Career Paths in Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, there are various choices to enhance your career. In fact, you may be perplexed regarding your decided career aspirations. You may be interested in science but may not be sure about the research in a scientific discipline. Here various career paths in the pharmaceutical industry are discussed to guide you to decide your own career paths.

There are two major types of careers in the pharmaceutical industry. They are laboratory research oriented careers and non-laboratory research oriented careers. Each career path has various career tracks.

Most of the career paths in laboratory research-oriented are associated with the R&D department which is also known as the discovery research as it involves discovering drugs, processes and technologies. Laboratory research oriented careers entail bench work which is related to the laboratory bench. Here, scientists perform experiments to collect data.

Non-research oriented career in the pharmaceutical industry contain all the career paths. Various careers paths related to manufacturing, operations and quality requires an engineering background which mainly focuses on the application of engineering principles.

In clinical research career paths, responsibilities include setting up and managing clinical trials and monitoring submissions to regulatory authorities like FDA and government agencies. Clinical research function encompasses all the jobs related to set up and management of clinical trials. It requires the knowledge of medicine.

Other career paths in the pharmaceutical industry are business-oriented along with support functions including finance, legal, administration, business development, IT as well as marketing/sales. Some companies also provide a career in the project management function which assists in synchronizing projects along with many internal activities.

The common denominator is that careers in most of these areas require an undergraduate foundation in a life science. This includes the more generic business functions. Many careers require advanced training in science, in addition to education in a functional area. For example, attorneys specializing in intellectual property often have advanced degrees in science. For a career in business development, one should have completed his bachelors or masters degree in a science related stream. Candidates with an MBA degree are preferred. Such qualifications are required for job positions other than the laboratory related positions.

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