Trends Impacting Medtech & Biotech Job Markets in 2023

On the pages of the calendar, it wasn’t too way back that the considered artificial messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines appeared fairly imaginary to college students in the Biotechnology Program at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. But lots has modified in the world for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started in January 2020. And in the previous yr alone for the reason that first covid mRNA vaccines have been deployed in the United States, it appears the medtech trade has accelerated in a manner that may’t but be fathomed in such a comparatively brief period of time.

“Before the pandemic, I keep in mind instructing college students that the expertise is there to make use of messenger RNA and that appeared very futuristic to them,” stated Scott E. Gygax, PhD, vice chair and assistant professor in the Medical Laboratory Sciences & Biotechnology Department on the Jefferson College of Health Professions. “And we’re nearly a yr later, and everybody’s receiving that expertise.” This revelation is only one instance as to why Gygax, with 16 years of expertise as an adjunct on the college, sees the medtech job market flourishing in an unprecedented manner coming into into the early a part of 2023. “There’s by no means been a greater time in this trade,” stated Gygax. “There are plenty of initiatives which have launched this yr that may influence future years to return, so far as the funding in biotechnology and biomed factoring for brand new cutting-edge therapies, resembling monoclonal antibodies, gene and cell remedy, and viral vector. These applied sciences are actually starting to blossom. There’s a necessity for expertise and loads of competitors for corporations to recruit and retain that expertise. This outcomes in loads of nice advantages to the worker.”

The advantages might outcome from a variety of dynamics together with scientific and medical innovation, the next demand to curate associated information and analytics, and the necessity to reply to growing cybersecurity threats.

A Calling For Cell & Gene Therapy

From his view in the Philadelphia area, an space that has develop into casually known as “Cellicon Valley” and “Celladelphia” as a number one hub for cell and gene remedy work, Gygax sees benefits in the marketplace for professionals who’ve been employed for a number of years in addition to those that are recent to the scene. “There’s benefits from each instructions,” he stated. “It’s a great time to search for new alternatives or to affix the sector. The Philadelphia area has blossomed in phrases of biotech and pharma, and there are a selection of corporations needing loads of expertise. There’s additionally a necessity throughout the trade for educators to provide the kind of expertise that these corporations want, whether or not it’s biomanufacturing of the merchandise or administration and analysis and improvement.”

To that finish, Gygax and Thomas Jefferson are a part of a workforce improvement program – “Building an Advanced Therapy Workforce in Southeastern PA” – that’s being funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop graduates who fulfill many essential roles wanted throughout the area’s biotech/pharma/biomanufacturing trade. “Academic facilities like Thomas Jefferson are actually targeted on biotechnology, and have the rising biotech and pharma in thoughts to develop our packages to assist fill any employment gaps,” he stated. “There’s an enormous initiative on the coaching facet to assist the trade. From the schooling facet, we would like these companies to remain in our space, in order that behooves us to assist develop the expertise that they want. It’s a win-win scenario.”

Gygax says the attract of the trade can be attracting some professionals to pivot, return to high school, and rethink their academic decisions for the possibility to make the connection. “I’m seeing college students who wish to get in this space from different areas resembling enterprise or finance,” he stated. “They’ve come in with the conditions, have obtained the coaching right here, and have achieved very effectively. Now they’re working in this space and have actually loved the profession change.”
Part of the draw is the nationwide funding made by the Biden Administration in September to decide to additional biotechnology and biomanufacturing improvements in, amongst different disciplines resembling local weather change and provide chain resilience, healthcare. The National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative is a “whole-of-government” effort that’s projected to price $2 billion and will have sweeping impacts throughout the entire biotechnology research and development lifecycle. 

“This ought to assist to speed up product improvement into {the marketplace},” stated Gygax. “From right here, we’re shifting ahead at a fast tempo and we want the expertise to enter into this house to maintain the momentum going.”

Focus on IT, Data & Security

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the sphere of knowledge safety analysts is projected to develop by 35% between 2021 and 2031. Similarly, BLS tasks the job development for well being info technicians to succeed in nearly 20 percent.

“A whole lot of focus now’s on streamlining that effort to essentially get these merchandise which are displaying nice promise to undergo the vetting course of to {the marketplace},” Gygax stated. “Telehealth and different elements of information mining, particularly in public well being, are essential and have been heightened by the pandemic. There’s an awesome must have the overall inhabitants having the ability to connect with the expertise.”

As expertise continues to foster such interconnectivity, extra emphasis is anticipated to be positioned on the safety of digital belongings. “There’s at all times an enormous effort at any firm to guard their info from being acquired,” stated Gygax. “Terrorism has created some innovation in safety and made individuals very cautious and weary about being cautious with how info is transmitted. Part of the initiative is information and knowledge sharing.”

The correct improvement of analyzing massive datasets and mining that information has additionally develop into an enormous benefit for the businesses that make investments in this line of labor, Gygax says. “Pharma corporations in specific have actually invested in bioinformatics and information mining for a way they set up their phased trials and undergo the FDA approval course of,” he stated. “And that’s pushed via information mining, via this period of genomics – sequencing information and well being information and associated info. This is big for pharma, and I think about for biotech in discovering their market benefit and their area of interest in the world. You can get loads of that info via people who find themselves good at analyzing and organizing massive datasets in a transparent manner that enables enterprise administration to make essential choices about their merchandise and their sufferers.”

Shailaja Salagrama, a digital engineer and analysis scholar primarily based in Chicago, IL, who focuses on the fields of long-term evolution protocols, digital forensics, and placement and wi-fi community safety, additionally anticipates that job alternatives in the IT and safety arenas will proceed to learn the worker facet if for no different cause that corporations in all markets will have to be higher about their inside and exterior safety measures. Particularly, Salagrama expects a rise in the usage of blockchain expertise to create extra want for professionals. Among the explanations that extra corporations might want to make extra hires for functions of cybersecurity are for sustaining cryptocurrency integrity, securing banking belongings, defending well being information of sufferers, safeguarding army and protection information, and fortifying units related to the web of issues. “More corporations are additionally going the route of using specialists to return in and work as hackers to assist the corporate expose its inside safety flaws,” stated Salagrama. “There is a danger of knowledge being leaked exterior of the corporate, however these corporations will proceed to have their very own parameters for background checking and protocols.”

Better Employer Benefits
Much just like the innovation that exists throughout the trade, Gygax additionally tasks that employers will develop into extra inventive as they try to amass gifted professionals and maintain them onboard as competitors will increase in {the marketplace}.

“I see employers making inroads as a result of the competitors for expertise could be very excessive proper now,” he stated. “You can retain expertise with cash and/or incentives, however employers are additionally engaged on designing extra modern workplaces that make workers really feel like they’re a part of a group and making a distinction. You can even retain expertise when there’s loads of flexibility for workers to make lateral strikes to areas that excite them intellectually or vertical strikes to extend their wage.”
Gygax additionally means that the chance for sign-on bonuses might develop into extra frequent.