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Pharma/biotech entry level

  • 24-06-2021 2:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2 threeofakind


    I'm thinking of entering the pharma/biotech industry next year and I'm wondering what issues I might face as I'm in my mid-30s and I don't have any industrial experience. I have BSc & MSc (both mainly biology based), which I completed several years ago now. I did get around a year of lab experience at the time - working in biology/biomed research labs - and I'm hoping to get a few months lab experience in a research lab at the end of this year.

    Would this be enough for an entry level role? Something like QA or bioprocess? Would there be a problem with hiring someone in their mid-30s - work culture etc - as I notice a lot of those being taken on are recent grads in their early/mid 20s? I'm also thinking of doing a Springboard NIBRT level 9 cert and I'm wondering how much of an impact that might have on any hiring manager.

    Hopefully someone here in the industry could give me some pointers.

    Cheers


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭ larrykinney


    With a MSc you'll have your pick of the jobs. I wouldn't worry about your age.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Session2019!


    If your looking for something real entry level then I've seen CPL looking for lab tech people for PCR testing roles. Covid testing I'd imagine, not sure where your based but think it was for kildare or Dublin but it's a start.

    On the whole NIBRT/springboard thing. I've seen plenty people graduate or even half way through them from these courses with little to no experience attempting a career change get jobs handy enough. Some of these places would have contacts in the industry.

    As an example, I hired a woman in her late 40s that had been out of the pharma industry nearly 20 years that was completing one of those courses. Course coordinator reached out to me about her, have now left that job but from what I've heard they've taken a few more over the years, primarily contract roles though starting off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 53 ✭✭ rxchxy


    As a hiring manager in this industry the main thing we look for is industry experience. Qualifications are less important. Age is irrelevant. We want to know that you can work in a professional environment and deal with the pressures that come with that. Dependent on the role (QC v QA), a major thing for us is experience with industry specific software. It makes our lives much easier if we're not starting from scratch with new hires. We would always go for someone with industry experience over someone with a higher qualification when hiring at entry level or within 3 years of entry level


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 threeofakind


    Thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I think an NIBRT course is my best option as there's industry links & potential work placements with them.

    Just another question: is it typical to enter the industry as a QA associate or process associate and to remain within those functions for the most part or do people move between these areas over the course of their careers?


  • Registered Users Posts: 53 ✭✭ rxchxy


    Thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I think an NIBRT course is my best option as there's industry links & potential work placements with them.

    Just another question: is it typical to enter the industry as a QA associate or process associate and to remain within those functions for the most part or do people move between these areas over the course of their careers?

    It's company dependent but the ones I've worked in there is definitely scope to move between roles/areas. Get into a company and get to know how the company works and how the different roles fit into the process. If you find an area that you would like to move into learn more about the specifics and identify what you can bring to the role. Then when Performance Reviews or vacancies come up you're in a good position to put your name forward


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  • Registered Users Posts: 438 ✭✭ zep


    Thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I think an NIBRT course is my best option as there's industry links & potential work placements with them.

    Just another question: is it typical to enter the industry as a QA associate or process associate and to remain within those functions for the most part or do people move between these areas over the course of their careers?

    Not sure you should be worrying about a Nibrt course, as previously mentioned in the thread, experience is (IMO) much more important than qualifications, especially as you already have an MSc. I also don't agree with the comment about your MSc getting you the pick of jobs, there are many people now trying to transition into this industry and most are doing courses to help this happen. So you need to have something more than a qualification in isolation.
    If you look at an entry level role then there is always opportunity to progress once you show the right attitude and motivation.
    BOL with your search.


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