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How careers in Life Sciences are changing in a post Covid world

Stuart Smith our consultant managing the role
Posted by Stuart Smith
Published on 5 May 2023

There has been no greater, influential force on the Life Sciences industry in modern history than that of the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus changed life as it was known across every corner of the world, and the effects are still being felt in the way that we work. 

As some industries were rendered motionless, furloughing staff and shutting down operations, the Life Sciences sector ploughed on to develop a vaccine. It was under this pressure the industry succumbed to innovation through digitalisation and new vaccine technology – transforming the industry’s careers in its wake.


Although decades in the making, the biotechnological breakthrough in mRNA technology powered the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Its global impact has added fuel to the industry’s fire, and it is largely thought that the technology could change the world. In fact, the mRNA technology is currently being applied to develop a vaccine against one of the world’s deadliest and devastating diseases – Malaria.

With that said, careers in biotechnology have never looked so promising. There has been a global explosion in biotech start-ups, with increased interest and funding from non-healthcare investors. Careers in biotechnology are now their most secure and ambitious – with serious earning potential too, largely because the talent pool in the industry is becoming increasingly limited. Because the industry has virtually zero unemployment, biotech organisations are having to get innovative with their bargaining power, using lucrative financial packages, increased flexibility and even tuition reimbursement to attract talent. For biotech professionals, careers have never been more rewarding.

Regulatory Affairs

With the entire world heading into lockdown, regulatory bodies had to revolutionise their processes as in-person inspections in operational facilities became a no-go. And with organisations bolstering forward at full speed to develop a vaccine, this had to be done quickly.

This turned the way that regulatory affairs professionals carried out their roles completely on its head. Professionals found a reinforced need for adaptability in their roles from having to completely restructure processes and adapt to unknown technologies that facilitated virtual inspections. Before the pandemic, Regulatory Affairs were reluctant to modernise – using various, unsynchronised manual systems, which the virus forced to change.

Adapting to remote work and technological advancements has become the new normal for regulatory affairs. In the current jobs market, regulatory affairs professionals are expected to be more tech savvy and agile than ever before. And there is a huge drive for jobs in the industry to better collaborate, so that sharing and handling can be streamlined amongst stakeholders, manufacturers, scientists and government bodies to speed up vaccine development.

Research and Development

Another area that had been slow to concede to a growing virtual world, R&D found Covid forcing them to shake up procedures - specifically within clinical trials.

Decentralised clinical trials – collecting data from test patients virtually – were a novelty in the industry, but in 2020 became a crucial step in manufacturing a vaccine. Now, researchers have come to realise the value these kinds of clinical trials bring, including candidate pools being expanded and significant cost savings being made. But what it also means for researchers is getting to grips with data collection and handing software as well as remote monitoring technology.

However, this shift in R&D also brings great benefits to workers in the field. Previously, hands-on trials meant long, on-site days in far away facilities, but virtual and decentralised trials promote flexibility, remote working and a healthier work-life balance. Research and development jobs are now increasingly more rewarding and attractive to work, which will hopefully help bring new talent to the growing sector as 91% of life sciences organisations report plans to invest heavily in 2023.

IT and Tech roles

Evidently, covid became a catalyst for digitalising out of date practises throughout the Life Sciences industry. In a world where manual, on-site work became a health risk, the crucial work being done to get a vaccine approved had to adjust to new technology.

In 2023, this means more and more jobs being brought to market in 2023 are stipulating ‘Future oriented tech and IT skills’ i.e., data analytics and data science as a requirement. As well, the need for professionals with multi-disciplinary capacity is on the rise, for example holding qualifications within both a life sciences discipline and software development, or engineering. There is fantastic opportunity for existing life sciences professionals to upskill, with increasingly higher salaries being offered in return for expertise.

Reach out to Quanta

Throughout the pandemic, Quanta continued to source great talent for the Life Sciences industry, placing professionals into organisations at the heart of the vaccine race. We’ve been first hand witness to the evolving nature of Life Sciences career and can honestly say there has never been a more exciting time to join the sector. Take a look at our Life Sciences jobs around the globe or get in touch with our consultants today to find out more.