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Post-Pandemic Life Sciences - Biotech Recruitment Trends for 2021

18 December 2020

By Jay Freeman

Post-Pandemic Life Sciences - Biotech Recruitment Trends for 2021

As we finally come to the end of a challenging year, the words on everyone’s lips are: “what’s next?”

2020 has been a year full of surprises for the life sciences sector; surprises that have significant implications for the recruitment trends of 2021. 

In our final blog series of the year, we’re looking at the post-pandemic world of work for life sciences candidates and the recruitment trends to watch out for - starting with biotech. 

The top 2021 trends for biotech recruitment

There is lots for biotech candidates to look forward to in 2021, not least because of the significant investment into the sector this year

We’ve narrowed down our top biotech recruitment trends for 2021 to:


If you caught our recent blog series on how technology is disrupting the life sciences industry, you’ll already know digitalisation will be a big trend next year. 

Technologies such as AI, machine learning and big data analytics are helping the biotech industry advance screening, diagnostics and disease detection. Accordingly, biotech companies will look not only to beef up their AI, data and cloud departments but also increase their number of statisticians and mathematicians. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% growth in biotech statisticians and mathematicians between 2018 and 2028, with job titles including biometricians, biostatisticians and research biostatisticians to be popular in 2021. 


Speaking of digitalisation, experts predict demand for technical competencies such as data analysis, data science and data engineering to be four times higher than supply next year.

This demand, coupled with the impressive funding rounds of 2020, should lead to some attractive competition in 2021. Expect lucrative benefits, remarkable salaries and enticing career prospects to be offered by biotech companies looking to attract the top technical skilled talent. As of November 2020, the average biotech scientist annual salary was $100,026, with benefits including healthcare, flexible hours and bonus payments. 

Secondment opportunities

2020 was the year that companies worked together in response to the pandemic, including big names such as GSK, Sanogi, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gildead, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Sanofi.

From our own experience, we expect this to result in more secondments in biotech, with job roles coming with opportunities to expand your expertise within and beyond the company. Not only will these opportunities develop your career, but they’ll also boost your skills and expertise for the benefit of your employer. 

Flexibility, eagerness and an ability to adapt to new working environments quickly will be vital to obtaining such roles. 

Global opportunities

Finally, one trend we’re incredibly excited about is the global opportunities for biotech candidates in 2021.

We know Boston as the epicentre for life sciences and biotech, but while it has significantly more life sciences vacancies (6.2 per thousand inhabitants), the Benelux region is catching up. 

The Netherlands and Belgium have 2.2 and 2.5 jobs per thousand inhabitants respectively, and this figure is expected to exceed 4.0 by 2030. In 2021, you can expect more global opportunities in biotech, allowing you to take your career international. 


At Panda International, we want your biotech career to have world class opportunities, which is why we keep up-to-date with the latest developments and trends in the sector, alongside your recruitment needs.

If you’d like to discuss your career opportunities in 2021 or anything we’ve covered above, get in touch with our biotech team today

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