Medical doctors, nurses, and different well being care staff have demonstrated heroic efforts on the entrance line of the struggle in opposition to COVID-19. Consequently, many college students are much more motivated to pursue these careers.
Nevertheless, the heroic efforts of well being care staff is enabled by one other group of superheroes — the scientists, engineers and different professionals working within the life science biotechnology business to provide diagnostic instruments, drug remedies, and vaccines for COVID-19 and different illnesses.
But, college students don’t notice the broader affect they’ll have by pursuing a profession working at a biotechnology or biopharma firm and the large job demand that exists proper right here in our area.
The D.C./Maryland/Virginia area, generally generally known as the BioHealth Capital Area, is quantity 4 amongst biopharma clusters in the US, based on the 2020 ranking of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.
There are over 500 biotech firms in Maryland and the vast majority of these are in Montgomery County.
Even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, job alternatives in life sciences had been rising rapidly. Job growth between 2013 and 2019 in Maryland was over 15%.
Information from companies just like the gene remedy firm Vigene on hiring up to 245 jobs in four years had turn into commonplace.
Furthermore, with the speedy improvement and manufacturing of COVID-19 remedies and vaccines, the demand for expertise is rapidly rising. The Montgomery County-based firm Novavax, whose COVID-19 vaccine lately confirmed 90.4% efficacy in Section 3, plans to hire up to 300 people at its new facility by the tip of this 12 months.
Jobs at these firms present college students fascinated about science and engineering, with an incredible alternative to pursue an impactful, well being care-related profession proper of their yard.
Coupled with which might be the tutorial alternatives right here in Montgomery County in biotechnology to arrange college students for these jobs.
For example, Montgomery Faculty has a biotechnology associate’s degree, wherein college students can then acquire an utilized biotechnology bachelor’s diploma on the College of Maryland Baltimore County’s location at The Universities at Shady Grove.
This utilized biotechnology diploma, a Bachelor of Science degree in Translational Life Science Technology (TLST), teaches college students in a sensible and interdisciplinary nature in regards to the translation of biomedical analysis to permitted medical merchandise to arrange them to work at a biotechnology firm.
College students can even pursue a professional master’s degree in biotechnology at UMBC-Shady Grove.
With the latest signing of the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership memorandum of understanding, alternatives to pursue life science training and experiential studying will considerably enhance.
Nevertheless, college students and their mother and father is probably not totally conscious of the various fascinating and impactful job alternatives in biotechnology and the life sciences.
Advising and profession actions within the excessive colleges and center colleges ought to embody extra dialogue on jobs within the life sciences that transcend being a physician or dentist and as a substitute embody these jobs in biotechnology.
Native media retailers and social media may presumably broaden their protection of biotech and biopharma to explain the fascinating initiatives and other people within the business. And, after all we’d like the biotechnology firms closely concerned.
Moreover, extra focus must be positioned on constructing a extra inclusive biotechnology workforce that displays the varied demographic of our society.
The disproportionate affect of COVID-19 on communities like African-Americans due to racial well being disparities underscores the significance of ushering in a extra numerous biotechnology workforce unafraid to share their views and concepts on the design of medication, supply gadgets, scientific trials, labels, and different parts of the product.
We desperately want the subsequent era of aspiring scientists of all backgrounds to affix the superhero group of biotechnologist.
Annica Wayman of Rockville is an affiliate dean for the College of Maryland Baltimore County at The Universities at Shady Grove.
Editor’s word: Bethesda Beat encourages readers to ship us their ideas about native matters we now have coated for consideration as a letter to the editor or op-ed piece in our Saturday publication. E-mail them to email@example.com. Listed below are our guidelines. We require a reputation and hometown for publication. We additionally require a cellphone quantity (not for publication) for us to confirm who wrote the letter. Please present a supply for any info in your letter that weren’t a part of our protection; if they’ll’t be verified, they seemingly will likely be omitted.