Trends Affecting Medtech & Biotech Job Markets in 2023

On the pages of an almanac, it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of ​​synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines seemed completely fanciful to students in a biotechnology program. at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But a lot has changed in the world since the coronavirus pandemic began in January 2020. And in the past year alone since the first covid mRNA vaccines were deployed in the United States, the medtech industry seems to have accelerated in a way that cannot yet be comprehended in such a relatively short time.

said Scott E. Gygax, PhD, vice president and assistant professor in the department of clinical laboratory sciences and biotechnology at Jefferson College of Health Professions. “And in about a year, everyone will receive this technology.” This revelation is just one example of why Gygax, who has 16 years of experience as an assistant at the university, can see the medtech job market booming in an unprecedented way going into the early part of 2023. “There has never been a better time for this,” Gygax said. “There are a number of initiatives launched this year that will influence the years ahead, in terms of investment in biotechnology and biofabrication of new cutting-edge therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, gene and cell therapy, and viral vectors. These technologies are really beginning to blossom there. A need for talent and a lot of competition for companies to recruit and retain that talent. This results in a lot of great benefits for the employee.”

Benefits can result from a range of dynamics including scientific and medical innovation, subsequent demand for data curation and related analytics, and the need to respond to growing cybersecurity threats.

Call for cell and gene therapy

With his eye on the Philadelphia area, an area casually referred to as “Silicon Valley” and “Philadelphia” as a leading center for the cell and gene therapy business, Gygax sees advantages in the market for professionals who have been employed in several years as well as those who have burst onto the scene. “There are advantages both ways,” he said. “It’s a good time to look for new opportunities or to join the sector. The Philadelphia area has been booming in terms of biotech and pharma, and there are a number of companies that need a lot of talent. There is also a need within the industry for educators to provide the kind of talent these companies need, whether it be That in bioproduct manufacturing or management, research and development.”

To this end, Gygax and Thomas Jefferson are part of the Workforce Development Program -“Building an advanced therapeutic workforce in southeastern PennsylvaniaThis is being funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop graduates who fulfill many of the important roles required in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical/biomanufacturing industry in the region. “Academic centers like Thomas Jefferson are really focused on biotechnology, they have biotechnology,” he said. Emerging and pharmaceuticals are in mind to develop our programs to help fill any gaps in employment.” “There is a big initiative on the training side to help the industry. On the education side, we want these companies to stay in our area, so we have to help develop the talent they need. It’s a winning situation.”

Gygax says the allure of the industry is also driving some professionals to focus, go back to school, and reconsider their educational options for a chance to make the connection. “I see students who want to go into this field from other fields like business or finance,” he said. “They came with the basic requirements, they had the training here, and they did very well. Now they’re in the business and they’ve really enjoyed the career change.”
Part of the draw is a national investment the Biden administration made in September to commit to more biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovations in, among other disciplines such as climate change, supply chain resilience and health care. the The National Initiative for Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing It is an “all-of-government” effort that is expected to cost $2 billion and could have wide-ranging effects across the country Complete life cycle of biotechnology research and development.

“This should help accelerate product development to market,” Gygax said. “From here on, we are moving forward at a rapid pace and we need the talent to get into this space to keep the momentum going.”

Focus on information technology, data and security

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the field of information security analysts is expected to grow by 35% between 2021 and 2031. Likewise, the BLS projects job growth for health information technicians to access nearly 20 percent.

“A lot of the focus now is on streamlining that effort to really get these products that show great promise to get through the screening process to market,” said Gygax. “Telehealth and other aspects of data mining, particularly in the area of ​​public health, are important and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. There is a great need to enable the general public to connect with technology.”

As technology continues to enhance this interdependence, an increased focus on protecting digital assets is expected. “There is always a huge effort in any company to protect their information from being obtained,” Gygax said. “Terrorism has created some innovations in the field of protection and has made people very careful and stressful about being careful how they pass on information. Part of the initiative is sharing data and information.”

Gygax says that proper development for analyzing large datasets and mining on that data has also become a huge advantage for companies investing in this line of work. “Pharmaceutical companies in particular have invested in bioinformatics and data mining of how they create their staged trials and go through the FDA approval process,” he said. “And that’s done through data mining, during this age of genomics — data sequencing and looking at health records and related information. That’s huge for pharma, and I imagine biotech finding their own market advantage and niche in the area. You can get a lot of these out. Information from people who are good at analyzing large datasets and organizing them in a clear way allows business management to make important decisions about their products and their patients.”

Shailaja Salagrama, a digital engineer and researcher based in Chicago, Illinois, focuses on the areas of LTE protocols, digital forensics, and wireless site and network security, and also anticipates continued job opportunities in the fields of IT and security. To benefit the employee if for no other reason companies in all markets will need to improve their internal and external security procedures. In particular, Salagrama expects an increase in the use of blockchain technology to create more need for professionals. Among the reasons why companies need more designations for cybersecurity purposes are to keep cryptocurrency safe, secure banking assets, protect patient health records, protect military and defense data, and harden IoT-connected devices. “More companies are also going the route of hiring experts to come in and act as hackers to help the company expose its internal security flaws,” Salagram said. “There is a risk of information leakage outside the company, but these companies will continue to adopt their own standards of background checks and protocols.”

Better benefits for employers
Like much of the innovation found in the industry, Gygax also expects employers to become more creative as they try to acquire and keep talented professionals on the job as competition in the marketplace increases.

“I see employers having success because the competition for talent is so high right now,” he said. You can keep talent with money and/or incentives, but employers are also working to design more innovative workplaces that make employees feel part of a team and make a difference. You can also keep talent when there is a lot of flexibility for employees to make lateral moves to areas that excite them intellectually or vertical moves to increase their salary.”
Gygax also suggests that the opportunity to get login rewards may become more common.

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