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With heavily regulated, strictly defined processes, the Life Science industry finds itself needing Data Science driven insights to find new efficiencies. Our Senior Science Recruitment Consultant, Kathryn White explains how data specialists can take advantage of this to break into this growing, well-paying sector.

Data Science opens many doors in 2019. Organisations are looking to leverage all the information they collect to enhance every aspect of their day-to-day and use it to build long term strategy. Nowhere is that more true than in the Life Sciences sector, with it’s heavy emphasis on cutting edge R&D.

The Irish Life Sciences sector has gone from strength to strength, having risen from 48th to 11th for overall quality of scientific research. The country hosts all 10 of the top Life Science firms globally. However that success has lead to a talent squeeze with increasing competition for staff, from the most experienced scientists and management all the way to recent graduates. Of course, for the talent in question, that means competitive pay, better benefits, and more attractive packages all around.


IDA infograph snippet on Tech and Life Sciences
Ireland is a global destination for both the Tech and Life Sciences industry. Source: IDA.


So with HR and Talent Acquisition having to cast a wide net to fill positions, that data experience can potentially transition you into this exciting, growing sector. Just how do you go about breaking into Life Sciences?

Get to know the Life Science market

If you are coming from banking, finance or IT it is important to look at what Life Science organisations are out there and what they do. This is part of basic interview or application prep but there are some specifics that you can pick up on that will give you the edge. Are they a single product company or do they have a wide range? Do they use a CMO to manufacture? Are they single site or multinational? Would you be working in a “virtual” branch? Picking up some industry terminology can go a long way. Websites such as getreskilled.com are a great resource to start learning. You can also speak to a recruitment consultant to get an overview of the entire market.

Understand what roles are available

Master Data, Data Process Specialists, Data Scientists and Statisticians are a few of the titles these roles can fall under. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, titles often differ between organisations. The best way to determine if the position is suitable for you is to look at the required qualifications – these may be in Statistics, Mathematical Science or Bioinformatics.

Look at how your Data Science skills and experience are relevant

Hiring managers often look for candidates with process, data modelling or data mapping experience, alongside relevant hands-on time with various IT systems. There is only so many ways in which data can be collected and reviewed, the main differences will lie in the terminology. When creating your CV have a look at role descriptions to see what hiring managers are looking for and how they describe roles within their team.

The life sciences landscape is only going to change more as new technological and market developments hit. So data wizards should keep their eyes peeled for a chance to jump right in and make your mark on some life changing Life Sciences!

To get a market overview and an idea of where the best opportunities lie, get in touch with me: kwhyte@azon.ie or +353 1 963 7388. You can check out all our open positions at https://azon.ie/jobs/

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