If you’re a Maryland worker or resident, a new report says life sciences is the industry in which to be (if you didn’t already know).
According to a new report from the Tech Economy Partners and the Coalition of State Biosciences Institutes on workforce trends, the life sciences sector has boomed in Maryland over the past four years. Within life sciences, the report studied the subsectors of agricultural feedstock and
industrial biosciences, bioscience-related distribution, drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment and research, testing and medical laboratories. Twenty state associations, including the Maryland Tech Council (MTC), commissioned the report.
Over that time frame, the two entities took a look at unique job postings in the industry across the state and found that Maryland companies posted 65,473 job openings. In 2022 alone, 20,723 life sciences jobs were added in Maryland — a 39% increase from 2019 and 12% in just that year.
Kelly Schulz, CEO of MTC, told Technical.ly that the report clearly shows that Maryland is a leading powerhouse in supporting the life sciences industry.
“We all know, internally, that Maryland does a great job,” Schulz said. “We have the assets and the resources to move these industries forward as one of the leading factors of economic growth in the state. But this really did prove it.”
Of all those job adds, the top industries were research, testing and medical labs, which made up 40% of job postings; and pharma, which accounted for 34%. The top companies hiring for all these roles included:
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Emergent BioSolutions (which is undergoing layoffs)
- Quest Diagnostics
- Charles River Laboratories
- Labcorp Drug Development
- Meso Scale Diagnostics, Llc.
- W.L. Gore & Associates
- Supernus Pharmaceuticals
According to Schulz, the most frequent job postings came from manufacturing roles at the state’s largest companies. And while she definitely notes a need for larger companies in the state’s industry, she said the presence of smaller companies is key, even beyond hiring. Those companies and startups come in to support, provide additional resources or grow the ideas of the products from larger companies. In some cases, she added, they’re also getting acquired by the larger companies and creating a pipeline.
This ecosystem, Schulz said, makes residents working in the sector feel secure.
“It creates a vibe that people know that they can come here if they don’t like a job with one of the companies that they’re at. They know that there’re going to be other places here and they can settle here, their families can settle here and they have the resources to do so,” Schulz said.
Additionally, the report showed a growing presence of roles that didn’t require higher ed. Of the roles posted, 30% did not require applicants to have a four-year degree (43% required a bachelor’s and 27% required higher). Schulz confirmed that manufacturing jobs made up a large percent of this number, but she added that there are several entry-level positions in labs that don’t require four-year degrees, and she’s hoping to increase access going forward.
“It’s not enough to recycle our workforce. We have to create a new workforce for the demanding needs of the industry that’s finding a home here,” Schulz said.
Knowledge is power!
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