A career in modern clinical research must attract diversity

Many face a roadblock when shifting careers, encountering a catch-22 of needing experience for a job that requires experience.

This challenge is particularly pronounced in clinical research, where a lack of defined training pathways leaves potential professionals unaware of the career option until after training for a different job. Coupled with the Great Resignation and other factors, this has resulted in a shortage of clinical research talent.

As clinical research demands continue to grow — rising 10% YOY in 2022 — the need for trained experts rises to match, with one-third of life science and pharma sector respondents ranking talent scarcity as a major pain point.

This issue has only been amplified by the advent of Industry 4.0, a tech-fuelled digital transformation poised to reshape workforce needs across industries through smart automation driven by real-time data.

In the face of this rising demand and evolving clinical trial complexities, investing in apprenticeships, internships and fellowships not only addresses workforce diversity but also attracts the ‘Gen Z’ workforce.

In the UK, according to a survey by APBI, 44% biopharma employers surveyed are taking more apprentices compared to four years ago.

These initiatives contribute to building a skilled entry-level workforce and emphasize the value of ongoing professional education to meet future industry needs.

Companies willing to invest in their people and cultivate in-house expertise stand out as attractive employers for the next generation of leaders.

In the zone

If you have a deep passion for science and a commitment to global health, even without specific qualifications, now is the time to reskill for a rewarding career in clinical research.

Reskilling programs elevate your skillset, offering practical experience to enter an industry at the cutting edge of global science and technology.

Effective reskilling incorporates on-the-job training, frequently with remuneration, encompassing technical skills, industry protocols, regulatory requirements, and cultural norms.

Optimal reskilling programs act as on-the-job training, ensuring you’re able to fill a need within their CRO or other research organisation.

This strategy often means you have a paid position as you gain new knowledge.

An example of a reskilling initiative is the European Round Table for Industry’s (ERT) new program called Reskilling 4 Employment, where candidates are trained, placed and mentored into a potential future job.

Positive vibe

Reskilling programs seek candidates with a natural curiosity for research, exposure to regulated industries and project management or customer relations experience.

These criteria, universally beneficial to organisations, help individuals transition successfully into a clinical research career.

A genuine passion for science and discovery is crucial for success in clinical research. Be sure to share your interest when applying to training programs, as passion is a key differentiator.

Perfect timing

Now is the ideal time to change career paths and meet the growing demands of clinical research.

If you have a love for science and a desire to impact healthcare, consider reskilling to contribute to ground-breaking medical discoveries.

Don’t let career prerequisites discourage you—find a training program that aligns with your passion for the clinical research industry.

Kim Marzano is Director of Talent Development at Advanced Clinical