If you wish to cure the most heart-wrenching of diseases or even just fix the common cold, the pharmaceutical industry may be the perfect industry for you. The discovery, development and manufacture of drugs and medicine is crucial to the survival of our society and you too could work in this highly rewarding sector.
The pharmaceutical industry is a noble field that has many opportunities for those of all educational standards. The sector employs innovative minds to research, develop, produce and market medicines – and it isn’t easy, to work in this industry you must be able to work as a team and prepared for a good challenge.
For many in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s the desire to help improve the lives of other people that drives them – this is truly a career that helps you give something back to the people who most need it. If variation is what you’re after this sector is perfect for you. Technological advancements and the changing healthcare needs of the general population mean that your role will constantly be reacting to the bigger picture – whether that’s the tools you use when creating medicines, or the new illnesses that you’re trying to cure.
There are a huge range of roles to pursue in the pharmaceutical industry, open to a range of qualification levels. For instance, to pursue a pharmaceutical sales role you may not necessarily need a qualification but may be employed based on your experience, however, for other science-based roles, you’ll be required to have a specific degree in a related field such as chemistry.
What options can I take for a career in the pharmaceutical industry?
If you’re still unsure if the pharmaceutical industry is the right path for you, work experience is an ideal way to find out. Not only will you get a chance to see what it’s like to work in the industry, but you’d get to talk to others to find out how they got where they are and maybe even make some useful contacts in the future. Having work experience will show employers that you’re genuinely interested in working in the pharmaceutical industry and have some of the skills that will make you a great employee. Why not contact your local pharmacy or doctor’s surgery and see what they can offer you?
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
As an apprentice, you’ll have the opportunity to get stuck in. You’ll have a full-time salaried role working alongside experienced colleagues who are able to guide you, but you’ll also be working towards a qualification (that your employer will pay for) which will see you go far in your career. You have the chance to apply your theoretical knowledge into your job to continually improve until you know all the ins and outs of the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, why not consider a Business Administration apprenticeship – with this you’ll have the skills to work within the pharmaceutical industry such as in a pharmacy or in a production plant.
- Level 2 – Pharmacy Services Assistant
Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!
University is one of the most common routes for people to take with an interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Not only will a university degree give you all the theoretical knowledge you’ll need in your future pharmaceutical career, but it will also give you the essential capabilities that employers want to see in their graduate employees. You can also choose your modules which will allow you to specialise in certain areas of the pharmaceutical sector – this may help you direct your career to a certain route in the future. Here are some examples of pharmaceutical degrees for you to consider:
- Diagnostic Radiography BSc (Hons)
- Toxicology BSc (Hons)
- Pharmaceutical Science BSc (Hons)
- Pharmacology BSc (Hons)
- Pharmaceutical and chemical Sciences BSc (Hons)
- Pharmacy Science and Health BSc (Hons)
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc (Hons)
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Huge amounts of pharmaceutical companies offer employment to recent graduates, some also running graduate schemes to better prepare their candidates. These schemes deliver a structured training programme to their recruits in order to give them a better understanding on the running of the company. Most roles in the pharmaceutical industry require a science-based degree, but there are some opportunities for others to gain work – most notably business or economics-based graduates who can support the commercial functions of the business.
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Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry is one wherein a qualification is highly important as it deals with the vital issues of people’s health. Most roles in the sector require a certain amount of training and so accreditation of this is looked for by most employers. If you’re interested in a career in the industry but are worried that you may not be suitably qualified, why not seek out training providers and see how you could go about gaining the training you’ll need for your dream role.
Start your search for your perfect career in pharmaceuticals