Written by: Abhiram Pushparaj

So you’re about to graduate and while you’ve spent the last few years of your life learning everything there is to know about

[insert thesis title here], you’re not exactly sure how much of that is going to help you land a job, apart from a post-doctoral position, of course.  What you need to start doing is learning a little bit about the fundamentals of the industry you’re interested in working in.  But where do you begin to do that?  Is there a “PubMed” for the Life Sciences industry?  Not exactly, but there are a bunch of great resources that are available for better understanding what the broad industry situation looks like and thereby where you might fit in.

Couple of notes:

  • I’m assuming that you’re a Life Science graduate (BSc, MSc or PhD) and interested in working in some sector of this industry as well.
  • Some of these resources are based through the University of Toronto, though if you’re a student or recent grad elsewhere you might have access to similar resources through your institution.


Job Seekers Guide for Health Care Management and Pharmaceuticals  – great place to start for those interested in these two industries

Labour Market Lab – links to a number of sites that you may or may not have heard about before (Career Cruising, Vault, Glassdoor, and the Government of Canada Job Bank)

Industry Information – profiles of different industries from a variety of publishers, trade publications and industry statistics from government and industry associations

Market Research – have a job interview or sending in a cover letter resume? Market research reports are great for brushing up on the specific market that the company you’re applying to operates in (to learn more about what exactly market research is,read this). These reports are useful for getting a quick overview of the market dynamics including the major drivers and limitations of growth

Targeting Companies by Industry or Location – interested in exploring public companies in a particular industry and/or location?  LexisNexis is a great tool to get started.  Want to see what equity research analysts are saying about a particular public company?  Take a look at the equity research reports on Investext (use Internet Explorer!) by searching using company name or ticker symbol.

BioTalent Canada – some interesting Canadian labour market research for the “bio-economy”. Also, has a tonne of other great resources for career planning.

GOOGLE – seriously, I’m not kidding.  Greatest source on this list by far.  Here’s a pretty sweet FREE market research report I found on the pharmaceutical services sector simply by typing in “pharmaceutical services sector market report”.

There are a bunch of other great databases you can take a look through that are also available through the Rotman School of Management’s Business Information Centre website.

Of course, this list is definitely not exhaustive but hopefully is a decent starting point.  If you have any personal favourites for market research on the life sciences industries, please do share them in the comments section below!