Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Getting in to the Biopharma Sector

Getting in to the Biopharma Sector

What advice do you have for school leavers?

Since many jobs in the scientific sector require specialist qualifications, you should carefully consider your choices after you leave school if you are planning a career in science

There is a wide range of Third level science courses available both in Ireland and aboard. such as analytical, chemistry, biotech or pharmaceutical science. The course content will differ so make sure you understand what will be involved.

The best way to find this out is to visit institution websites or ask your teacher and careers guidance counsellor.

Where to study?

Details of the Science Courses on offer in Ireland are available here.

What advice do you have for graduates?

50% of employees in the industry are highly-trained graduates. Graduates often find it hard to enter the workplace straight after finishing their course, even those with doctorates. You will see many jobs advertised with experience required, which at this stage you do not have. However keep looking, there are plenty of jobs for graduates.

It is always worthwhile to go on and study for postgraduates degrees, masters and doctorates (PhD.), however, you will notice that initially, getting a job will still be tough. Once into the industry, however, people with post graduate qualifications tend to move up through the organisation much faster.

The key is to get 2-3 years under your belt once you find a position. Once you get to this level you will notice a wide range of opportunities opening up for you. Grind it out for the first few years, it will be worth it!!

What advice do you have for career changers?

Changing careers is often a very dramatic move for people. Coming into a highly skilled workplace such as the PharmaChem sector, experience in technical roles such as IT and engineering can be ideal. People with such skills often find it easy to adapt as they are used to the high tech sector.

However, if you envisage a change of career you will need to upskill. A good starting point is
Springboard courses and  pharmachem skillnet who offer free course places to job seekers

Biopharma related Springboard Courses

  • Cork Institute of Technology- Certificate/Diploma in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations (NFQs 6 and 7)
  • Get ReSkilled Holdings Ltd- E-(Bio)PharmaChem (NFQ 7)
  • Innopharma Labs - Certificate in Food Science & Technology, in Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Operations (NFQ 6); Diploma in Food Science & Technology, in Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Manufacturing (NFQ 8), BA in Pharmaceutical Business Operations (NFQ 7 & 8), Certificate in Pharmaceutical Data Analytics (NFQ 7 & 9), Masters of Science in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Process Technology (NFQ 9), MSc in Pharmaceutical Business Operations (NFQ 9)
  • Sligo IT - Certificates in Biopharmaceutical Processing, Bioprocess Engineering (NFQ 7), Biopharmaceutical Science, BioProcessing Technologies (NFQ 8)
  • NIBRT- Certificates in Bioprocessing & Cleanroom Management (NFQ 6), in Science in Biopharmaceutical Operations (NFQ 7), in Biopharma Processing (NFQ 6), in Cleanroom Manufacturing (NFQ 6), in Quality Analytics for Biopharma (NFQ 9), in Biopharmaceutical Science (NFQ 9)
  • UCC - Postgraduate certificate in (Bio)Pharma Processing (NFQ 9)

What advice do you have for those wishing to go back to work?

The industry encourages people to return to the workforce.

Look at the companies that are in your region.

Establish who is hiring and the skill types they are looking for.

Review your CV and establish what area you need to upskill or reskill in.

Look at Springboard Courses and Pharmachem Skillnet courses that are available to you.

Some courses are available online.