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Plenty of Room to Grow

The life science industry employs some 281,000 people in California, and a report from the Biocom Institute and California Life Sciences Institute released this week says that further growth in the sector is expected. The report also notes that interest in big data and personalized medicine are increasing the demand for people skilled in collecting, managing, analyzing, and interpreting large datasets.

To develop this report, the California-based life science industry associations examined data from 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, including interviews with more than 30 life sciences employers in the state, survey responses from some 250 human resource and hiring managers, and from 16,000 life science job postings in California.

Based on the analysis of job postings, the report found that the most in-demand skills were in chemistry, clinical trials, and validation. It similarly found that job posting most commonly sought medical scientists, medical and clinical laboratory technicians, and chemists and biologists.

The report also noted that life science companies in the state also compete with tech and other industries for talent. In particular, it notes that the long timeframe from discovery to commercialization deterred some people from the field, as did concerns with contributing to higher healthcare costs.

"Life science employers agree that more should be done to communicate the exciting career pathways available in the industry, as well as its positive impact on human health and other global challenges," it adds.

The report was presented at the BIO International Convention this week.

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