Practically every life science professional begins their career with academic experiences, ensuring they have the necessary degree to pursue their field. Some also spend more time in academia conducting research.

However, not all life sciences professionals can remain in academia for their entire careers. Instead, they need to make the transition from academia to industry. Fortunately, it’s possible to make the move successfully by using the right strategy. Here’s what professionals need to know about shifting from academia to industry in life sciences.

Differences Between Academia and Industry

Academia and the life sciences industry differ in a few areas. While both may conduct research, what motivates the direction of those efforts isn’t the same. Companies operating in the industry typically focus on specific niches, while academia may be broader. The life sciences industry is also more commonly focused on product or technique development, while academia may be able to concentrate on information gathering as a primary goal.

Overall, the life sciences industry component is also more financially stable. Academia relies on funding sources that aren’t always available, such as grants. As a result, academic institutions may lack the money necessary for specific projects. With companies in the life sciences industry, ongoing funding it’s typically an issue.

Additionally, professionals can find a wider variety of job opportunities in the life sciences industry. In academic settings, the majority of the roles fall into the research category. Outside of academia, positions may focus on sales, quality control, medical writing, talent acquisition, and much more.

The Skills and Experience Needed to Make the Transition

Many of your academia-oriented skills and overall experience can assist with your transition, as they show you have the right technical capabilities. However, it’s also wise to hone skills that are necessary in the broader industry. For example, teamwork, communication, and collaboration are crucial. The ability to shift between changing priorities is similarly a must, as well as a willingness to learn new processes and procedures.

Tips for Making a Successful Transition

One simple way to acquire necessary experience and skills to make transitioning from academia to the life sciences industry simpler is to look for internships or similar opportunities while still in school. By doing so, you can gain relevant experience outside of a purely academic setting, giving your resume a significant boost.

Looking for company-sponsored training positions for recent graduates is another excellent option. Again, it helps you secure vital experience while giving you a role that involves a learning component, making the transition easier.

Finally, securing a professional reference from a person who works in the industry can be beneficial. That gives you a person outside of academia who can vouch for your skills, which may carry more weight than purely academic references.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Generally, the biggest challenge life science professionals face is stiff competition from other job seekers. Fortunately, by focusing on skill-building, boosting your resume, and improving your interviewing capabilities, it’s possible to stand out from the crowd.

If you are looking for a new job in the life sciences industry, the Staffing Resource Group can make your transition easier by providing access to more opportunities. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.