Chemistry job prospects getting better in California

A recent article at Chemical & Engineering News summarizes some encouraging indicators that the job market may be picking up for scientists with a chemistry background, at least on the west coast:

the employment picture for some chemists on the West Coast may finally be brightening. Although growth in job volume for chemists was “flat to declining” last year, it is now “definitely picking up,” according to Alan E. Edwards, a senior director for the Americas Product Group in the scientific arm of Kelly Services, a staffing services company. “I would say that California is climbing back and is now well out of the trough it was in.

According to a 2011 survey of biotechnology CEOs, a majority of firms in this area plan to increase their workforce over the next two years.  However, many of the jobs will be short-term in nature, so chemists may need to get used to the idea of jumping from contract to contract. And while the demand for analytical and quality control chemists is increasing, medicinal chemists still find themselves competing with cheaper, internationally outsourced labor.  As a result, many are exploring ways to take their skills from the benchtop and are looking at other career prospects, such as business development.  As one says, the switch to a technical sales support role

“has been a great learning experience and helped to broaden my skill set—something that is critical to my career,” he says. “The landscape of R&D and manufacturing is changing faster than ever, so the ability to wear multiple hats and contribute across classical departmental boundaries is key.”

Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Chemistry | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »