At MassBioEd’s 6th Annual Life Sciences Workforce Conference, expert facilitators led group discussions on specific workforce challenge areas in expanding the pool of workers. Summaries of the insights from the conversations have now been published. Despite the very different focus of these seven sessions, several common themes emerged:
- There is a shortage of talent entering the industry, and retention of talent is increasingly difficult.
- There is a desire within the industry to increase the diversity of the workforce, and an increasing willingness to explore non-traditional means of recruitment and onboarding new employees to achieve this goal.
- There is a large and growing need for people who have cross-functional skill sets in biology and chemistry and in data science and computer programming.
- Students at all levels – from high school through graduate school – need more opportunities to learn about careers in the life sciences. Increased access to professional mentors and to internships or other experiential learning opportunities will drive more students into the industry, which will help companies grow and diversify their applicant pools and future workforce.