Obtaining a graduate pharmaceutical position

The pharmaceutical industry is possibly the most desired area to work in for any science or pharmacy student. But how can you break into the industry once you have graduated? And can you being doing more during your studies to increase the likelihood of employment at the end of your course?

Some positions require specific education path

First and foremost, there is little point in applying to technical jobs within the pharmaceuticals industry if you don’t have a science or pharmacy based degree. There is no exception to the rule, as there is little room to train non-experts, as new employees are expected to hit the ground running.

If you want to focus on a particular area of the pharmaceutical industry, again it is likely that you must have specifically chosen to do a degree in that area. Better yet, you will have chosen to extend your studies with a post graduate degree which brings you up to speed in the area of the pharmaceutical industry that you hope to apply to. Remember: The more specific your degree - the better the chances of gaining employment at the end of your studies.

Rewards strong maths and technical skills

Like most science-based roles, numeracy skills are considered vital to the success of an employee. To be successful in your application to jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, you must have very good mathematical skills, being able to solve potentially challenging sums in order to complete various tests and projects. Likewise your technical skills as a scientist will be rigorously tested, so make sure you opt for at least one strongly practical based module during your degree to increase your prospects upon graduation.

Get experience whilst studying

Experience rules the market when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, so best prepare yourself for employment by choosing a degree which allows you to obtain professional experience whilst you study. This can be in the guise of a professional experience module of up to 6 weeks, or better yet, a year – which is available via a ‘sandwich degree’. This will help set you apart from other graduates in your position who are looking to gain employment in the pharmaceutical industry.

Where should you look?

Traditional recruiting channels are fading away in favour of the web, and other digital platforms. Most recruiters have an active presence on the main job board websites – think Monster, Reed, and Job Site, as well as maintaining their own company website – like this one.

Get the most out of this by submitting your CV or applying to jobs quickly and effectively.

Other recruiting channels that are currently being used by pharmaceutical companies, employers, and recruiters include science based publications, i.e New Scientist, as well as affiliation programs with professional bodies such as The Royal Pharmaceutical Society who publish opportunities for graduates.

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