A report published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2021 discloses the trends and employment projections for various occupations. The report indicates that social, physical, and life sciences employment will grow to 5% between 2019 and 2029, which is more rapid than the growth rate of all other occupations. It will, therefore, create 68,200 new jobs. 

The report also shows that these occupations’ median annual wage ($69,760) is higher than others ($41,950). Such evolution can be best related to the pandemic-led increased demand for the emergence of radically new concepts, healthcare products, and services, including tech trends and advanced inpatient care. 

Considering that digital transformation is quicker than at any other time due to Covid-19, future healthcare leaders should think differently concerning the factors of production, including talent.


Will the Healthcare Industry continue to evolve?

The life sciences industry has steadily accommodated the digital workforce, including the combination and application of AI, Automation, Machine-learning, etc. But often, companies get stuck at the pilot stage itself; due to their unrealistic expectations, the complexity of processes, technology-related challenges, and the skill gap. Furthermore, inadequate infrastructure stops them from deploying technology within the team and achieving the benefits of a completely integrated techno-enabled workforce.

One belief is that productivity will dive if people are not in the office. It has already been interrogated strictly since the pandemic mandated remote working. Another viewpoint is that technology and use cases should be prioritized, not talent or people. However, to be impactful, top leaders must defer and drop such self-limiting views to become successful.

As per McKinsey, in the coming 10 to 15 years, the demand for emotional, social, technical, and cognitive skills will likely increase by up to one-third. It indicates that skills like continuous learning, adaptability, and the ability to communicate will be critical for success, along with critical thinking, data engineering, and decision-making abilities.

Pointing to the future of work in the life science industries, one of the significant challenges would be bridging the wide skill gap. As technology has reformed the traditional relationship between the industry and its consumer, it holds up the fact that the human workforce needs to be engaged, agile, and non-threatened to gauge across the times.


Evaluating the Skill Gap in the Life Sciences Industry

To continue delivering success, innovation, and excellence, life science business-based companies shall make a skill shift, as indicated below:

1. Digital, Financial and Statistical Literacy

Basically, companies shall acknowledge the growing spectrum of digital capabilities of the workforce and enable their workforce to adapt and retain it fast. There are gaps in data science skills, including digital, technical, and expert computational and laboratory skills. Life Sciences organizations need to upskill their workforce, enhance their capacities to deal with technology’s more comprehensive databases, and promote their familiarisation through bespoke training modules.

2. Powerful Communication Skills

Another practical way to stay competitive and upfront is through one’s ability to communicate. Importantly, weightage to this skill must be paired with digitalization, remote working, and new medical technological advances. Engaging the audience with the proper expression and content is required for all fields. And, specifically during and post-pandemic, people want to stay more updated and informed about healthcare developments.

3. Excellent Leadership Skills

Technical skills and sector leadership (such as research, project management, analysis, etc.) are the most demanded skills in the Life Sciences industry. Companies shall fine-tune multiple management and leadership roles and address the skill shortages per the area. For instance, leadership role in virology or protein sciences. 

One more push led by a pandemic is in the innovation and research field, followed by the ability to commercialize it. Companies shall increase space and time to align the skill pipeline with talent and break down the artificial obstacles between academic research and industry. It will help them arrive at ground-breaking research while also creating revenues.

Further, the skill updates shall reflect the technological and regulatory changes, in particular:

  • Updates on manufacturing industry advances, accessibility, and utility online. (for instance, health equipment manufacturing, chemical processes, etc.)
  • More expansive knowledge of disruptive technologies. (like Automation, AI, etc.)
  • Specific knowledge of data science to ideate and reflect data-driven decision-making.
  • Understanding of compliances, industry requirements, and their application.

To conclude, companies can bridge the talent gap by increasing cross-disciplinary working teams after developing a few ‘intangible’ skills and qualities.

Meanwhile, future leaders shall also plan and enable skill transfer from the older generation to the newer generation, which technology can aid. The sector shall boost itself as a desirable career option, deliver professional development, and clear the entry and promotion routes.

Well-planned strategies and their active implementation can undoubtedly ensure a committed and skilled Life Sciences workforce that is most suitable for the future.

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