MassBioEd Releases Employment Outlook for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry

Dec 10, 2019

Employment exceeds 74,000, the highest ever; Nearly 12,000 new jobs are forecasted by 2024 

December 10, 2019, CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) today released its 4th annual Life Sciences Employment Outlook, which provides an overview of employment supply and demand in the Massachusetts life sciences industry. In addition, the report includes findings from a survey of local life sciences companies about their specific hiring experiences and challenges. All data sets found there is a huge need to expand the talent pipeline in this sector, not only to fill more traditional roles but also emerging ones for hybrid careers, as those demand a high level of knowledge and expertise in two or more areas.

“The Massachusetts life sciences industry is experiencing extraordinary growth in terms of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances, but the supply of qualified people entering the industry is not keeping up with demand,” said Sunny Schwartz, MassBioEd’s Executive Director. “Expanding the qualified workforce must be a priority, and MassBioEd is ready and willing to work with industry and academia to support this critical growth.”

 Key findings:

  • The Massachusetts life sciences sector employed over 74,000 people in 2018; an additional 12,000 jobs are projected to be created by 2024.
  • The effect of the life sciences on the overall labor economy is 2.5 times greater for MA than the next closest states.
  • The number of job postings across all educational levels increased by 100 - 140% since 2010, while the concurrent increase in college graduates and Ph.D.s has grown at a substantially lower rate.
  • Massachusetts life sciences employers indicated that local competition is the biggest obstacle to hiring, and it often takes more than three months to fill open positions.

Key recommendations:

  • Bridge the gap between what students learn and what employers need them to know. 
  • Improve awareness of career opportunities in the life sciences to tomorrow’s employees.
  • Prepare pre- and postdoctoral students for careers in industry.
  • Expand the existing pool of talent through professional development.
  • Enhance employees’ potential by developing soft skills.
  • Create innovative pathways for non-traditional candidates to enter the life sciences workforce.

To inform the report, MassBioEd analyzed data from the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Burning Glass Technologies.

The Massachusetts life sciences industry currently leads the world. Our continued success depends on a world-class workforce.

Download the full report at MassBioEd.org/Job_Trends

Contact Megan Schulz, Senior Manager of Communications & Corporate Partnerships at MassBioEd for more details: Megan.Schulz@massbio.org.

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