Becoming An Agile Learner

Compliance experience in a regulated environment is and will always be a cornerstone skill necessity. The life sciences sector represents one of the most important industries of the twenty-first century.

As the life science industry continues to evolve and shifts within an increasingly global economy, so does its need for talent that spans discovery through commercialization.

And as a result of the increasing global nature of life science becomes, the more diverse and disruptive the life science industry becomes. The competition for compliance experience and technical and scientific skills gets tougher, especially competing with other sectors that are essentially out to attract the “same” talent.

This is particularly true for “secondary” industry talent, where the field of expertise is not necessarily the Life Sciences but more focused on engineering, IT, or data science disciplines.

The biggest challenge becomes finding agile learners who possess a depth of expertise in the respective “secondary” field while also having experience in the clinical, scientific, and healthcare industries.

The “2021 Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report” by the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) shows some interesting data.

For example, the "Share of Life Sciences Companies Rating “Very Difficult” to Hire in Selected Occupations", which is led by “Regulatory Affairs/Compliance”, followed by “Research Scientists (Non-clinical) or R&D positions more broadly” and “Computational Biology/Statistics”.

This shows the difficulty that lies in finding these candidates with the “right mindset”.

About one-in-three life science industry jobs fall in the middle skills categories, again well above the share for all industries.

As a leading advanced manufacturing industry, life science companies rely heavily on the skilled technician workforce, both in engineering and scientific domains; production workers with varied skills; transportation and material moving occupations; installation, maintenance, and repair; and more.

These workers are operating in increasingly digital and automated manufacturing environments, a shift represented by “Industry 4.0” with significant and important implications for community colleges and other training providers.

In terms of skills, the elements of digital manufacturing (smart factories, Industry 4.0 knowledge, IoT) are becoming increasingly critical within the disciplines of Automation Engineering, Process Development, Science, and Information Systems.

This is in addition to inspection and packaging systems mechanics and technicians.

The industry’s biggest need and challenge is finding agile learners who possess a depth of expertise in computing, data, and bioinformatics that also have experience in the clinical, scientific, and healthcare industries.

It is hard to find this intersection of expertise, so there is often a learning curve for people that are working in life science in any capacity because of the changing nature of the industry.

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November 17, 2022

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