2016 Bioscience Workforce Trend Report Released

The Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) Releases the 2016 Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report at BIO;

Key Findings Support Industry Hiring Demand with a Strong Need for Knowledge-Based Employees

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The Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) released the 2016 Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report on June 9, 2016 at the BIO International Convention.

The report provides a national snapshot of the current and projected talent needs in the life sciences industry.  View Key Findings

Qualitative and quantitative data support the fact that the life sciences industry continues to experience demand at all levels, with a strong need for knowledge-based employees. Job postings in the life sciences industry remained at historic highs with over 92,000 positions posted last year, a 45% increase over 2010, and a 37% increase from 2015.

“We are very excited about the release of this report, as it will serve as an important resource for leaders in industry, academia and government,” said Liisa Bozinovic, CSBI Co-Chair and Executive Director, Biocom Institute. “The quantitative data are strong and further strengthened by the findings highlighted in candid interviews with close to 100 industry executives reflecting important insights into the current hiring practices and future workforce needs. These data will be useful to both industry and academia as we partner to produce the next generation of the life sciences workforce, and to legislators who can steer training dollars and incentivize such partnerships.”

“This report illustrates the dynamic workforce needs of our industry in an increasingly international competitive environment,” said Peter M. Pellerito, Senior Counsel for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “It is important that stakeholders in our industry, educational communities, economic development agencies and other partners review this material as a guidepost for their workforce development areas in our growing and vibrant industry.”

Several themes emerged among life sciences industry leaders and hiring managers who participated in the interviews:

  1. Big Data and Electronic Record Keeping: Advances in computational technology, supported by developments in informatics, bioengineering, and robotics, dictates the need for a high level of agility in all aspects of “rich data” collection and management, including database managers, bioinformaticists, and biostatisticians.
  2. Regulatory & Reimbursement: The need for a depth of understanding of the changing regulatory requirements and reimbursement trends impacts critical business decisions at all stages of the company life cycle.
  3. Soft Skills: Communication above all: The ability to communicate well across many disciplines in a fast-paced, global environment is overwhelmingly the top ranking soft skill sought in employees today. Additionally, teamwork, interpersonal skills, adaptability, critical thinking and problem-solving, and collaboration are viewed as vitally important skill sets.
  4. Employee Development: Ongoing employee training and development are critical for keeping employees’ technical and business skills relevant and helping companies compete for and attract the best talent.
  5. Industry partnerships with academia at all levels are vital for developing collaborative research and preparing and inspiring new generations of talent with industry-relevant knowledge.

“This report provides an important platform for a national conversation on establishing best practices for preparing talent to meet the evolving skill needs of our industry,” states Lori Lindburg, CSBI Workforce Development Committee Co-Chair.


CSBI conducted a series of interviews with executives and strategic leaders in close to 100 life sciences companies within the U.S. during Q1 2016. The interviews addressed current and future business priorities/capabilities and their implications for workforce and training needs. The qualitative interviews and analysis were conducted in parallel with a quantitative analysis using Burning Glass. Burning Glass collects millions of online job postings from close to 40,000 sources and applies their patented technology to mine and code detailed data from each posting describing the specific skills, education, experience, and work activities required for the job.

Download key findings and full report

About the Coalition for State Biotech Institutes (CSBI)

The Coalition for State Biotech Institutes is dedicated to ensuring America’s leadership in bioscience innovation by delivering industry-led life science education, workforce development and entrepreneurship programs through a nationally coordinated effort. Programs are uniquely positioned for life science industry to deliver, replicable in states across the U.S., extensible to other STEM industry sectors and are fully aligned with emerging K-12 Common Core Learning Standards.

Learn more at www.csbioinstitutes.org.

Posted in AZBio News.