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Get in Early – Creating a Successful Career in Life Sciences

Posted by: Laurence Simons 09/05/17

The Life Sciences sector covers a broad range of areas, primarily it encompasses companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts in the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialisation. 

With an ever growing aging population, the challenge to prolong life through different types of products and technologies has led to the Life Sciences sector being one of the consistent growth areas in recent years.

This has been the experience of European Managing Director and life sciences recruiter, Angela Floydd, who has seen companies in this sector flourish over the last 10 years while based in Switzerland. 

"Switzerland in particular has been a hot spot for life sciences, with numerous companies basing their global, regional or international headquarters in the country. In addition to Switzerland, Germany has a strong life sciences presence and countries within Northern Europe and the Benelux region have also increased their international focus. There has also been growth in France and Italy on a domestic level. Fuelled by funding to fight new diseases and develop the latest blockbuster medical technology, it is a viable career option for lawyers with the right skills, experience and motivation," says Angela.

Skills needed in the industry can be broken down into a few key areas: 


Lawyers who have strong technical understanding of the regulation framework in which these products are being produced, sold, distributed and marketed. These roles are usually in-house and in high demand.

Technical Operations

Regardless of product, most life science business will have a technical operations side which will have a more manufacturing focus. Lawyers with logistics experience may find their skills transferrable.

Competition and Corporate

Of course, life sciences companies need traditional corporate lawyers and lawyers who specialise in competition issues. Patent law is a particular issue in the sector too. 

If you think you have any of the skills or experience listed above or are interested in a career in the life sciences sector, Angela has some advice for those that are looking to break into the industry. 

Angela has found that lawyers with a science background can be interesting candidates and for those with a pharmaceutical related background, the industry can offer a variety of career options from an early stage. 

 ‘I think the earlier you can get into it the better, and if it’s a sector of interest, the ideal would be to train with a firm that's got an established life sciences practice and then move  in-house as that's going to make a candidate attractive and in demand. Ideally, it’s having a sense of what you want to do and getting into it early enough.’ 

There can be controversy about working in the life sciences sector and for certain pharmaceutical companies but generally Angela has found that those involved in life sciences are proud to be part of an industry responsible for products, medicines and science that helps improve lives. 

If you want to be part of a life changing industry, you can contact Angela at

To browse our latest life sciences jobs click here. 

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