2025 for biopharma alone. AI can bring together and analyse various data sources to create actionable insights for scientists, and find trends it would have taken years to uncover by hand. In addition, AI’s deep learning capabilities can also automate mundane tasks, freeing up researchers and scientists to concentrate on more complex and rewarding work during their day.

AI is also changing the way that life sciences companies interact with their customers. With the rise of ‘smart bots’, data learning and apps, it’s now easier than ever for life sciences to interact with their patients. And it’s changing human history too.The outbreak of Covid-19 put people from all walks of life on a different track and threatened the future for many people. The cry out for help was heard by life sciences companies around the globe and prompted them to join in the fight together. One of the latest AI-assisted mobile apps –Docdot– was developed by SDG Group to ensure that doctors could assess patients remotely. This ensured patients continued to receive the care they needed while social distancing restrictions were observed and also provided the vital information to help slow the spread of the virus. With the advent of health-boosting apps and use of AI only set to increase into the future, the demand for software engineers and technologically-savvy clinical project managers will soar in coming years.

Expanding the boundaries of research

Recent breakthroughs in technology have made it possible for scientists to push the boundaries of science further than ever before. AI is becoming recognised for its potential to search large databases of patient information and use the information to shine a light on potential drug candidates. Life sciences companies are using these AI platforms to speed up the delivery of rare disease treatments and respond to the dire need for a coronavirus vaccine – demonstrating just how much power this technology has to impact the future of life sciences. But the revolutionisation of the market goes beyond this: the death of the ‘one size fits all’ care model in favour of personalised medicine is a change that has also been a long time coming- especially since a considerable number of drugs are only effective on 50% of the population. Today, research teams can use machine learning to analyse data from electronic records, personal devices and even diagnostic information to create treatments that are tailored specifically to the patient.

When you factor in the Internet of Things, then you have a model for an entirely new way of doing business: one that uses personalised apps and real-time data to keep track of patients and offer treatments that change as their needs do. Indeed, with the market changing so quickly, and new innovations like gene therapy, 3D-printing and more taking centre stage in the market, the need for forward thinking, technologically-savvy research technicians and specialists in biotechnology to help combine the latest technology with established medical treatments is likely to skyrocket. There’s no more exciting time to get involved: whether you work in oncology or want to make the switch to the future of personalised medical treatments, there is likely to be an opportunity for you.

The changing market

The way in which the life sciences market is structured is also evolving. For decades, clinical research organisations have been looked upon as the underdogs of the life sciences market, taking work from pharmaceuticals companies rather than conducting their own research.

However, things are changing: the worldwide CRO market is estimated to reach a value of $71.1 billion by 2024, and for good reason. Big pharma’s enthusiasm for cutting costs and outsourcing trials to smaller companies has led to a glut of work for these companies, and as a result many are investing heavily in expanding their R&D capabilities with cutting-edge medical equipment and hiring talented staff to attract even more business. With the quality and complexity of the work many CROs are doing having increased- and with some companies getting involved in the entire R&D process, rather than just the trials- it’s likely that these companies will become an even more integral part of life sciences in the future.

It’s time to consider your next career option, and we can help

What will this mean for life sciences professionals wanting to make the next move in their career? The rise of CROs may actually have some unintended benefits for people who want to embrace their own training and development over the prestige of working for a pharmaceutical company. Clinical research organisations have a great reputation for enabling career progression, and clinical research associates wanting to gain experience of the industry will thrive in the complex and ever-changing task of managing projects and trials across several different research disciplines. What's more ,the surge in flexible working has been the encouraged equal opportunities during the job hunting process and is therefore offering life sciences professionals more diverse career options.

With CROs likely to start a recruitment drive within the industry soon, researchers in high demand, and biotechnology and the Internet of Things continuing to shake up the market, it’s a good time for life sciences professionals in every type of workplace to consider their next career option. Preparing for the future with Orion Group The market’s changing, but we’re prepared. At Orion Group, we pride ourselves on keeping our finger on the pulse of the life sciences industry, so we can continue matching the most talented professionals with jobs where they can make a real difference.

Why wait? Take charge of your career and browse our jobs in life sciences today.