Manager Talent Transformation & Innovation, IDA Ireland
Foreign direct investment (FDI) employs over 90,000 people in the life sciences sector across more than 400 biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and medical technology facilities across Ireland.
We are home to 9 of the top 10 global biopharma companies and 14 of the top 15 medtech companies. These are impressive statistics, but numbers alone don’t convey the immense value these companies bring to people’s lives.
Life sciences careers bringing value to Ireland
Across Ireland, life-changing therapies and medical devices are being produced — from 6.5 billion Panadol tablets annually to stents, ventilators, vaccines, drug delivery devices and therapeutics for chronic conditions and diseases. New drugs and devices are also being developed, tested and prototyped in R&D centres based in Ireland.
The discovery, approval, manufacture and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices involve a wide range of roles. These include research scientists; biostatisticians; engineers; chemists; regulatory affairs; quality control; procurement and supply chain; health and safety; legal and compliance.
Life science roles will become increasingly multidisciplinary, integrating knowledge and skills from across STEM fields to address complex challenges and foster innovation.
Dynamic roles in life sciences
The significant transformation of the sector — driven by scientific advancements, digital technology and evolving patient needs — will see new roles emerge and existing roles evolve. As technology becomes embedded in R&D and manufacturing, there is increasing demand for skills in areas such as AI, generative AI, machine learning, data science, software engineering, robotic process automation, cloud and cybersecurity.
Complex global supply chains — coupled with the need to increase operational efficiency and environmental sustainability — will generate demand for digital and data skills, sustainability expertise, circular design and innovation capability. Life science roles will become increasingly multidisciplinary, integrating knowledge and skills from across STEM fields to address complex challenges and foster innovation. Furthermore, individuals will need to be equipped with strong transversal skills in communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork to operate within multidisciplinary teams.
Rewarding career opportunities
The life sciences sector provides interesting and rewarding job opportunities for graduates and existing employees, but it also provides diverse career paths for those who seek out upskilling, reskilling and on-the-job experiences. Many of IDA Ireland’s client companies have talent development initiatives aligned to career paths in their operation.
Further education, secondments and cross-functional projects are all opportunities for individuals to gain experience and knowledge that will enable them to take on new roles and greater responsibility. The recent flow of investments from IDA Ireland-supported companies underscores Ireland’s growth as a global hub of excellence in STEM.