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Which life science career suits my skill set?

Life sciences is one of the world’s most exciting – and growing – industries. With new digital and technological advances such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering, the global market has gone from strength to strength in recent years and now supports almost a quarter of a million jobs in the UK, generating £70bn in economic value. Because the industry is so large and diverse, there is a huge array of different roles and subsectors within it, meaning there’s a job to suit everyone. Take a look at which life science career might suit you.  

Clinical research associate 

Ideal if you are: A people person, flexible and logical, with an eye for detail and strong organisational skills 

Entry requirements include: A degree or postgraduate qualification in life sciences, nursing or medical sciences; previous experience as a clinical trial assistant or another relevant role in a clinical field 


Clinical research associates (CRAs) are always in demand within pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations, and there is plenty of opportunity to progress. A CRA tests the effectiveness, benefits and risks of drugs through clinical trials to make sure they are safe for use. There is a high level of data entry in this role as data quality is essential, so any aspiring CRA must be confident with numbers and have a good eye for detail. 

Medical sales representative 

Ideal if you are: Persuasive, communicative, confident and skilled at building relationships 


Entry requirements include: A degree, ideally in a science, sales or marketing subject; sales or business development experience; successfully passing the British Pharmaceutical Industry Medical Representatives Exam within one year of employment 

A medical sales representative career is ideal for exceptional communicators who love building strong relationships and navigating complex requirements. It’s a blend of sales, medicine and marketing that is well suited to people who love to be challenged, make it their mission to deliver high levels of customer service and are persistent and determined under pressure. It can be an extremely rewarding career that develops into area or regional management, or another role within medical sales.  

Find your next medical sales representative job here.  

Nurse or nurse advisor 

Ideal if you are: An autonomous worker, great with time management, patient-focused with strong communication skills and empathy 

Entry requirements include: Nurse registration; clinical experience; computer literacy 


Nurse advisors have a huge impact on our public health system, working with the NHS to improve patient outcomes and supporting primary and secondary care providers. Nurse advisors can also help patients within their own homes, whether as part of a clinical trial or medical research project, and review patient management against local or national guidelines. It’s a great career path for experienced nurses who want to work a little more independently and in an advisory role, making a significant contribution to the ever-changing healthcare industry. 

Sound like you? Find your next nurse advisor job here. 

Take your next career step with IQVIA 

Whichever career path you’re looking to take within life sciences or medical sales, you’ll find a range of roles that might suit you at IQVIA. As a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry, we are proud to offer fantastic career opportunities to people all over the world.

Find out more about our careers or read our blogs to stay up to date with our latest insights.  

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