Written by Anastassia Mikhailova
Tired of bench work? Thinking of where you can take your graduate degree?
Thankfully today, academia and medicine are not the only options for young scientists like you. Scientists are increasingly diverting from traditional careers paths to pursue new and exciting opportunities ranging from business development to law where problem solving and analytical skills can be applied and new skills developed. If you always liked to analyze and synthesize data but did not know where to apply your skills – a market analyst opportunity is for you.
Scope: As a market analyst, you critically review and analyze clinical, pre-clinical and commercial data (sales figures, demographics, and statistics); keep track of new regulations and rules in the FDA, Health Canada and European Medicines Agency (EMEA); follow major events and news in the industry; interview key opinion leaders (i.e. medical and scientific experts worldwide); synthesize this information to produce a comprehensive report on a particular topic within the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry.
Market analysts also deal with clients who order reports. These are pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who need to assess the market potential of new products, develop business strategy, assess competition, get updated on market status or identify market niches (target patients, etc); investment firms who need to make informed investment decisions.
Perks: As a recent graduate or experienced professional, you get to become a pro on the newest trends in the industry, be it from a scientific or business point of view, which not only gives you something to talk about at parties but makes you a valuable member of the industry as well. Moreover, you get to blend your scientific expertise with a newly developed understanding of business, which can lead to a real impact on the industry. The reports that you write are read and utilized to build or restructure new start-ups and global companies as well as to explore new business opportunities and potentially alter industry’s strategic direction as a whole. And for those who like analyzing, synthesizing and writing – this job could not be better.
Examples of projects:
- An in-depth review of current and future (10 year outlook) diagnosis, treatment trends and market performance in bipolar disorder
- Current state of affairs in China’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical market
- Autoimmune biologics overview: leading drug classes, standards of therapy, sales statistics, projected leading companies in the next decade
Education and skills needed: MSc, PhD or MD in life sciences; familiarity with drug development and commercialization process; demonstrated excellence in writing; strong analytical skills
Salary range: $50K/year median as a junior research analyst; > $100K/year as a director
Interview process: Be prepared to demonstrate logic, good analytical skills and writing. Besides leaving a good impression, the interview process includes a math test.
Leading companies: With offices in Toronto: Decision Resources, Millennium Research Group, Ipsos, In-Sync, Vision Critical, IMS, Kantar, Thomson Reuters, Frost & Sullivan. Other: BioMedGPS, Datamonitor, Evaluate Pharma, Life Science Intelligence, Medtech Insight.
Further information: Interview question samples
Freedman, T. Career opportunities in biotechnology and drug development. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2011.