Author: Victoria Lander
Outsourced pharma has been tackling the subject of employment in the biopharma industry, but are there enough graduating students and potential employees in the U.S. to fill the needs of the biopharma industry here?
Are these CMOs enticing venues for today’s graduates?
“From my experience, students do know the CMOs are out there,” says Kamal Rashid, PhD, director, Biomanufacturing Education & Training Center (BETC), and research professor, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “They’re looking for a job, and whether it has to do with a specific drug program, an established biomanufacturing company, or a CRO or CMO, they will pursue it. If an offer comes from a CMO, they aren’t sitting around the kitchen table with their parents saying, ‘Should I go to a CMO or not?’”
Rashid, who has over 30 years’ experience in university settings training workers – his specialty is biopharmaceutical manufacturing – says the service providers actively engage with universities for recruitment opportunities. We should see more U.S. students directly enter CMOs and other biopharma service provides.
Biotechs and pharma companies are always looking to acquire the best workforce. When examining the career paths of scientists, engineers, project managers, and executives in the biopharma industry, you will uncover the fact that many have worked at CMOs before joining the sponsor side, and vice versa. The skills and experience gained in one sector are largely transferable and additive to the other.
According to Rashid, today jobs are plentiful on the CMO side. Moreover, he stresses that with the global growth in areas like biomanufacturing – both at CMOs and biopharma companies in Europe, China and India – U.S.-based companies face increased competition for scientific and operational talent. “Growth is a good problem to have,” says Rashid, “but CMOs and others must pay attention to workforce development issues in their own backyard to build a sustainable pipeline of employees.”