Seeking advice about Biotech Management Graduate Course

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Seeking advice about Biotech Management Graduate Course

Postby B.R.C. » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:17 am

Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and I am looking for some advice and suggestions.
I am aiming to join a Graduate Program on Biotech Management. But as the Program concept and curriculum are relatively new, I am concerned about the future in terms of job prospects.
I am very interested in pursuing this program as I wish to be a part of the management side of the Biotech industry.
So, do give me your advice on how I can increase my potential, my abilities and value in general, so that I can ensure getting a bankable job, post completion of the course.
I will be grateful for your advice!
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Re: Seeking advice about Biotech Management Graduate Course

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:47 am

What in the world is a "biotech management degree"? That's the problem. Employers will ask that, you'd better believe it.

Here, we talk about every degree choice under the sun, and yet this one has not popped up before. It sounds like one of those Masters degrees that Universities love to add, like the "Professional Science Masters" which are basically just a way for them to gouge students for a big expensive degree that has questionable value.

You should tell us more about your current training and future interests, and then provide a bit more detail on what this "biotech management" degree promises to their students. Typically, a "biotech manager" comes up on a technical career track -- he or she had a more traditional degree in a science field -- and then they are thrown into management, sometimes very quickly, and they learn the ropes of managing and dealing with both people and projects. That's still the best route to management in my opinion,

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Re: Seeking advice about Biotech Management Graduate Course

Postby D.X. » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:46 am

There are programs in Pharmaceutical Management, at MBA Level that are reputable and have associated students finding career paths within the industry sector (be it within life-science subject matter or Management consulting firms, internal pharmas, 3 Party Providers etc.).

However, the Problem with These programs despite positive Reputation is "what's pharmaceutical Management?", same Problem of "what's biotech Management" exactly. I would imagine, like the pharmaceutical managment programs, it would give you some over-arching insight in to the various aspects behind the Business, from finance, to supply Chain, to Basic elements of product and/or brand Management, to market Dynamics/Marketing, etc. But in no way is a program like that going to prepare you to be a pharmacuetical manager, because this title does not exist!! There are brand Managers. There are product Managers. There are Supply Chain Managers, there are Regulatory Affairs Managers, there are Medical Affairs Managers, each carrying a functional Expertise.

See Dave's Point on technical career track and subsequent Progression.

Such programs being it Biotech Management or even reputable Pharmaceutical Managment programs may give you nice academic knowledge of overarching and broad concepts, but in no way a serrogate for being able to do the Job, i.e. experience. You'll know a textbook, conceptually, but still be relatively useless experience like all newbie graduates.

Closest you can become to be an overarching "Pharmaceutical Manager" if you will is that of being an empowered Brand Manager (usaully at Director Level) who as a first management step leads a Product Strategy Team usually they carry the titles of Brand Team Lead, or Product Strategy Lead, or Marketing Lead etc. and they must work cross-fucntionally. These Folks in General have spent time in Sales (a functional expert),or Junior Marketing roles (a functional expert) or like me, Medical Affairs roles (functional Expertise). I've know other such Folks from Regulatory Affairs (functional Expertise), Legal (!), Finance, and Drug Supply functions just to Name a few. As they are functional Expertise who have climbed within their fuctnions and others, they know what it means to work cross-functionally, and that's when you start talking "Management" and "Leadership" in real world Terms.

So in summary, don't waste your time. Understand the functions within pharma as part of how a drug is taken to the market, find the ones of interest and start looking for Jobs. There are plenty of 3rd Party Providers where you can get your feet wet fast. Figure out if you want more formal, check the box Training later (i.e. a MBA, or other subject matter traning).

good luck DX.
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Re: Seeking advice about Biotech Management Graduate Course

Postby Dick Woodward » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:04 pm


As I thought about your question, I realized that Dave Jensen and DX pretty much said it all. A degree that can help you optimize what you already know can be useful, but a degree in "biotech management" would make me question what you know that is applicable to the real world.

To understand how to manage something, it is generally useful to understand what that something is. Could you give us a bit more information about your background, please?

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