An introduction to graduate jobs and career opportunities in the medical and pharmaceutical industries - click the arrows to find out more.
Healthcare and research are the two key career strands for this industry. The former seeks to keep people in good shape, the latter seeks to use science to produce new methods for the prevention or treatment of disease and illness.
Working collaboratively with major research based hospitals and general practices throughout the UK, these roles are responsible for the monitoring of Phase I, II, III and IV clinical studies from initiation to completion.
Research Scientists concentrate on a therapeutic area (e.g. cardiovascular, metabolic or cancer) and identify compounds that could be used as possible treatments.
Once a compound has been identified further development studies on safety and suitability then have to be carried out. Engineers are employed in this area to help design and run the production systems.
Due to strict quality and safety standards, every product is tested at every stage of manufacture to ensure the highest standards of quality and that dosage strength of all medicines is correct.
Sales and marketing
Exciting, field-based sales roles with responsibility for promoting a portfolio of ethical pharmaceutical products to both primary and secondary healthcare professionals to meet companies key business objectives.
"Water and Sanitation is one of the primary drivers of public health. I often refer to it as Health 101." - Dr Lee Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.
Did you know?
By the time a medicinal product reaches the market, an average of 12-13 years will have elapsed since the ?rst synthesis of the new active substance.
You'll need specialist study for a medical role which will lead into the NHS or private healthcare. Pharmaceutical firms require particular degrees for science roles. Sales and marketing roles are often open to all graduates.
Research-based pharmaceutical companies offer development, training and education. Show a desire to learn and establish your strengths. Sales and marketing roles require communication skills and commercial flair.
Qualifications for a medical career are clearly outlined depending on the field you're interested in. A doctorate may be required for pharmaceutical roles, however a science degree is normally enough for most graduate roles.
A medical career in the public sector will offer fixed progression and pay; the private sector can be more lucrative. Scientific roles tend to be structured while sales and marketing offer transferable skills to move between industries.
Working in sales and marketing offers a wealth of opportunities in all sizes of business and a wide range of industries. If you're considering a science role academia may appeal later in your career if not to begin with.
Right for you?
Public sector medical careers can involve long hours at unsociable times, the private sector can offer more structured hours. Pharmaceutical careers tend to have performance bonuses to work towards, particularly in sales and research.